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

Updated August 6, 2020 27.9k votes 3.6k voters 76.6k views51 items

List RulesVote 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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  • Colorado - 'South Park'1
    1,037
    240

    Colorado - 'South Park'

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

    Premiered1997

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

    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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  • New Mexico - 'Breaking Bad'2
    909
    207

    New Mexico - 'Breaking Bad'

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    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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  • Rhode Island - 'Family Guy'3
    802
    222

    Rhode Island - 'Family Guy'

    Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein

    Premiered1999

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

    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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  • Massachusetts - 'Cheers'4
    629
    188

    Massachusetts - 'Cheers'

    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman

    Premiered1982

    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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  • Michigan - 'Home Improvement'5
    760
    245

    Michigan - 'Home Improvement'

    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson

    Premiered1991

    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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  • Indiana - 'Parks And Recreation'6
    752
    260

    Indiana - 'Parks And Recreation'

    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir

    Premiered2009

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

    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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  • New Jersey - 'The Sopranos'7
    624
    207

    New Jersey - 'The Sopranos'

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    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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  • Florida - 'The Golden Girls'8
    637
    281

    Florida - 'The Golden Girls'

    Bea Arthur, Betty White

    Premiered1985

    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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  • Kansas - 'Smallville'9
    484
    224

    Kansas - 'Smallville'

    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum

    Premiered2001

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

    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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  • Hawaii - 'Hawaii Five-O'10
    458
    215

    Hawaii - 'Hawaii Five-O'

    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

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

    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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  • North Carolina - 'The Andy Griffith Show'11
    485
    237

    Premiered1960

    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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  • Pennsylvania - 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'12

    Premiered2005

    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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  • Washington - 'Frasier'13
    449
    257

    Washington - 'Frasier'

    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves

    Premiered1993

    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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  • North Dakota - 'Fargo'14
    406
    232

    North Dakota - 'Fargo'

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

    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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  • Louisiana - 'True Blood'15
    404
    236

    Louisiana - 'True Blood'

    Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer

    Premiered2008

    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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  • Connecticut - 'Gilmore Girls'16
    412
    243

    Connecticut - 'Gilmore Girls'

    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

    Premiered2000

    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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  • Alaska - 'Northern Exposure'17
    330
    198

    Alaska - 'Northern Exposure'

    Rob Morrow, Janine Turner

    Premiered1990

    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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  • South Dakota - 'Deadwood'18
    289
    169

    South Dakota - 'Deadwood'

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

    Premiered2004

    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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  • Wisconsin - 'Happy Days'19
    402
    257

    Wisconsin - 'Happy Days'

    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler

    Premiered1974

    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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  • Nevada - 'Reno 911!'20
    397
    269

    Nevada - 'Reno 911!'

    Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash

    Premiered2003

    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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  • Kentucky - 'Justified'21
    312
    214

    Kentucky - 'Justified'

    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy

    Premiered2010

    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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  • Maryland - 'The Wire'22
    293
    207

    Maryland - 'The Wire'

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    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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  • Illinois - 'ER'23
    334
    244

    Illinois - 'ER'

    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney

    Premiered1994

    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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  • New York - 'Seinfeld'24
    570
    457

    New York - 'Seinfeld'

    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Premiered1989

    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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  • Reno 911!25
    1
    1

    Reno 911!

    Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney

    Premiered2020

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Mocumentary

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