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12 Best Shows Like Monarch That Fans Should Watch Next

The rise and fall of powerful families has been fertile ground for drama since the beginning of time. From Shakespeare to Shonda Rhimes, storytellers love to weave tales about the rich and famous plotting against one another. Audiences will seemingly never get tired of seeing the often untouchable elite brought low by the sins of their past.

Fox's primetime drama "Monarch" wears this ancient storytelling lineage on its sleeve; the Romans (Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon) and their children rule over all they survey, but their kingdom is country music. Their record label, Monarch, run by devoted middle child Luke (Joshua Sasse) has been at the top of the industry for decades. Eldest daughter Nicky (Anna Friel) plots to inherit her mother's throne as the queen of country music, while baby of the family Gigi (Beth Ditto) struggles to find a place of her own. Meanwhile, buried secrets and outside forces threaten to bring down Monarch and everything the Romans have worked for.

Created by lawyer-turned-screenwriter Melissa London Hilfers, the series — like a good song — is filled with catchy hooks. From the presence of real-life country stars like Trace Adkins (as Roman family patriarch Albie, aka "The Texas Truthteller") and Shania Twain (as herself), to its bling-and-boots vision of Southern glamor, there's so much going on that it's hard to take your eyes off the screen.

Of course, "Monarch" isn't the first series where monied families fight for status and hide private vice behind public virtue, and it certainly won't be the last. Here are some great shows for "Monarch" fans to watch next.


Secrets don't stay buried forever, even in the Florida Keys. The 2015 Netflix series "Bloodline" follows the Rayburn family, proprietors of a well-known Islamorada inn. As Sally and Robert Rayburn (Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard) gather their adult children and their families to celebrate the inn's 45th anniversary, their world is thrown into chaos by the arrival of black sheep middle son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) after years of being estranged. Eldest son John (Kyle Chandler) takes it upon himself to keep Danny away, but a little white lie spirals out of control, leading to tragic consequences that reverberate across the show's three seasons.

While "Monarch" takes a soapy view of its tale of Southern siblings grappling with their family legacy, "Bloodline" is very much a prestige project, boasting incredible performances from the likes of Linda Cardellini as sister Meg and Andrea Riseborough as Danny's former girlfriend and mother of his son. Mendelsohn is typically excellent as Danny, and Spacek and Shepard are ideally cast, but the show belongs to Chandler, who takes advantage of his warm, paternal "Friday Night Lights" image to present a man who thinks he's the hero of the story but has unknown depths of malice.

Brothers and Sisters

Family sagas are known for their twists and turns and thorny relationships, and the 2006 ABC drama "Brothers and Sisters" starts off with a doozy. When California business icon William Walker (Tom Skerritt) drops dead in the first episode, his wife Nora (Sally Field) and their children (including Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, and Matthew Rhys) have to pick up the pieces. But William had his share of secrets, most notably a longtime mistress (Patricia Wettig) and a teenage daughter (future MCU star Emily VanCamp). Though rife with serious subject matter, the series kept a light touch; at the end of the day it was more interested in the Walker family staying together through love than, say, burying bodies in the swamp.

Created by playwright Jon Robin Baitz and produced by Greg Berlanti (known for the likes of "Dawson's Creek," "Riverdale," and The CW's Arrowverse), the show didn't hurt for big juicy conflicts, with the siblings' personalities custom built to spark against each other and address topical issues of the day, particularly Flockhart as conservative activist Kitty and Rhys as gay lawyer Kevin. Unsurprisingly for the amount of talent involved, the show was an awards magnet, earning multiple Emmy nominations for Field and Griffiths (and one win for Field in Season 1), Golden Globe nominations, and wins from the GLAAD Media Awards.


The shining star of the 1980s primetime soap genre, "Dallas" is very much an ancestor to Monarch, and not just because both shows concern obscenely wealthy Texans and large collections of cowboy hats. The Ewing family — oil tycoons Jock (Jim Davis) and Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) and their sons J.R., Gary, and Bobby — rule over northeast Texas from the sprawling Southfork ranch, locked in a decades-long struggle with their rivals the Barnes family. But when baby boy Bobby (Patrick Duffy) comes home in the first episode with a Barnes (Victoria Principal) on his arm, everything changes.

Over 14 seasons, spinoffs, and TV movies full of betrayal, calamity, and murders, "Dallas" captivated audiences and, along with films like "Urban Cowboy," helped create a brief vogue for all things Texas in the 1980s. The show's "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger was a national event and has spawned countless parodies and references over the years, most notably on "The Simpsons." Duffy and Larry Hagman (as the ever-scheming J.R.) joined a new generation of Ewings in 2012 when TNT rebooted the series; the new "Dallas" ran for just three seasons.

Dolly Parton's Heartstrings

If you're a fan of the country music milieu and performances on "Monarch" but need a break from all the scheming and lies, you would do well to check out "Dolly Parton's Heartstrings." This 2019 Netflix anthology series uses eight of Parton's best-loved songs to tell stories of family, warmth, and forgiveness. The country music queen herself introduces each episode from backstage at her Dollywood theme park in east Tennessee, and performs the episode's namesake song at the end. Released right before Thanksgiving, many of the episodes have a holiday feel to them and seem custom made to play one after the other in the background of a family get-together.

Many of Parton's songs, like "Down from Dover" and "J.J. Sneed," are story songs, and their episodes are fairly straightforward adaptations. Others take a more inventive approach: "Jolene" reconsiders its scarlet-haired seductress (played here by Julianna Hough) in a more sympathetic light than the original song did, while party track "Two Doors Down" becomes the tale of a family matriarch (Melissa Leo) coming to terms with her gay son. As in Parton's music, the series centers around the experience of Southern women and features stellar performances from Hough, Leo, Delta Burke, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and especially Ginnifer Goodwin and Kathleen Turner in the series finale "These Old Bones."


Another staple of the 1980s, Aaron Spelling's "Dynasty" is the primetime soap to end all primetime soaps. Its nine seasons are chock full of evil twins, actors replaced via facial reconstructive surgery, weddings taken hostage by terrorists, and, of course, women in big shoulder pads. It wasn't always like that, however; the first season, featuring the exploits of Colorado oil magnate Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) and his family, was a relatively straightforward drama, one that even featured an LGBTQ-focused storyline involving Blake's son Steven (Al Corley), a rarity for 1981.

But, like Heather Locklear on "Melrose Place" or Danny DeVito on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," the show did not become the best version of itself until the addition of Joan Collins as Blake's vengeful ex-wife Alexis in Season 2. From there, the series shot into the stratosphere, both in terms of popularity and implausibility. The Carringtons and their rival family the Colbys (who had their own short-lived spinoff starring Charlton Heston and Barbara Stanwyck) faced every calamity known to man — and looked fabulous doing it. A reboot series created by Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") aired on The CW from 2017 to 2021, but unlike the latter day "Dallas," this version was a straight remake, with no "Dynasty" actors reprising their roles.


Perhaps the most obvious point of comparison for "Monarch" is "Empire," Fox's long-running primetime drama about the music and mayhem surrounding a Chicago hip-hop label. Lucious Lyon (former MCU actor Terrence Howard) built himself up from the streets to the boardroom as CEO of Empire Entertainment. But after receiving a terrible medical diagnosis, he must choose which of his three sons will inherit the label when he dies. Like King Lear before him, though, Lucious is not ready to relinquish power just yet, especially when his formidable ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), recently released from prison, comes back to claim her piece of the throne.

Though it's reductive to think of "Monarch" as "country music 'Empire,'" the similarities between the shows are difficult to ignore, from the setup of a family business facing an uncertain future to the steady stream of music performances and real-life icons playing themselves. But if "Monarch" is really just playing from the "Empire" playbook, there are plenty of worse shows to copy. No matter how silly and lurid "Empire" got, it was always anchored by powerhouse performances by Howard and Henson, who was Emmy nominated two years in a row. Unfortunately, its final seasons were overshadowed by the real life controversy surrounding star Jussie Smollett, who was found guilty of filing a false police report relating to an alleged hate crime.

Filthy Rich

The short-lived 2020 Fox drama "Filthy Rich" never quite got off the ground. Delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only ten episodes were produced before the show was canceled. Based on a series from New Zealand, the show takes the basic premise of "Brothers and Sisters" and turns up the tawdriness with an added dose of Southern-fried satire. The Monreaux family made their fortune preaching the gospel on an evangelical television network, but when patriarch Eugene (Gerald McRaney) dies in a plane crash, his widow Margaret (former "Sex and the City" star Kim Cattrall) and his kids (including three illegitimate children no one knew about) fight for control over his empire. As the plotting and schemes heat up, so does the intrigue surrounding Eugene's death — if he's even actually dead.

With episodes named after Bible verses, the series leans hard on the hypocrisy of conservative televangelists, not just the philandering Eugene but also Margaret, whose own sunny media personality hides a cold, calculating heart. Cattrall makes a meal out of every scene, to the point that nothing else on the show is quite at her level. Despite the soapy premise and Cattrall's star power, Fox announced the show's cancellation after just five episodes, airing the remaining five episodes later in the season. If you're after something short and juicy in the same vein as "Monarch," this could be for you.

Grand Hotel

Like "Filthy Rich," the 2019 ABC drama "Grand Hotel" is an adaptation of an international series, in this case the Spanish turn-of-the-century drama "Gran Hotel." Transplanted to modern day Miami, the series follows the sexy, sun-drenched exploits of the owners, employees, and guests of South Beach's hottest hotel. Oscar nominee Demían Bichir ("A Better Life") stars as Santiago Mendoza, the hotel's imperious owner. He inherited it from his late wife Beatriz (series producer Eva Longoria, seen in flashbacks) and now runs it with the help of his second wife Gigi (Roselyn Sanchez), his children, and stepchildren.

Running for just 13 episodes, the series packs in a huge amount of plot, from abductions to shady business deals to secret pregnancies, ending on a cliffhanger that will never be resolved. Bichir excels at portraying a man who's playing the part of a mogul, while Gigi and his head of operations (Wendy Raquel Robinson) do their best to keep the hotel afloat. Bryan Craig ("Good Trouble") is a standout as Javi, Santiago's son who has more to him than his lothario image would suggest. Justina Adorno ("Mayans M.C.") also shines as Gigi's sarcastic daughter Yoli, whose secret relationship with a member of the kitchen staff sets much of the plot into motion.


The OWN series "Greenleaf" takes a more serious approach to megachurch backstabbing than a show like "Filthy Rich." Set in and around a predominantly African American megachurch in Memphis, the series stars Keith David and Lynn Whitfield as the leaders of the eponymous Greenleaf family, founders of Calvary Fellowship World Ministries and rulers of all they survey. Their world is rocked when their eldest daughter Grace (Merle Dandridge) returns home after 20 years, much to the chagrin of her siblings Jacob (Lamman Rucker) and Charity (Deborah Joy Winans), who abandoned their own dreams for the family business. But is Grace back in town just to reclaim her place in the ministry, or does she have ulterior motives?

The series marked "Oprah Winfrey's first recurring scripted television role in two decades," as her official website pointed out. She plays Mavis, estranged sister to Calvary Fellowship's theatrical "First Lady" Daisy Mae (Whitfield). Winfrey is good in what is mostly a "special guest star" kind of role, but the series belongs to Whitfield, David, and Dandridge, each of whom turn in stellar performances that ground the series' high-flying melodrama in genuine feeling. Whitfield in particular thrives in the role of a soap opera diva, determined to protect her family no matter who gets in the way.


If there's another series besides "Empire" that "Monarch" bears a strong resemblance to, it's the 2012 ABC/CMT drama "Nashville." Not to be confused with Robert Altman's bicentennial masterpiece, the Callie Khouri-created series takes an "All About Eve" view of Music City, focusing on its rising and falling stars. Connie Britton stars as Rayna Jaymes, the long-reigning queen of country music, whose tour isn't selling well and whose style is increasingly viewed as out of date. "Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere is Juliette Barnes, a former teen star whose style of pop-influenced "bubblegum" country is on the rise. The conflict between the two women against the backdrop of an unforgiving industry where fortunes can change overnight serves as the engine that powers much of the series.

"Nashville" brought a lot of attention to its titular city, to the point that at times it feels like an advertisement for the Nashville tourism board. Industry hangouts like The Bluebird Cafe became much-visited destinations and the city's Lower Broadway strip of bars and music clubs became the bachelorette party capital of the world. The first season's soundtrack was overseen by Khouri's husband, legendary producer T Bone Burnett, turning the show's fictional stars and strivers into the real thing. ABC canceled the series at the end of Season 4, but it found a new home on the cable station CMT, where it ran for two additional seasons.

Promised Land

ABC's wine country drama "Promised Land" lasted for just a single season, airing for five episodes before getting pulled from the primetime schedule in February 2022. The rest of the ten-episode season streamed on Hulu. While ratings were low, those who turned in were treated to an effective family soap, full of all the backstabbing and beautiful people that the genre demands while also not losing sight of real-world issues. "With beautiful shots of southern California deserts and vineyards, heightened acting, and a sweeping score by Gustavo Santaolalla and Kevin Kiner, 'Promised Land' immediately distinguishes itself," Variety said in its review of the show.

Character actor John Ortiz ("Luck," "Messiah") plays Joe Sandoval, the Mexican American owner of a Sonoma Valley vineyard and winery who, along with business partner and second wife Lettie (Cecilia Suárez), seeks to bequeath his life's work to his children. Standing in the way is his first wife Margaret (Bellamy Young), whose family owned the vineyard decades before. Meanwhile, two Mexican teens (Andres Velez and Katya Martín) endure the perilous journey across the border and seek work at the vineyard. Like the first season of "Dynasty," this subplot attempts to inject some naturalistic drama into all the glitz and glamor.


If you're enjoying "Monarch" but would prefer less country music and more chic upscale California living, you should visit (or revisit) "Parenthood," the NBC adaptation of Ron Howard's 1989 dramedy. Developed for television by "Friday Night Lights" creator Jason Katims, the 2010 series chronicles the lives and loves of the Braverman family: Zeek and Camille (Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia), their children (Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, and Erika Christensen), and their many grandchildren, in-laws, and exes.

Like "Brothers and Sisters," "Parenthood" relies less on big melodramatic swings and more on the natural drama of everyday life: Births and deaths, weddings and divorces, medical scares, job changes and new leases on life. Family togetherness and the warmth of home are its main themes, as the Braverman children continue to find new strength in their bond. The series boasts superlative performances throughout, especially Graham as a single mother raising two teenagers on her own, and Monica Potter as eldest son Adam's (Krause) wife Kristina, whose picture perfect life takes a turn when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. After the wild plot twists and big personalities of "Monarch," "Parenthood" is a refreshing chaser, like a light beer after a shot of cinnamon whiskey.