Watchworthy

The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns 

Ranker TV
Updated May 19, 2020 2.3k votes 555 voters 20k views 51 items

Not everyone comes from one or lives in a small town, but TV shows about small towns permeate our networks. If you think about it, shows like The Simpsons are as much about a small town as they are about an average yellow American family. Because of our fascination with small towns and the strange and interesting people who live in them, small town USA has been a major player in many of our favorite television series across the years.

The best thing about a good TV show featuring a small town is that it can be of any genre imaginable. Whether your interests stray towards horror/romance with shows like True Blood featuring vampires in a small town in Louisiana or you prefer the more grounded comedies like Parks and Recreation, there are plenty of amazing series to enjoy. For more recommendations, browse this list and feel free to add any similar TV shows set small towns you think are missing! And if you love these shows, be sure to check out our list of small town movies.

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list ordered by
1
Hart of Dixie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Cress Williams

Premiered: 2011

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
2
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

Premiered: 2000

Gilmore Girls (The WB, 2000) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. In the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a thirty-something single mother ...more
3
Virgin River is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
spurpop added Sue Tenney, Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson

Premiered: December 6, 2019

Head on over to our list of other shows like Virgin River!

Virgin River (Netflix, 2019) is an American romance drama web television series, based on the Virgin River novels by Robyn Carr. Centers around Melinda Monroe, who answers an ad to work as a ...more
4
The Vampire Diaries is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder

Premiered: 2009

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009) is an American supernatural teen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series by L. J. Smith. In the ...more
5
One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton

Premiered: 2003

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
6
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
7
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles

Premiered: 2006

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
8
Everwood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Treat Williams, Gregory Smith, Emily VanCamp

Premiered: 2002

Everwood (The WB, 2002) is an American drama television series created by Greg Berlanti. A widowed brain surgeon (Treat Williams) from Manhattan moves his young son (Gregory Smith) and daughter ...more
9
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn

Premiered: 2004

Veronica Mars (UPN, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father (Enrico Colantoni) ...more
10
Dawson's Creek is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams

Premiered: 1998

Dawson's Creek (The WB, 1998) is an American teen drama television series created by Kevin Williamson. Four friends (James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams) in a ...more
11
Schitt's Creek is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Schitt's Creek Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy

Premiered: 2015

Schitt's Creek (CBC, 2015) is a Canadian television sitcom created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy. After losing their fortune, a family is forced to rebuild their lives with their sole remaining ...more
12
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

Premiered: 2009

Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The series follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a perky mid-level bureaucrat, and her ...more
13
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale

Premiered: 2010

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 2010) is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series developed by I. Marlene King, loosely based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. When their ...more
14
The Ranch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
hellomandajo added The Ranch Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger
The Ranch (Netflix, 2016) is an American comedy web television series created by Don Reo and Jim Patterson. The son (Ashton Kutcher) of a Colorado rancher returns home from a semi-pro football ...more
15
Heartland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
georgia28 added Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle, Michelle Morgan

Premiered: 2007

Heartland (CBC, 2007) is a Canadian family drama television series created by Lauren Brooke, based on the book series by Lauren Brooke. A multi-generational saga set in Alberta, Canada and ...more
16
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

Premiered: 1998

That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from August 23, 1998, to May 18, 2006. The series focused on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in ...more
17
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more
18
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Premiered: 1997

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Joss Whedon, based on the 1992 film. Destined to slay vampires, a young woman (Sarah ...more
19
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin

Premiered: 1990

Northern Exposure is an American television series that ran on CBS from 1990 to 1995, with a total of 110 episodes. It dealt with a New York City physician, Dr. Joel Fleischman, who is sent to ...more
20
Riverdale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes

Premiered: 2017

Riverdale (The CW, 2017) is an American teen drama television series developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, based on the characters of Archie Comics. The series follows Archie Andrews' (KJ Apa) ...more
21
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

Premiered: 2001

Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The ...more
22
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

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
23
The Andy Griffith Show ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

Premiered: 1960

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
24
Nancy Drew is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kennedy McMann, Tunji Kasim, Alex Saxon

Premiered: 2019

Nancy Drew (The CW, 2019) is an American mystery drama television series based on the titular character of a mystery book series. After 18-year-old Nancy Drew's (Kennedy McMann) college plans ...more
25
October Faction is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Maxim Roy, Tamara Taylor, J.C. MacKenzie

Premiered: 2020

October Faction (Netflix, 2020) is an American science fiction drama television series, based on the eponymous comic series by Steve Niles and Damien Worm. The series follows the adventures of a ...more