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

Zack Howe
12.3k votes 1.6k voters 37.2k 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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Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman

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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Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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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Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

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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Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

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. 

5
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Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

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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Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

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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James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

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.

8
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Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

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.

9
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Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

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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Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts

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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Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

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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Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

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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Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

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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Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong

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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Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

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.

16
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Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Robert Ben Garant

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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Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

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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Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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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Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

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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Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

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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Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

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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Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

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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Rob Morrow, Janine Turner, Barry Corbin

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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Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

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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Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan

Considering Portland's right in the show name, Portlandia is a pretty easy choice for Oregon's most famous series. Additionally, the sketch show is so quirky and crazy that it has seeped into pop culture despite being on IFC, a virtually irrelevant television network.

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Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

Whether or not you're aware that The Mary Tyler Moore Show is set in Minneapolis (there's a commemorative statue of her there), you're almost certainly aware of the show itself. Mary Tyler Moor is one of the most famous comediennes ever. She paved the way for scores of female actors by portraying a young, single, working woman on the show instead of a housewife.

27
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Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips

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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Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

This one's kind of tough because Friday Night Lights is a contender for most famous TV show set in the Lone Star State. But the only thing more Texas than football is oil. Dallas is all about oil. The original series ran for 13 years, and the show was revived in 2012 for a few more seasons. Dallas is certainly long-withstanding.

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Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

A lot of people might believe that Once Upon A Time is Maine's most popular show. However, Murder She Wrote ran for 12 seasons. The murder-mystery show also presents Maine as the murder capital of the United States. Once Upon a Time is an engaging show, but it's not nearly as legendary.

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Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson

In the Heat of the Night is based on the 1965 novel of the same name and a 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier. The series (on air from 1988 to 1995) deals with serious social and racial issues in the Magnolia State. It won an Emmy and seven Golden Globes nominations.

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Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

The prestige of being Ohio's most famed television show either belongs to Glee or Family Ties. Happy Days actor Michael J. Fox breaks the stalemate, though. The Family Ties program also has one more season than Glee's six. The '80s comedy about hippies and conservatives is certainly the Buckeye State's most famous.

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Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

Bob Newhart is Hollywood royalty, so it makes sense that his show Newhart is Vermont's most famous. The show ran for eight seasons. However, it's most memorable because during the final episode, Bob Newhart's character Dick Loudon discovers that the entire series is nothing more than a dream.

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Connie Britton, Clare Bowen, Hayden Panettiere

Nashville pretty much captures all the cliche aspects of Tennessee, what with all the country music and barbecue. Plus, the show employs huge stars from various generations like Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

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Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Cress Williams

Alabama's most famous show is probably Hart of Dixiebut it only narrowly overshadows Any Day Now - a show about race relations in the South. Rachel Bilson stars as Zoe Hart, a failed New York heart surgeon who accepts an offer to join a family practice in Bluebell, AL. While in the Yellowhammer State, Hart becomes enchanted with the Southern lifestyle.

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Will Forte, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman

Medium could be Arizona's most famous show because it has more seasons than Last Man on Earth. However, the latter series focuses more on the Arizona desert setting. The characters struggle so much because the terrain is unforgiving; the show could hardly take place in another state.

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Roma Downey, Della Reese, John Dye

Touched by an Angel is the show that all mothers love. And guardian angels reigned supreme for nine long seasons on this CBS show. Salt Lake City, UT provided ample idyllic backgrounds for the show's many miracles.

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Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

While The Vampire Diaries has a lot of teen fans, Homeland has a lot of Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. Consequently, the latter show is probably the most famous of Virginia-based programs. True, there's a lot of global travel in Homeland, but Langley, VA is home base. 

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Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones

Even though Wayward Pines only has a couple seasons under its belt, it definitely snags the honor of the most famous show set in Idaho. First of all, the series has big names like Matt Dillon and Djimon Hounsou. M. Night Shyamalan is also an executive producer for Wayward Pines. Moreover, it's rather difficult to name any other series that are based in the Gem State.

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Holly Hunter, Leon Rippy, Kenny Johnson

Saving Grace may only have three seasons, but not many other Oklahoma-based shows can boast of longer runtimes. Saving Grace lead actress Holly Hunter is also a pretty big star, especially by Oklahoma standards. The show was nominated for a Golden Globe and a couple of Emmy Awards, so it's obviously pretty noteworthy. 

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Michael T. Weiss, Andrea Parker, Patrick Bauchau

Delaware is the home of Joe Biden and TV show The Pretenders. The latter legend ran for four seasons and even produced a couple of TV movies after the show was canceled. Incredibly popular, The Pretender still has fans who swear allegiance to Pretender graphic novels and comic books.

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Burt Reynolds, Marilu Henner, Charles Durning

Evening Shade definitely has to be the most famous show set in Arkansas. It's one of the only shows set in Arkansas, for that matter. And Burt Reynolds plays a high school football coach there. Considering what a huge star Reynolds is, the 33rd most populous state must be thrilled to lay claim to him.

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Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield

Donald Glover's breakout series, Atlanta, won 26 awards after its first season, and it will certainly win more as the show progresses. The characters are exemplary and can truly only exist in a state that's as musically inclined as Georgia. Though The Walking Dead is another famous Georgia-based show, it can be set in any state. Atlanta, however, only makes sense in the Peach State.

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Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald

If nothing else, Masters of Sex earns this slot for its incomparably arresting title. Four seasons long, this Showtime series won an Emmy and multiple Golden Globe nominations. 

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Wendy Davis, Catherine Bell, Brian McNamara

Army Wives takes place in South Carolina at the fictional Fort Marshall Army Base. The show highlights South Carolina's beautiful terrain, and the resilient characters mirror the resiliency of the land.

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Killian Scott, Logan Marshall-Green, Sarah Jones

There are not a whole lot of options for Iowa's most famed show, so Damnation is the undisputed choice. The 2017 American period drama focuses on those who struggle against big business in the '30s. Despite tepid critic reviews, Damnation seems to please many viewers.

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Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Ty Miller

A pre-Civil War western set in the Nebraska Territory, The Young Riders follows a group of Pony Express riders. It's one of the few Nebraska-based shows that ever made a splash. The Young Riders ran for three seasons from the late '80s to early '90s, employing stars like a young Josh Brolin and Stephen Baldwin.

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Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, Peter Gallagher

Take your pick between Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and even The Brady Bunch; the list of shows set in Cali is virtually endless. But The O.C. is probably the most famous because every single millennial has seen at least one episode. Full of ridiculous teen drama (especially offscreen drama), The O.C. employed big-name stars like Peter Gallagher and Shailene Woodley. Plus, the show is named after one of the most famous counties in the state.

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Lindsay Felton, Cynthia Belliveau, Jeremy Foley

This one's a toss up between a handful of shows that few people even recognize. Although Buckskin and its one season is a contender for Montana's most famous show, Caitlin's Way has thrice as much to offer. It boasts of an impressive three-season run on Nickelodeon. Caitlin's Way is a teen drama about a troubled Philly girl who's forced to live with her cousins in Montana.

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James Stewart, Sam Elliott, Strother Martin

Hawkins is West Virginia's most famous show. It's incredibly surprising, though, that series star James Stewart requested that the show be canceled after only its first season. Stewart won a Golden Globe for his role as attorney Billy Jim Hawkins, but he was still unhappy with the show's quality

50
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The Brotherhood of Poland, New... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list What's The Most Famous TV Show Set In Every State?
Randy Quaid, Chris Penn, Elizabeth McGovern

There's a good chance you haven't heard of this show, but there are not a lot of options for New Hampshire's most famous TV show. However, The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire was created by David E. Kelley. Kelley's responsible for The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and more big name shows, so even though The Brotherhood didn't run for long it did have excellent writing.