So it’s come to this: A Nashville clip show.
Kinda. On Wednesday, instead of another soapy installment of country-fried drama, ABC will air an hourlong “On the Record Music Special” — during which Nashville cast members will “take the stage to perform show favorites then sit down in the Bluebird Café for acoustic performances and an intimate look at the songwriting process with the songwriters themselves.”
In other words, this is Nashville‘s spin on one of television’s oldest, most reliable hole-pluggers and money-savers: the clip show. Like clip shows of old, this one will be centered on previously-seen material (every song to be performed has already appeared on Nashville); unlike, say, that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel contemplate their relationship on the even of his wedding to Emily, the Nashville special won’t simply intersperse a few new scenes with a bunch of old ones and call it a day. Which got me thinking: Which other series have found ways to invigorate the clip show formula, adhering to its basic rules while presenting something innovative and exciting? The five best answers I could come up with: