27 Best Movies and TV Shows About Writers

Like many people, you have probably imagined that writers are some of the most creative, fascinating, and eccentric people known to the world; this is possibly true. Of course, there are some interesting tales about writers like Edith Sitwell who allegedly derived inspiration from lying in a coffin. And Friedrich von Schiller who flowed with the smell of rotten apples, but it is generally hard to think of anything dramatic about writing. This is presumably why most of the movies and TV shows about writers are intensely uninteresting and soporific, or worse still, irritating and painfully stupid.

Thanks to the massive measure of such productions which have been dumped on moviegoers over the year, you wouldn’t find anyone who would proclaim that they are a fan of movies about writers. Sadly, filmmakers and indeed almost everyone else have failed to realize that the writing process and the eventual outcome are inherently different: each must not be mistaken for the other. While The Great Gatsby is a stimulating book to read, there might be nothing exciting or any story to pursue in terms of how F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote it.

Be that as it may, there are some dramatically compelling stories about writers that offer more than dwell on their creative process.

Best Movies and TV Shows About Writers That Are Worth Your Time

1. The Ghost Writer (2010)

  • Release Date: February 12, 2010
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
  • Metacritic Rating: 77

This neo-noir political thriller film was released to positive reviews and subsequently won numerous awards. Based on a novel of a similar title by the best-selling English journalist and novelist, Robert Harris, the French-German-British movie didn’t perform as expected at the box office as it grossed roughly $65.5 million on a production budget of $45 million. Nonetheless, the movie directed by Roman Polanski is considered a critical and commercial success.

Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, and Tom Wilkinson, The Ghost Writer revolves around a successful ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) who was contracted to complete the memoirs of Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) who was the former Prime Minister of England. Along the line, the job that promises to change his life forever becomes a threat to it as he uncovered dark secrets about the government and the death of a previous writer hired for the job. If anything, this production proved that movies and TV shows about writers can be dramatic and thrilling.

2. Bright Star (2009)

  • Release Date: May 15, 2009
  • Director: Jane Campion
  • IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%
  • Metacritic Rating: 81

Written, directed, and produced by Jane Campion, the second woman in history nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, Bright Star is a biographical fiction romantic drama film. As you would easily find, it was based on the last three years of John Keats, a prominent English poet, and his romantic attraction to Fanny Brawne. It’s more than a story about a poet in love but a masterpiece that pays tribute to the English poet and his era as much as it celebrates love and acknowledges the disappointments that come with life.

The film stars Ben Whishaw (John Keats), Abbie Cornish (Fanny Brawne), Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox, and Thomas Sangster. It enjoyed positive reviews from critics and is considered one of the finest works of Jane Campion. Bright Star received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. Disregarding that, it received dozens of nominations for various coveted awards and won multiple of them like the British Independent Film Award for Best Technical Achievement and the Truly Moving Sound Award from the Heartland Film Festival.

3. Misery (1990)

  • Release Date: November 30, 1990
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
  • Metacritic Rating: 75

Misery is unquestionably one of the best movies and TV shows about writers ever produced. Thus far, it is the only film based on a Stephen King novel that has won an Academy Award. It won Kathy Bates (Annie Wilkes) the prestigious award for Best Actress at the 63rd Academy Awards event. Other casts of the psychological thriller film directed by Rob Reiner are James Caan (Paul Sheldon), Richard Farnsworth (Sheriff Buster), Frances Sternhagen (Deputy Virginia), Lauren Bacall (Marcia Sindell), and Jerry Potter (Pete).

The film is about a novelist, Paul Sheldon, who was involved in an automobile crash and rescued by Annie Wilkes, a former nurse. Annie regards herself as Paul’s biggest fan, so she took him to her remote cabin to recover from the accident. She would soon learn that Sheldon intends to kill off her favorite character in his novels and her obsession with him and his works takes a dark turn. She becomes violent and bent on having Sheldon adjust his work to suit her fantasies as the writer plans for escape. Apart from winning an Oscar, Misery also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, among other prestigious gongs it received.

4. Her (2013)

  • Release Date: October 12, 2013
  • Director: Spike Jonze
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
  • Metacritic Rating: 91

American filmmaker Spike Jonze made a statement with this science-fiction romantic drama film. He wrote, directed, and produced the movie which was released to rave reviews from critics. The premise of the movie revolved around Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with an artificially intelligent virtual assistant named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Twombly is a writer who makes a living by writing personal letters for people. Heartbroken about the end of his marriage, he would find solace in Samantha and the relationship that develops between the human and an AI improves Twombly’s quality of life and his productivity as a writer.

Also starring Amy Adam, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Chris Pratt, the film received five nominations for Oscar at the 86th Academy Award and won the Best Original Screenplay category. It also won Spike Jonze a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media. On a production budget of $23 million, it grossed over $48 million at the box office. Various platforms listed Her in their top 10 movie list of the year.

5. Sideways (2004)

  • Release Date: September 13, 2004
  • Director: Alexander Payne
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
  • Metacritic Rating: 94

Starring Paul Giamatti (Miles Raymond), Thomas Haden Church (Jack Cole), Virginia Madsen (Maya Randall), and Sandra Oh (Stephanie), Sideways follows a struggling writer and wine enthusiast, Miles Raymond, and his friend Jack Cole who is engaged. The unsuccessful writer takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend on a road trip through the wine country for a bonding experience before marriage. However, their agenda for the trip differs; while the writer seeks to relax and enjoy good wine and food, his engaged friend wants to have his last sexual fling before settling for marriage.

Although the comedy-drama road movie directed by Alexander Payne could afford to offer more entertainment, it has several funny moments and majorly received positive reviews from critics. It received five nominations for Oscars at the 77th Academy Awards event, out of which it bagged the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Among other coveted awards, it received seven nominations for Golden Globe Awards and won Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Sideways was also recognized as the Movie of the Year by the American Film Institute Awards.

6. Kill Your Darlings (2013)

  • Release Date: January 18, 2013
  • Director: John Krokidas
  • IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 76%
  • Metacritic Rating: 65

This biographical drama film marked the directorial feature film debut of American filmmaker, John Krokidas. It is the project he is most known for and many people would agree it is one of the best productions among the many movies and TV shows about writers. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Elizabeth Olsen, the film revolves around the Beat Generation, a literary movement that drew its breath from a group of authors whose works are believed to have influenced the American culture and politics throughout the 1950s.

The premise of the film revolves around a 1944 murder that brings prominent poets of the Beat Generation together, including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. Kill Your Darlings has enjoyed positive reviews right from the time it premiered to the world at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Expectedly, it won several awards like the Venice Days International Award from the Venice Film Festival, two Breakthrough Performer awards from the Hamptons International Film Festival, and a recognition of Krokidas as the Director to Watch from the Palm Springs International Film Festivals.

7. Midnight in Paris (2011)

  • Release Date: May 11, 2011
  • Director: Woody Allen
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
  • Metacritic Rating: 81

Midnight in Paris is one of such movies you would be reluctant to regard as a serious project, especially when you learn it is a fantasy comedy about a screenwriter and his relationship with his materialistic fiancee. Give the film a chance, and you might immediately realize that it is not predictable as you imagined. Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, and Kathy Bates, the film written and directed by Woody Allen captivates with its plot that had a successful but disenchanted screenwriter mysteriously traveling back in time to the 1920s every midnight.

On a $17 million production budget, the film grossed over $162.2 million at the box office. Midnight in Paris received critical acclaim and is one of the most appreciated works of Allen. It was nominated for awards that are too many to count. But notably, it received four nominations at the 84th Academy Awards event for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Screenplay. It won Woody Allen the latter gong as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay. More so, it received a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

8. Adaptation (2002)

  • Release Date: December 6, 2002
  • Director: Spike Jonze
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
  • Metacritic Rating: 83

Another successful movie directed by Spike Jonze, Adaptation is a black comedy-drama film written by Charlie Kaufman and based on the struggles and creative slowdown he experienced while attempting to adapt The Orchid Thief, a 1998 non-fiction book by Susan Orlean, into a film. As his writer’s block persists, Kaufman decided to turn the script into an exaggerated story of a struggle through a creative process. So, the plot of this film revolves around a fictionalized Kaufman and his fictional brother, Donald, who is credited as a writer of the film, along with Kaufman.

Adaptation stars Nicolas Cage (Charlie and Donald Kaufman), Meryl Streep (Susan Orlean), and Chris Cooper (John Laroche), alongside other prominent actors in supporting roles; including Brian Cox, Cara Seymour, Ron Livingston, Tilda Swinton, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bob Yerkes, and Judy Greer. If you are bent on finding a fault for this movie, you will surely fish out one but it generally received positive reviews and nominations for prominent awards. Out of the four Oscar nominations it received, it won Chris Cooper the gong for Best Supporting Actor at the 75th Academy Awards.

9. Almost Famous (2000)

  • Release Date: September 13, 2000
  • Director: Cameron Crowe
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%
  • Metacritic Rating: 90

If not for anything, Almost Famous deserves the good ratings it got from critics for questioning the notion that comedy-drama movies and TV shows about writers often turn up as an unserious production. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, an American filmmaker who was once a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, the film is a semi-autobiographical account of a teenage journalist working for Rolling Stone. It follows the journalist’s tour with a fictitious rock band called Stillwater and his quest towards pulling off his first cover story.

The film won Crowe an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay out of the four nominations it received. Among other notable accolades it received, Almost Famous won three British Academy Film Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album, and a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. However, it only grossed $47.4 million at the box office against a production budget of $60 million.

10. American Splendor (2003)

  • Release Date: January 20, 2003
  • Director: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
  • Metacritic Rating: 90

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini wrote and directed this movie for which they received multiple nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, including an Oscar. American Splendor was recognized as the Movie of the Year by the American Film Institute and earned Hope Davis a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress amongst much more prestigious recognition. The movie also stars Paul Giamatti and Judah Friedlander; it is essentially a comedy-drama film about Harvey Lawrence Pekar, an American writer famed for his autobiographical comic series, American Splendor.

This movie was celebrated as a fine mix of reality and fiction upon release. It tells the story of Harvey (Paul Giamatti) who works as a file clerk at a local hospital but would soon be inspired to start writing a comic series after he met Robert Crumb (James Urbaniak). One thing that distinguishes this film from others on this list is the fact that it embodies a hybrid production that features animation, documentaries, and some actors cast as who they are in real life.

11. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

  • Release Date: December 11, 1998
  • Director: John Madden
  • IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
  • Metacritic Rating: 87

This romantic period comedy-drama film comes to mind once one thinks of the best movies and TV shows about writers. Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, the movie is John Madden’s most famous project. The movie produced by Harvey Weinstein stars Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare and Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps, alongside other prominent actors like Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth, and Judi Dench. As its title suggest, the film is a love story about the English playwright, albeit a fictional one.

Out of ideas and money, Shakespeare finds a muse in Viola. She loves theatre and inspires him to write one of his popular plays. Viola is the woman of his dreams but she is betrothed to Lord Wessex. Although the love story is fictional, it didn’t hinder the film from alluding to Shakespeare’s plays and historical figures. The movie was released to critical acclaim, it grossed 279.5 million at the box office against a budget of $25 million and dominated the 71st Academy Awards event. It received a massive 13 nominations out of which it won seven: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, and Best Picture.

12. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

  • Release Date: January 23, 2005
  • Director: Noah Baumbach
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
  • Metacritic Rating: 82

The Squid and the Whale stars Jeff Daniels (Bernard Berkman), Laura Linney (Joan Berkman), Jesse Eisenberg (Walt Berkman), and Owen Kline (Frank Berkman) alongside William Baldwin and Anna Paquin. The independent arthouse drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach was shot on Super 16mm with a production budget of only $1.5 million but still turned up a fine movie. The film was released to rave reviews from critics and received multiple nominations for coveted awards including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

It tells a semi-autobiographical story about two boys, Joan and Walk Berkman, who have to deal with the realities of their parents’ divorce. Their father Bernard Berkman is an arrogant writer with a declining career while his unfaithful wife, Joan Berkman, publishes her work to vast acclaim. This escalated the tension between the couple and they eventually part ways. Things didn’t get better as Bernard and Joan’s attempt at co-parenting becomes very combative, driving the boys to take sides with a parent.

13. Shirley (2020)

  • Release Date: January 25, 2020
  • Director: Josephine Decker
  • IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
  • Metacritic Rating: 76

This biographical drama film is one of the recent, finest, movies and TV shows about writers. It tells the story of a popular horror writer who finds inspiration after she and her husband decides to house a young couple. Starring Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, and Logan Lerman, Shirley was directed by Josephine Decker and its screenplay is based on Susan Scarf Merrell’s 2014 novel also titled Shirley. While the inspiration for this production was derived from the late American novelist, Shirley Jackson, and her life when she was working on Hangsaman, her 1951 novel, most elements of the story are fictional.

Shirley premiered to the world in January 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival. It has mostly received positive reviews from critics since then, winning Josephine Decker the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking. Among other nominations, Shirley also won the Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards for Best Indie Film.

14. Adult World (2013)

  • Release Date: April 18, 2013
  • Director: Scott Coffey
  • IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 56%
  • Metacritic Rating: 61

Starring Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, John Cusack, and Armando Riesco alongside Shannon Woodward, Reed Birney, and Catherine Lloyd Burns, Adult World is a comedy-drama film written by Andy Cochran and directed by Scott Coffey. It is one of the finest directorial works of the American filmmaker but received mixed reviews after it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2013.

While it was contended in some quarters that the movie lacked a resonating substance and desperately sought to entertain, it was appreciated for its self-deprecating humor and for capturing the desperation that comes with the struggle for success, in this case, as a writer. For that reason, people count it among the best movies and tv shows about writers. The movie revolves around a naive college graduate who is convinced she would be a great poet but works as a clerk in an adult bookstore. When Amy meets Rat Billings, her literary idol, she would do whatever she can to have him mentor her.

15. Ruby Sparks (2012)

  • Release Date: July 25, 2012
  • Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
  • Metacritic Rating: 67

Although this is another story of a writer’s struggle to overcome writer’s block, it is quite a peculiar one that is worth a great amount of its 104 minutes running time. Written by Zoe Kazan, the romantic comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris stars Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, and Chris Messina. Produced by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Ruby Sparks enjoyed good reviews from critics after it was released and viewers have also been kind to it while pointing out that its storyline is familiar but pretty unpredictable.

The film tells the story of a novelist, Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), who is anxious to keep up with the widespread acclaim he enjoyed earlier in his career. He dreams of a woman, Ruby Tiffany Sparks (Zoe Kazan), and gets the inspiration to write about her. He enthusiastically does so and she becomes his reality as he wakes to find her in his kitchen. Is he out of his mind or do dreams come true? That’s the question Ruby Sparks ultimately answers in a funny and quite meaningful manner.

16. Capote (2005)

  • Release Date: September 2, 2005
  • Director: Bennett Miller
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%
  • Metacritic Rating: 88

Capote can’t be ignored while counting the best movies and TV shows about writers. Alongside Moneyball (2011) and Foxcatcher (2014), it is one of the most appreciated works of Bennett Miller. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Bruce Greenwood, Mark Pellegrino, Amy Ryan, and Chris Cooper, this biographical film was inspired by the life of the American novelist, Turman Capote. It explores the events surrounding the writing of In Cold Blood, Capote’s non-fiction novel published in 1966. And was released to positive acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival on the 30th of September 2005.

On a production budget of $7 million, the movie grossed over $49.3 million at the box office. Capote received numerous nominations for coveted awards, including five Oscar nominations at the 78th Academy Award events for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actor. It won Hoffman the latter gong for his beautiful performance in the movie.

17. The Shining (1980)

  • Release Date: May 23, 1980
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
  • Metacritic Rating: 66

Based on The Shining, a horror novel of Stephen King published in 1977, this psychological horror film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd alongside actors like Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, and many more in supporting roles. It revolves around Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who aspires to become a writer. To get by, he takes up a job to take care of an isolated hotel and moves in with his wife Wendy and their son, Danny.

With Danny’s psychic abilities, he gains knowledge of the horrific past of the hotel as the supernatural forces thereof drive his father nuts to the point of violence. A previous caretaker killed himself after slaughtering his family in the hotel and this might just be the fate of the Torrance family. The Shining initially received mixed reviews but critics warmed up to it with time.

18. Paterson (2016)

  • Release Date: May 16, 2016
  • Director: Jim Jarmusch
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
  • Metacritic Rating: 90

What earned Paterson a spot among the best movies and TV shows about writers is its beautiful illustration of the creative process of a writer, a poet, who mostly works as a bus driver. This drama film tells the story of Paterson (Adam Driver) in one week, a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who goes about his driving business quitely observing people, their struggles, and happy moments. This manifests in the poems he writes during breaks in a notebook he carries around.

Although the movie might leave one wondering what’s its essence, it premiered to the world at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and enjoyed universal acclaim. The film is an intellectual description of the expression and application of human creative skill. It stars Adam Driver alongside Golshifteh Farahani and won the former Best Actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Toronto Film Critics Association. Paterson was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch while Joshua Astrachan and Carter Logan produced it.

19. Colette (2018)

  • Release Date: January 20, 2018
  • Director: Wash Westmoreland
  • IMDB Rating: 6.7./10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
  • Metacritic Rating: 74

This biographical drama film directed by Wash Westmoreland is based on the life of a prominent French author, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, best known as Colette and famed for her 1944 novella, Gigi. Starring Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Eleanor Tomlinson, Denise Gough, and Aiysha Hart, the movie premiered to the world at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018 and received good reviews.

Apart from winning Thomas Ades the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score, it received multiple nominations in various categories for other reputable awards. Colette tells the story of a young woman, Colette, whose husband made to write a novel in a desperate effort to save his dying career as a literary entrepreneur. She writes successful novels under his name but would soon put up a fight to take credit for her works as their union falls apart.

20. An Angel at My Table (1990)

  • Release Date: September 5, 1990
  • Director: Jane Campion
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
  • Metacritic Rating: 79

Another famous project of the Bright Star director, it is not difficult to see why An Angel at My Table is often counted among the best movies and TV shows about writers. The biographical drama film written by Laura Jones is based on three books of a prominent New Zealand author: Janet Frame’s To the Is-Land (1982), The Envoy from Mirror City (1984), and An Angel at My Table (1984). It stars Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, and Karen Fergusson who all portrayed various stages of the life of the author.

Essentially, the movie tells the story of Frame’s rise to prominence as a writer after surviving a troubled childhood and the years she spent at a dreadful mental institution. Following its release at the Venice Film Festival in 1990, it enjoyed critical acclaim and would go on to win multiple awards. For many people, it is the first film that hinted at Jane Campion’s intent to become a prominent filmmaker.

21. Reprise (2006)

  • Release Date: September 8, 2006
  • Director: Joachim Trier
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
  • Metacritic Rating: 79

Reprise is a Norwegian film directed by the Danish-born Norwegian filmmaker, Joachim Trier. It was his first feature-length film and the Norwegian submission for Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards event. Disregarding that, it also received multiple nominations for local and international awards, including the Istanbul International Film Festival Award for Best Film, the New York Critics Circle Awards for Best First Film, and Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language Film.

The film follows two childhood friends who are big fans of a reclusive novelist. The friends also have literary aspirations all intertwined with disappointments, a failed relationship, mental breakdown, and the hope for things to fall in place.

22. Barton Fink (1991)

  • Release Date: May 18, 1991
  • Director: Joel Coen (Coen Brothers)
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
  • Metacritic Rating: 69

The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, are known for making movies that are hard to classify but many would agree that Barton Fink is a period, black comedy psychological thriller. The brothers wrote, produced, directed, and edited the film which stars John Turturro, John Goodman, and Judy Davis; alongside Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, and Jon Polito. The film was a box office bomb as it only grossed $6 million against a production budget of $9 million.

Nevertheless, it enjoyed positive reviews and is considered among the best movies and TV shows about writers in various quarters. Barton Fink received several nominations for esteemed awards, including three Oscars for Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Supporting Actor. The movie revolves around a renowned playwright contracted to write scripts but would soon learn that he has to contend with more than he bargained in Hollywood.

23. Californication (2007 – 2014)

  • Release Date: August 13, 2007 – June 29, 2014
  • Created By: Tom Kapinos
  • IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57%
  • Metacritic Rating: 64

An American comedy-drama television series, the popularity of Californication probably contributed to why it is often counted among the best movies and TV shows about writers. With David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Madeleine Martin, Evan Handler, Madeline Zima, and Pamela Adlon portraying its main characters, the series revolves around Henry James “Hank” Moody (David Duchovny), a renowned writer who always finds himself embroiled in scandalous situations. He strives to keep up with his career, relationship with his ex-girlfriend and his daughter but his appetite for pretty women often complicates his life.

The show created by Tom Kapinos premiered on Showtime on the 13th of August 2007 and would end up airing for seven seasons that spewed a total of 84 episodes. By the time its last episode aired in June 2014, it had accumulated numerous nominations for glamorous awards and it won multiple of them, including a Golden Globe which David Duchovny received in 2007.

24. Bored to Death (2009 – 2011)

  • Release Date: September 20, 2009 – November 28, 2011
  • Created By: Jonathan Ames
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
  • Metacritic Rating: 66

An American author known for his novels and comic memoirs, Jonathan Ames is the creator of this comedy series and it was based on a fictional character of himself portrayed by Jason Schwartzman. Other major actors of the show include Zach Galifianakis, Ted Danson, and Heather Burns. It tells the story of a write from Brooklyn, New York City, who got “bored to death” and decides to take up being a private detective, albeit unlicensed. He does this utilizing the methods he learned from old detective novels and the events that unfold yielded delightful entertainment.

Bored to Death enjoyed positive reviews all through its three seasons which spewed a total of 24 episodes. Its ratings were also good but it didn’t stop HBO from canceling it in December 2011. Fans were not happy about this and took to several platforms to petition against it. It was later announced that HBO would revive the show but in the form of a movie, this never happened.

25. Sex and the City (1998 – 2004)

  • Release Date: June 6, 1998 – February 22, 2004
  • Created By: Darren Star
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
  • Metacritic Rating: 64

Created for HBO by Darren Star and adapted from Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book made up of a collection of essays, this romantic comedy-drama series is often counted among the popular movies and TV shows about writers. It is also a production that enjoyed good reviews and ratings, although it was criticized for its portrayal of women as sex objects. When it premiered on the 6th of July 1998, it was one of the highest-rated dramas and by the time its last episode aired on the 22nd of February 2004, it had accumulated award nominations that are simply too many to count.

Among other coveted gongs, it was nominated for 54 Emmys and 24 Golden Globes. The series aired a total of 94 episodes across six seasons, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon. Sarah plays the leading character, Carrie Bradshaw, and the plot revolves around her thoughts as she writes her weekly column called “Sex and the City” for New York Star. The series essentially follows Carrie, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) as they gossip bout their sex lives and confide in each other to get by.

26. Murder, She Wrote (1984 – 1996)

  • Release Date: September 30, 1984 – May 19, 1996
  • Created By: Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson, William Link
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A
  • Metacritic Rating: 8.4 (User Score)

This crime drama is one of the most successful and longest-running television shows ever. In its prime, it amassed over 30 million viewers every week. The series aired a total of 264 episodes across 12 seasons from 1984 to 1966, starring Angela Lansbury alongside William Windom, Tom Bosley, Ron Masak, Louis Herthum, and Michael Horton. Its premise revolves around Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), an amateur detective who is also a mystery writer and a widowed, retired English teacher. Despite her success as a mystery writer, she stays true to herself and her friends while utilizing her intellect to solve crimes.

The series received too many award nominations to count. Angela Lansbury alone received at least ten nominations for Golden Globe Best Actress – Television Series Drama and she won four of them. The role also earned her 12 consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for each season of the series under the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. Unfortunately, she didn’t get to win any of them.

27. Castle (2009 – 2016)

  • Release Date: March 9, 2009 – May 16, 2016
  • Created By: Andrew W. Marlowe
  • IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%
  • Metacritic Rating: 56

A crime comedy-drama series, Castle follows the lives of Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). The former is a best-selling mystery novelist and the latter a homicide detective. Following the murder crimes of a serial killer who imitates plots of Richard’s novels, the acclaimed writer gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to help the New York Police Department, and he partners with Detective Kate Beckett to find the killer.

The show also stars Susan Sullivan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Molly Quinn, Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones, Seamus Dever, Penny Johnson Jerald, and Toks Olagundoye. It aired for a total of 173 episodes across eight seasons. Castle won numerous awards, enjoyed good reviews, and pulled as many as 10 million viewers per day.


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