10 TV Shows You Probably Didn't Know Were Based on Shakespeare Plays

by Carrie Nelson
Apr 19, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Today's TV shows can get a little crazy when it comes to the dramatics, but even the new millenium's most talented writers ain't got nothing on the original King of Drama. We're talking about good ol' Willy Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's plays were filled with romance, murderer and insane plot twists — which is exactly why so many TV series have been based off of his timeless stories.

Originally published December 2015. Updated April 2017.

1 /10: 'Empire'

1/10 :'Empire'

The royalty of this hip-hop drama has often been compared to the intrigue and tragedy of King Lear.

2 /10: 'Skin'

2/10 :'Skin'

LA's porn industry is certainly one creative backdrop for this 2003 Romeo and Juliet reimagining.

3 /10: 'Breaking Bad'

3/10 :'Breaking Bad'

Tons of Walter White fans think his story's a contemporary interpretation of Macbeth.

4 /10: 'Romeo x Juliet'

4/10 :'Romeo x Juliet'

This anime series might be the first version of Romeo and Juliet to add dragons to the story.

5 /10: 'House of Cards'

5/10 :'House of Cards'

Fans and critics alike notice the similarities between Frank Underwood and Shakespeare's Richard III.

6 /10: 'Slings and Arrows'

6/10 :'Slings and Arrows'

Each season of this Canadian dark comedy was inspired by a different play: HamletMacbeth and King Lear.

7 /10: 'Star-Crossed'

7/10 :'Star-Crossed'

This short-lived teen melodrama was a sci-fi take on the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet.

8 /10: 'King of Texas'

8/10 :'King of Texas'

TNT's made-for-TV film set King Lear on a Texas ranch.

9 /10: 'Sons of Anarchy'

9/10 :'Sons of Anarchy'

Charlie Hunnam is pretty much the hottest Hamlet of all time.

10 /10: 'Motocrossed'

10/10 :'Motocrossed'

This Disney Channel original placed the gender-bending high jinks of Twelfth Night in the world of competitive racing.