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TV Shows That Changed Genres Between Seasons

Can you change a TV series’ genre between seasons and not lose viewers? These shows proved you can! Here are the TV series that changed genres between seasons and it worked out well for them.

Martyna Janasik

25 April 2024

TV Shows That Changed Genres Between Seasons

Most TV series tend to remain the same, but there are also productions that like to experiment. They change the genre of individual episodes or seasons to introduce a breath of fresh air, surprise viewers, or align the series with changes that have occurred in the main characters or their lives. Here are the TV series that changed genres between seasons and didn’t lose viewers.

Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black initially presented itself to viewers as a comedy-drama, but with each season, comedy gave way to drama and a darker atmosphere. Just mentioning the rape storyline from the third season illustrates this shift. The series juggled genres so much that the Emmy Awards moved the show from the comedy category to drama between the first and second seasons.

Stranger Things

stranger things

I’m not sure if you’ll agree with me in my opinion, but I believe that the change in genre between seasons of Stranger Things is absolutely drastic and visible to the naked eye. It’s no longer just light fantasy for teenagers, but a series that can really give you a good scare, drawing heavily from the horror genre. This series openly admits to this when, in the fourth season, it introduces the character of Victor Creel, inspired by Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street and played by the actor famous for portraying Krueger. And if that wasn’t enough, look at the change in the way death is portrayed. Bone-cracking and body twisting happening on screen in the fourth season, which wasn’t present in the first or second seasons.

Boy Meets World

boy meets the world

Boy Meets World is a perfect example of a series that changed genres between seasons, as it followed the changes occurring in the lives of its characters. In the early seasons, the show had the typical sitcom vibe. However, it evolved along with the characters’ ages. As they grew older, the series took on a more serious tone. Crushes turned into relationships, and relationships into marriages. Later on, there were storylines involving personal growth and even death, such as through a heart attack. In short, Boy Meets World grew up with the boy and explored the world until he transformed from a boy into a man.

Family Matters

family matters

Family Matters was a spin-off of the series Perfect Strangers and, like its predecessor, aired on Friday nights on ABC during prime time. The show depicted the lives of the Winslow family living in Chicago. It’s an interesting example of how introducing a character as a one-time appearance can sometimes turn a production upside down. In the middle of the first season, viewers were introduced to the nerdy neighbor of the Winslows, Steve Urkel. Originally intended as a one-time guest appearance, the character became so popular that the show’s creators completely changed the script to revolve around Urkel. With him, the series took on a somewhat science fiction character, often revolving around Urkel’s fantastical inventions and his obsession with Laura. This ensured the show’s incredible viewership and a run of 9 seasons.


Essential Killing Vincent Gallo

Fans of the show Archer have noticed on discussion forums that the series began to change its tone from season 5 onwards, and continued to make smaller or larger modifications in subsequent seasons. Fans seem to accept the changes introduced because the show has already run for 13 seasons. The most noticeable change is adopting a slightly more serious tone by transitioning to a noir style. Moving the agency to a spy cartel and Archer falling into a coma opened up the show to new kinds of tones. The differences between seasons are also influenced by their themes. For example, Archer: Danger Island drastically differs from Dreamland. Archer: Danger Island is a return to serials from the 1930s.


Martyna Janasik

Martyna Janasik

Cultural studies scholar and writer. Enthusiast of food, cinema, and sports. Probably that's why some of her favorite movies are "Rocky" and "Julie and Julia". She always wanted to write, so she will always write. In her free time, she loves watching movies and playing tennis.

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