Entertainment

The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns 

Ranker TV
Updated January 23, 2020 1.7k votes 400 voters 13.2k views 44 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.

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
Hart of Dixie is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on The CW from September 26, 2011 to March 27, 2015. The series, created by Leila Gerstein, stars Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe ...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
Gilmore Girls is an American comedy-drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. On October 5, 2000, the series debuted on the WB to widespread ...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
Virgin River 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 nurse practitioner ...more
4
One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton
One Tree Hill is an American television drama series created by Mark Schwahn, which premiered on September 23, 2003 on The WB. After the series' third season, The WB merged with UPN to form The ...more
5
The Vampire Diaries is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. ...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
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
Everwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Treat Williams, Gregory Smith, Emily VanCamp
Everwood is an American drama television series that initially aired in the United States on The WB. The series is set in the fictional small town of Everwood, Colorado, and was filmed in Ogden, ...more
8
Heartland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
georgia28 added
Morena Baccarin, Dabney Coleman, Melinda Dillon
Heartland is a Canadian family drama television series which debuted on CBC on October 14, 2007. The series is based on the Heartland book series by Lauren Brooke. The TV series changes the ...more
9
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman
Parks and Recreation is an American television sitcom starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the parks department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. Created ...more
10
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Twin Peaks
Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 2017) is a miniseries that follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in a continuation of the original 1990 series, created by David Lynch.
11
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden
Friday Night Lights is an American drama television series about a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. It was developed by Peter Berg, and executive produced by ...more
12
Dawson's Creek is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams
Dawson's Creek is an American teen drama television series about the fictional lives of a close-knit group of friends beginning in high school and continuing in college. The series stars James ...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
Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series loosely based on the popular book series of the same title, written by Sara Shepard. The show premiered on June ...more
14
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn
Veronica Mars (UPN, The CW, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father ...more
15
Northern Exposure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin
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
16
Schitt's Creek is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Schitt's Creek
Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy
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
17
The Ranch is listed (or ranked) 17 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
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
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series which aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production ...more
19
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis
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
20
Nancy Drew is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Kennedy McMann, Tunji Kasim, Alex Saxon
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
21
Riverdale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes
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
22
The Andy Griffith Show ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts
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
23
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell
True Blood is an American television drama series produced and created by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the ...more
24
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack
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
25
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Small Towns
Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross
Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy-drama-mystery series created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. It aired Sundays at 9 P.M. Eastern/8 P.M. ...more