Best Background TV Reruns for Writing

Sometimes writing requires some background noise. Here are the television show reruns I've found for just that.

Writing the first draft of a fiction novel is tough — you can prepare for it, but not really. In the process of completing this first draft, I’ve discovered a few television shows that help me concentrate (if I don’t pay attention to them).

Part of the reason I do this is because if I have to work at home I have no ‘set working area’ and there’s basically no natural light. These are the shows I like to have playing in the background to distract myself. Though I try not to watch new episodes, that doesn’t always work. Most, if not all, of the shows are about being in the office or working in some way.

Flipping Out

Having this on in the background, I can almost pretend I’m part of the team at Jeff Lewis Designs, but don’t have to do what Jeff Lewis says / orders. Still, I think the show subliminally motivates me to work harder.

House of Cards {on Netflix}

kind of the same idea, I have to be careful with this one because some scenes demand your attention, or at least a live, in the moment re-enactment (“my bad, my bad… you’re a motherfucker, mr. president!” *CLAT!*).

Archer {on Netflix}

funny, not too intense.


A bit of the same idea, people working, doing things on the internet, Nev and Max being smart about finding people, typing.

Abraham Hicks videos

I don’t have these in the background often because it’s rare to find video (most clips on YouTube are audio), but it’s worth it either way

Downton Abbey {on Netflix}

Fun story: I started watching this show because I thought the accents and sounds of life in 1920s-ish Britain would put me to sleep. Now I’ve watched the episodes so many times they actually can serve as background noise and not a distraction.


There’s something comforting about this show, about everyday life in Portlandia. Maybe it’s because it reminds me *so much* of Toronto. And then Feel it All Around. The only issue is I cannot concentrate on what I’m doing when Jeff Goldblum makes guest appearances.

I’m oddly interested in what writers use for background noise or chatter, if they use anything at all. Feel free to add your favourite(s) in the comment section!

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