Watchworthy

What's The Most Famous TV Show Set In Every State? 

Zack Howe
Updated January 6, 2020 24.3k votes 3.4k voters 73.5k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up the TV shows that best represent the state in which they're set.

Some shows, like Hawaii Five-O, are inextricably linked to the states in which they're set. Others have seemingly nothing to do with their setting. The Pretender, for example, is set in Delaware but could've happened anywhere. Still, there are famous TV shows from every state (well, there are shows set in every state, though they may vary in degrees of fame).

There are famous movies from each state and every US citizen knows the funny cliche about his or her hometown. In fact, many people love their respective states so much because Hollywood has glamorized them. The familiar neighborhood coffee shop that you grew up with is even better because Jerry goes there all the time in Seinfeld.

Does your hometown have any landmarks that ended up on primetime TV?

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1
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Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Animation, Television comedy, Sitcom, Satire, Animated cartoon, + more

With over 20 seasons under its belt, South Park is one of the most famous shows in American pop culture. It's more relevant than ever. Almost everybody is familiar with the crude fourth graders from the small mountain town of South Park, CO. No other Colorado show can boast such an illustrious run. 

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2
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Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

Walter White's story is known by so many. Those who haven't seen Breaking Bad are often considered to be pop culture pariahs. The series won 146 awards with 225 nominations, putting Albuquerque, NM on the map.

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3
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Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Animation, Sitcom, Animated cartoon, Comedy, + more

With over 15 seasons and a handful of Emmy AwardsFamily Guy is a pretty easy choice for Rhode Island's most famous show. Even though Providence takes place in the state's capital, Family Guy is more well known. The animated series even survived cancelation. It can't be stopped. 

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4
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Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

Premiered: 2009

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama, + more

Pawnee, IN might not be a real town but Parks and Recreation makes it seem pretty authentic. Despite a rocky start (the first season got pretty shaky reviews), Parks and Rec portrays Indiana as a somewhat ideal place. The show catapulted the careers of so many cast members. Chris Pratt is still taking Hollywood by storm. Parks and Rec is a viewer favorite, even though it only has a single Golden Globe award.

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5
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Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

Premiered: 1991

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Tim Allen is pretty outspoken about his Michigan roots. He even voices the state tourism campaign, "Pure Michigan." It's no wonder that Allen's show, Home Improvement, is set in his Detroit stomping ground. After running for eight seasons and giving the world a positive glimpse of the Great Lakes State, it's no wonder that the show even spawned a video game, Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit.

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6
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Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

Premiered: 1982

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Cheers ran for 11 seasons, winning 28 Emmy Awards, six Golden Globes, and a heap of other accolades. Maybe you're too young to have seen the show, but you probably know lyrics from the Cheers theme song and want to go "where everybody knows your name." Additionally, Cheers characters Sam and Diane were the original Ross and Rachel. This groundbreaking show helped make Massachusetts even more famous.

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7
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James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Crime drama

The Sopranos is more Jersey than The Jersey Shore. In just six seasons, this show racked up 301 award nominations and 118 wins. It's easily regarded as one of the best shows of all time, even if people hate the final scene.

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8
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Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Even if you're somehow unfamiliar with all seven seasons of The Golden Girls, you can probably guess that a show about older, retired women would take place in Florida. The Golden Girls is definitely the most renowned of all the shows set in the Sunshine State. In fact, each of the four main characters earned an Emmy Award for their respective roles.

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9
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Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Black comedy

One might suggest that The Office is Pennsylvania's most famous show, but the It's Always Sunny series has more seasons than the Scranton-based show. And most people can probably guess which state Always Sunny takes place in just by hearing the name. The Philly show has also won quite a few awards, and it still boasts of a loyal fan base.

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10
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Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

Premiered: 2001

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Adventure film, + more

It's no secret that the Big Blue Boy Scout grew up in the Kansas heartland. Smallville centers around Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and the Kansas journey that precedes his stint in the red cape. In fact, this CW super drama gave rise to many more modern comic book hero television shows.

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11
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Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

Premiered: 1960

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

One Tree Hill could be a contender for North Carolina's most famous TV show, but most people can whistle The Andy Griffith Show theme song much more readily. Plus, a young Ron Howard stars in The Andy Griffith Show. Howard is basically a Hollywood god, so TAGS takes the cake.

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12
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Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong

Premiered: 1968

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Crime, Drama, + more

This one's pretty straightforward; the show name mentions the state, after all. Hawaii Five-O is all the more recognizable because it's been rebooted. Pretty much everyone born after 1968 has heard of the program. It's also a police procedural drama, which is basically the most popular kind of show in existence as evidenced by the multiple versions of Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS.

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13
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Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

Premiered: 1993

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Both Grey's Anatomy and Frasier are set in Washington. But while Grey's Anatomy certainly has a large following, Frasier can claim something that almost no other show can. It's a wildly successful spinoff. Frasier ran for 11 seasons, just as long as its parent series, Cheers. Frasier received hundreds of awards and nominations, so the Seattle-based sitcom is all the more important.

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14
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Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Drama, Crime

To be fair, a lot of Fargo takes place in Minnesota, but the show is named for the largest city in North Dakota. In fact, the shows has North Dakota roots. What's more, the Coen brothers series is based on their classic film of the same name. Both versions earned their fair share of awards and nominations.

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15
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Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

Premiered: 2000

Genres (Tv): Comedy-drama

You may not know that Gilmore Girls takes place in Connecticut, but you've definitely seen the show. It's one of the most talked about series of all time. Gilmore Girls is so popular that it's been revived on Netflix. Despite Lauren Graham's expansive filmography, she will almost certainly be remembered forever as Lorelai Gilmore.

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16
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Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Fantasy, Horror, Drama

Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgård are some of the popular actors showcased in True Blood. If they aren't enough to make the show Louisiana's most famous, all the blood and adult nudity certainly make True Blood a contender. The series debuted in 2008 at the height of the world's vampire obsession, offering mature audiences a way to satisfy any supernatural cravings. 

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17
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Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

There are so many shows set in New York, but one can't go wrong for claiming Seinfeld as the most famous. A standout in the sitcom genre, Seinfeld had a wildly successful nine-season run. The show remains relevant years after its final episode.

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18
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Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Robert Ben Garant

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Comedy

The Reno 911! series has spawned a lot of successful TV careers for its starring actors. The Nevada show's six seasons aren't exactly classics, but this Cops parody has a loyal following. The show even garnered a feature film - Reno 911!: Miami.

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19
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Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

Premiered: 1974

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Musical, Comedy, Family Film

Happy Days ran for 10 years and produced legendary characters like Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli. It's the quintessential Midwestern show, and it makes Wisconsin famous for something other than cheese. Though That '70s Show is also set in Wisconsin, Happy Days is more well known among multiple generations. 

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20
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Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin

Premiered: 1990

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

This one's a no-brainer. There aren't that many shows set in Alaska, and the image of a moose in Northern Exposure's opening sequence is quintessentially Alaskan. Plus, the show received nominations for 57 awards in only six seasons, so it's great by any state's standards. 

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21
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Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

Premiered: 2004

Genres (Tv): Western, Period drama

Deadwood was canceled after three seasons despite winning eight Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. This HBO western is definitely one of the best things to have emerged from South Dakota. Any lover of true grit will find Deadwood exemplary. 

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22
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Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Neo-Western

Justified won two Emmy Awards and eight other accolades. It was also nominated for an additional 66 awards over the course of only six seasons. What's more, Justified is a western that's set in Kentucky, a non-western state. That's pretty impressive.

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23
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Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

Premiered: 1994

Genres (Tv): Medical drama, Drama, Medical fiction

There are a lot of options for famous Illinois shows. This is partly due to how many shows are set in Chicago. Some easy options include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, or any other cleverly named shows. However, ER ran for 15 seasons, spanning a couple generations and bursting with megastars like George Clooney. One particular episode of ER, "Hell and High Water," attracted 48 million viewers, the most in a decade at that point.

Furthermore, most people know the show is set in Chicago because the doctors always ride the L train. 

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24
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Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

Premiered: 2002

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

The Wire was Breaking Bad before Breaking Bad. The angst-ridden series is set in Baltimore, MD and truly captures the grittier parts of life near the nation's capital. While The Wire only has five seasons, it's often considered one of the best crime shows of all time. 

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25
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Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Neo-Western

Early in its run, Longmire became the highest-rated original drama series of all time on A&E. Despite that honor, it was not renewed after the third season. Thankfully, though, Netflix picked up the Wyoming-based show, and the Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackhoff combo was allowed to continue for three more seasons.

Longmire is certainly Wyoming's most famous show. Plus, its only competition is a show called The Virginian, and that's just confusing.

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