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The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated April 16, 2020 1.6k votes 350 voters 15.7k views 38 items

When flipping through the channels on your television set, you might quickly realize that most series are based out of certain locales. Many shows find themselves set in places like New York, Los Angeles, or some Midwest town nobody has ever heard of. That isn't to say there aren't shows set in the South, however, as not only are there plenty to choose from, but many of those series make up the very best in television! Southern TV shows are some of the most interesting and captivating series ever made thanks to the rich culture found in the American South.

Because TV shows about the South can run the gamut of any and every genre (and the same goes for Southern movies), you'll find hit series on this list like True Blood, which is set in Southern Louisiana. And while a sitcom like The Golden Girls may have been shot in Los Angeles, it was actually set deep in Miami, Florida. As you can imagine, this is likely the case for many of these southern TV shows. Whichever genre you prefer, there are numerous options of amazing television to choose from if your interests lie in the Southern United States. 

From sitcoms about the South to dramas, there's plenty of Southern TV to check out. For more recommendations, browse this list and feel free to add any similar shows you think are missing!

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1
Hart of Dixie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Penny Snell Wilson added Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Cress Williams

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Medical drama, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

Hart of Dixie (The CW, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Leila Gerstein. Rachel Bilson stars as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New Yorker who, after her dreams of becoming a heart ...more

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The Best Seasons of Hart of Dixie #223 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #324 of 422 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

2
The Andy Griffith Show ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

Premiered: 1960

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom, which originally ran on CBS from October 3, 1960 to April 1, 1968. The show, a semi-spin-off from an episode of The Danny Thomas Show, starred Andy ...more

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#20 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #8 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcomslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

3
The Dukes of Hazzard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Catherine Bach

Premiered: 1979

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, Comedy, + more

The Dukes of Hazzard is an American television series that aired on the CBS television network from January 26, 1979 to February 8, 1985. The series was inspired by the 1975 film Moonrunners, ...more

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#225 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #26 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #19 of 69 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

4
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From 'The Golden Girls' #77 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

5
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles

Premiered: 2006

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Sports drama, Family drama

Friday Night Lights (NBC, 2006) is an American sports drama television series developed by Peter Berg, inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H. G. Bissinger. A drama that follows the lives of ...more

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20 Fun Facts to Know About Friday Night Lights #70 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #240 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

6
Justified is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Neo-Western

Justified (FX, 2010) is an American crime drama television series developed by Graham Yost, based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard. US Marshal Raylan Givens ...more

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The Best Seasons of 'Justified' #66 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #112 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

7
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

Premiered: 1978

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama

Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991, on CBS. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texan family, the ...more

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#548 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #62 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Soap Operas

8
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Fantasy, Horror, Drama

True Blood (HBO, 2008) is an American fantasy horror drama television series created by Alan Ball, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Telepathic ...more

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The Best True Blood Characters of All Time #32 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #68 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

9
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Kene Holiday

Premiered: 1986

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Comedy-drama, Legal drama, Legal

Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, ...more

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#177 of 422 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch #131 of 293 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

10
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama

Dallas (TNT, 2012) is an American prime time television soap opera developed by Cynthia Cidre, and a revival of the 1970s series. The next generation of the Ewing family, cousins John Ross Ewing ...more

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#36 of 62 The Best TV Reboots & Revivals #19 of 22 The Best '80s TV Reboots #6 of 20 The Best TV Shows Set In Texas

11
American Horror Story: C... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Sarah Paulson, Taissa Farmiga, Frances Conroy

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Horror

American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 9, 2013, and concluded on January 29, 2014. The ...more

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#46 of 75 Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV #26 of 45 The Best Urban Fantasy Series #3 of 9 The Best Seasons of 'American Horror Story'

12
One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Teen drama

One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn. Half-brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James lafferty) trade between kinship and ...more

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The Best Seasons of One Tree Hill #150 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #304 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

13
Evening Shade is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Evening Shade Burt Reynolds, Marilu Henner, Charles Durning

Premiered: 1990

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Evening Shade is an American television sitcom that aired on CBS from September 21, 1990 to May 23, 1994. The series stars Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, an ex-professional football player for ...more

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#214 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #198 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #332 of 461 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

14
Burn Notice is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell

Premiered: 2007

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Drama, Action

Burn Notice (USA, 2007) is an American action crime drama television series created by Matt Nix. After being disavowed by the U.S. government, a covert ops agent (Jeffrey Donovan) uses his ...more

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The Best Seasons of Burn Notice #116 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #92 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

15
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
William Sure added Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

In the Heat of the Night is an American television series based on the film and the novel of the same title. It starred Carroll O'Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard ...more

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#32 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #17 of 96 The Best TV Shows Based on Movies #129 of 158 Shows With The Best Freakin' Series Finales Of All Time

16
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

Premiered: 1984

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip ...more

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#52 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #14 of 69 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series #306 of 461 The Best Duos of All Time

17
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Suspense, Drama

The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more

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19 Ways to Drastically Improve The Walking Dead #23 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #5 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

18
Outer Banks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Madison Bailey, Madelyn Cline, Jonathan Daviss

Premiered: 2020

Genres (Tv): Drama

Outer Banks (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama series created by created by Jonas Pate, Josh Pate and Shannon Burke. A group of teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks stumble upon a ...more

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Go On An Adventure With The Best 'Outer Banks' Quotes #252 of 293 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #77 of 142 The Best Teen Drama TV Shows

19
CSI: Miami is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez

Premiered: 2002

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Crime, Drama, Live action, + more

CSI: Miami is an American police procedural television series that ran from September 23, 2002, to April 8, 2012, on CBS. It is the first spin-off of the orignal series. The pilot episode was ...more

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#411 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #278 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #299 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

20
The Big Easy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Julie Benz, Leslie Bibb, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 1996

The Big Easy television series was inspired by the film of the same name from 1987. The show premiered on the USA Cable Network August 11, 1996. Tony Crane played New Orleans police ...more
21
A Different World is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

A Different World (NBC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Bill Cosby, and a spin-off of The Cosby Show. A group of students struggles to make it through college as they attend a renowned ...more

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#132 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #230 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #46 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

22
Southern Charm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Reality television

Southern Charm is an American reality television series that premiered March 3, 2014, on Bravo. The series chronicles the personal and professional lives of seven socialites who reside in ...more
23
I'll Fly Away is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Sam Waterston, Regina Taylor, Jeremy London

Premiered: 1991

Genres (Tv): Drama

I'll Fly Away is an American drama television series set during the late 1950s and early 1960s, in an unspecified Southern U.S. state. It aired on NBC from 1991 to 1993 and starred Regina Taylor ...more
24
Nip/Tuck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Joely Richardson

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Medical drama, Drama, Psychological thriller, Thriller, Medical fiction

Nip/Tuck is an American television drama series created by Ryan Murphy; it aired on FX in the United States from July 18, 2003 to March 3, 2010. The series focuses on "McNamara/Troy", ...more

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#180 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #285 of 388 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #160 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

25
Southern at Heart is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Southern TV Shows Ever Made
Southern at Heart Damaris Phillips

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Reality-TV