Seinfeld = New York. Gilmore Girls = Connecticut. Hawaii Five-O = Hawaii... obviously.
Believe it or not, there's been at least one TV show that's taken place in each of the 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.). In many, there are way more than one, and it was hard to choose the best. But as a devoted watcher of television and a dedicated bringer of joy on the Internet, I did my darnedest.
Here is the best TV show ever that takes place in your home state (and the 49 other states too).
Alabama — Hart of DixieRachel Bilson plays a big city doctor from New York who hightails it to small-town Alabama. As you can imagine, there's a lot of self-discovery and adjustment and all that jazz. I never really watched this show, but once I went on the Warner Bros. studio tour in Burbank, and I think they showed us every single set from this show.
Alaska — Northern Exposure
via: YouTubeAlaska is about as North as you can get in the U.S., so it was a perfect setting for the early '90s comedy-drama Northern Exposure. The show, like Hart of Dixie, followed a New York doctor to a tiny town, this time in Alaska. This big-city-doctor-trying-to-make-it-in-a-small-town premise seems tried and true. (It was also the plot of one of my very favorite Hallmark Channel Christmas movies this past year, Christmas Under Wraps.)
Arizona — The Last Man on EarthIn the first season of The Last Man on Earth, Phil Miller, thinking he's, well, the last man on Earth, drives around the whole country before setting up shop in his hometown of Tuscon, Arizona. Of course, he soon finds out he's not exactly the last person alive after a mysterious illness wipes out most of the world's population. That's when things get interesting.
Arkansas — 19 Kids and Counting
via: YouTubeThere aren't very many docu-style series on this list, but we just couldn't leave off 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggar family captured the attention of Americans everywhere for seven years on TLC, and then for years after that in all their spin-off series. There's been a bunch of controversy surrounding the Duggars, but that hasn't made them any less fascinating to the American public.
California — Arrested DevelopmentThere are so many amazing, classic shows set in California. Being that many of them are shot there, it's convenient to just set shows there as well. The Big Bang Theory; The Brady Bunch; Beverly Hills, 90210; Big Little Lies...and those are just the shows that begin with "B"! I had to go with Arrested Development for a couple reasons: First, it's my personal favorite show ever. Second, it's one of the best TV shows ever made of all time and that's an undisputed fact. Third, Newport Beach and Orange County are in their own ways as much characters on the show as Gob and Buster and Lucille and Tobias.
Colorado — Community
via: NBCSouth Park is the other iconic Colorado TV show, but Community is just the best. It might be set at a community college in the fictional town of Greendale, but the show definitely has that Colorado pride. And Chevy Chase. And Donald Glover. And Jim Rash. The show is a gold mine. (In fact, in the 1800s, people mined for gold all over the state of Colorado.)
Connecticut — Gilmore GirlsWhat is there to say about Gilmore Girls other than the fact that it is one of the best shows ever, possibly the best mother-daughter relationship in TV history, and the most envy-worthy depiction of a charming small Connecticut town in existence. Who didn't want to move to their own Stars Hollow after watching this show? No one, that's who. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't mention my other favorite Connecticut show, Soap, the soap opera parody from the late '70s that 100 percent holds up today.
Delaware — Steven Universe
via: YouTubeSteven Universe takes place in a fictional town on the Delmarva Peninsula, which technically includes some of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, but we're going to say Beach City is on the Delaware side. I think it's pretty safe to say that Steven Universe is the most imaginative show to take place in Delaware (The Pretenders is one of the only others). This Cartoon Network gem is sure to be a classic for years to come.
Florida — The Golden Girls
via: Getty ImagesI mean, there's no competition. Thank goodness liking The Golden Girls is cool now because if it wasn't, I don't what we'd do, you know, as a society. Honorable Flordia mentions go to Dexter, Miami Vice, and Coach.
Georgia — The Walking Dead
via: AMCI remember watching the first episode of The Walking Dead and literally thinking to myself, "Thank goodness someone put zombies on TV." It is possibly the grossest show on the list, and yes, that's a compliment. Plus it's got that whole southern Georgia charm thing going on. Donald Glover's new show, Atlanta, also deserves a mention here.
Hawaii — Hawaii Five-O
via: Getty ImagesHawaii Five-O and Magnum, P.I. were the quintessential beachy procedurals. And of course, the reboot has been going strong since 2010. You just can't beat badass police drama in paradise.
Idaho — The GrinderOK, The Grinder only lasted one season, but it was so good, you guys! Fred Savage — yes, that Fred Savage — plays a small-town lawyer whose bigshot TV star brother, played by Rob Lowe, returns home after playing a lawyer on TV, which he believes makes him fully capable of helping out at his brother's real, actual law firm. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue. Wayward Pines is the other Idaho-set show worth mentioning — its spooky sci-fi mystery arc totally hooks you from the very start.
Illinois — ER
via: Getty ImagesER is the quintessential, classic hospital drama. It was created by Michael Crichton (who was also responsible for Jurassic Park), and George Clooney was in it. Those are all the details I really need to provide. Without ER, there'd be no Grey's Anatomy, no House, no nothin'. Other notable Illinois shows: Married...With Children, Roseanne, and Perfect Strangers.
Indiana — Parks and Recreation
via: NBCPawnee, Indiana is the quirkiest character in this bonkers show about quirky characters. But, like the rest of the characters in Parks and Recreation, this fictional Indiana town has an insane amount of heart. Parks and Recreation turned into one of the best, most rewatchable sitcoms of all time. Stranger Things also takes place in Indiana, and that show is bomb too, so I had to mention it.
Iowa — American Pickers
via: The History ChannelThere aren't a whole bunch of shows that take place in Iowa, so we're going with American Pickers. Here's the thing about this show: I never choose to watch it, but when it's on, I can't look away. I don't know how they do it.
Kansas — Courage the Cowardly DogThis classic horror comedy cartoon from the early 2000s took place in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas. It was one of those shows we all watched obsessively even though and maybe because it made us sort of uncomfortable and scared all the time and that was a kind of cool feeling. Smallville was a different sort of show, but it also took place in Kansas.
Kentucky — Justified
via: FXThis crime drama, which aired for six seasons on FX from 2010-2015, was set in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky and starred Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. It was critically acclaimed throughout its run, and it's also one of the only TV shows ever set in Kentucky.
Louisiana — The Riches
via: AmazonOK, True Blood and the first season of True Detective were also set in Louisiana, but my personal favorite, by far, is The Riches, which aired for two seasons on FX from 2007-2008. It stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver (I mean, come on) as heads of a family of Irish Traveller con artists and thieves. They assume the identities of a wealthy family, the Riches, who die in a car crash, and they try to live this other family's affluent lives in a gated community in Baton Rouge. It's amazing.
Maine — Murder, She Wrote
via: Getty ImagesMurder, She Wrote ran for 12 seasons, which is an incredible run for any show. Angela Lansbury was Jessica Fletcher. She was nominated for 10 Golden Globes and 12 Emmys for her work on the show (and won a bunch of them), which is breaks all sorts of records. Other Maine shows of note: Wet Hot American Summer TV series, Once Upon a Time.
Maryland — The WireThis Baltimore-set show became an instant classic when it premiered on HBO in 2008. For a while there, it was literally the only thing people talked about. It was groundbreaking in so many ways.
Massachusetts — Cheers
via: Getty ImagesYou wanna go where everybody knows your name, and that place is Cheers. The first episode of this Boston-set show is literally taught in screenwriting classes because it is a perfect pilot. This show practically invented the "Will they, won't they?" arc with Sam and Diane, and it led to one of the most successful spin-offs in TV history, Frasier (which appears on this list a little later on). Cheers gave us some of TV's most memorable characters, and it still holds up.
Michigan — Freaks and Geeks
via: Getty ImagesFreaks and Geeks is a cult classic for good reason. Pretty much every young actor from the series went on to become a major star. Paul Feig's short-lived coming-of-age dramedy may have only lasted one season, but it made such an impact that it left an indelible mark on TV history forever.
Minnesota — The Mary Tyler Moore Show
via: Getty ImagesThe Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the greatest shows of all time. It broke boundaries for female characters in sitcoms and it gave us some of the greatest characters in TV history. Lou Grant, anyone? Ted Baxter? Rhoda Morgenstern? Mary Richards is a hero and I love her.
Mississippi — In the Heat of the Night
via: AmazonIn the Heat of the Night was based on the film and novel of the same title. The police drama starred Carroll O'Connor (All in the Family) and dealt with a lot of serious themes. It lasted for eight seasons in the late '80s and early '90s, and it's probably worth a revisit.
Missouri — Masters of Sex
via: ShowtimeThis Showtime period drama is set at the University of Washington in St. Louis in the 1950s and 1960s. It tells the true story of Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson (Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan), who were pioneering researchers of human sexuality. It ran for four seasons and was just as fun as you're imagining.
Montana — Caitlin's WayI related hard to this Nickelodeon drama in the early 2000s. The series follows Caitlin Seeger, a city kid who gets in some trouble and so gets sent to live with her mother's cousin on a ranch in Montana. It's obviously a total culture shock, and hard-hearted Caitlin learns to love horses and soften her persona.
Nebraska — The Young Riders
via: AmazonThe Young Riders, a fictionalized western series about the Pony Express riders, ran for three seasons from 1989-1992. And while you may not remember this show too well, it starred up-and-comers like Josh Brolin, Stephen Baldwin, and Melissa Leo. Oh, and it's also one of the only TV shows ever to be set in Nebraska.
Nevada — Bonanza
via: Getty ImagesBonanza ran for 14 seasons from 1959 to 1973. That's a lot of seasons. It's the second-longest-running western in U.S. television history behind (Gunsmoke) and my mom really loved it when she was a kid. Reno 911! gets a shout-out too because it's a totally bonkers hilarious show.
New Hampshire — The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire
via: YouTubeNeedless to say, there aren't many shows set in New Hampshire... Someone has to step up to the plate! We're left with The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire, which lasted for nine episodes in 2003. It was a drama compared to Northern Exposure, but it was far less successful. The David E. Kelley show starred Randy Quaid (before he lost his mind) as Hank Shaw, the police chief of fictional Poland, New Hampshire.
New Jersey — The Sopranos
via: Getty ImagesThe Sopranos is about as Jersey as it gets without actually being Jersey Shore. The classic crime drama was pretty much all anyone walked about TV-wise between 1999 and 2007...if you had HBO, that is. The series finale was a nationwide event. The show was gone, but it would never be forgotten.
New Mexico — Breaking BadVince Gilligan's Breaking Bad became one of the most iconic shows of all time. Walter White and his blue meth were staples of Halloween parties everywhere for the duration of the show, from 2008 to 2013. That show was quite a whirlwind, and the deserts of New Mexico played a huge part in the look and feel of the series.
New York — Seinfeld
via: Getty ImagesLike California, there are so many shows set in New York. I chose Seinfeld just because it's a show that could not have been set anywhere else — its characters are New York personified. But I have to mention some other iconic New York-set shows: Friends, I Love Lucy, 30 Rock, The Off Couple, All int he Family, Law and Order, The Nanny, NewsRadio, Sports Night, Will and Grace, Sex and the City, The King of Queens, Orange Is the New Black, and I'm sure there are countless others. New York is where my heart (and the best TV) is.
North Carolina — The Andy Griffith Show
via: Getty ImagesThe Andy Griffith Show introduced us to Ron Howard as little Opie, and it also introduced us to the idea that a whole TV show could be completely wholesome and innocent and still entertaining and lovely. If you don't love Andy Griffith, there's something wrong with you. Other NoCar (is that a thing?) shows of note: One Tree Hill and Eastbound and Down.
North Dakota — FargoWhile the first season of Fargo (and the movie) mostly take place in Minnesota, it moves to North Dakota in later seasons, and I mean, come on, it's right there in the title. This is one TV show that was perfectly inspired by the perfect movie it's adapted from without remaining too heavily influenced by it. It's quirky, darkly funny, and well-acted, everything you'd expect from something named Fargo.
Ohio — The Drew Carey Show
via: Getty ImagesWith a theme song that literally says, "Cleveland rocks!" I couldn't not name The Drew Carey Show Ohio's best. Plus, I might be biased here, but it's a pretty good show! There are some other classic shows that take place in Ohio as well. Among them is Glee, Clarissa Explains It All, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Greek, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Oklahoma — Saving Grace
via: AmazonHolly Hunter plays a tough-as-nails Oklahoma City detective who has a relationship with God. Like, she actually talks to him. By day, she solves crimes, but by night, she's an alcoholic mess. The show ran for three seasons on TNT and yeah, it's one of the only Oklahoma-set TV shows, but Holly Hunter is a real gem.
Oregon — PortlandiaNo show is as reverential and yet also critical of its place as Portlandia is. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein bring incredible characters to life in this off-the-walls sketch show. But surprisingly, this isn't the only TV show set in Oregon. Bates Motel and, believe it or not, The Angry Beavers are the others.
Pennsylvania — Boy Meets World
via: Getty ImagesThe Office might be the obvious choice for shows set in Pennsylvania (Scranton, specifically), but there is a soft spot in my heart for Boy Meets World that just won't quit. Cory Matthews, Shawn Hunter, Topanga Lawrence, and Mr. Feeny are about as real in my mind as...well, real people I know. I grew up with them, they grew up with me, and I will love them forever. Pennsylvania also deserves an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia mention. How could I not? And while he spent most of his time in Bel-Air, the Fresh Prince was "West Philadelphia, born and raised," so...
Rhode Island — Family GuyHow many seasons of Family Guy do you think there've been? Because I guarantee you it's more than you think. This show has been on the air since 1999 and is in its 16th season. Peter Griffin is a laughingstock, but he's our laughingstock. Fictional Quahog, Rhode Island was, in the show, actually founded by Peter Griffin's ancestor, Griffin Peterson.
South Carolina — Gullah Gullah IslandRemember Gullah Gullah Island?! The musical kids' show aired on Nickelodeon in the mid- to late '90s and was inspired by the Gullah culture of St. Helena Island, South Carolina. Stars of the show Ron and Natalie Daise had a touring show about the stories of this culture, and they broke all sorts of barriers when they brought it to children's TV. Gullah Gullah Island was full of dancing and singing and it was educational too! As a kid, I totally loved it.
South Dakota — DeadwoodThis HBO western starring Ian McShane aired for three seasons from 2004 to 2006. It's set in the 1870s, before and after the Dakota Territory was annexed. It's one of the most highly-regarded TV dramas of all time and raked in the awards when it was on the air.
Tennessee — NashvilleNashville is a country-music smash hit drama starring Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton. It was canceled after four seasons on ABC, but CMT picked it up and it's currently in its sixth (and last) season. Basically, I'm on board with anything that involves Connie Britton, which brings us to...
Texas — Friday Night LightsSeriously, the woman can do no wrong. And people are obsessed with Friday Night Lights, the Texas high school football drama that ran for five seasons from 2006 to 2011. Coach Taylor and his family are TV royalty. Texas was also the setting for classic shows like King of the Hill; Reba; Dallas; and Walker, Texas Ranger.
Utah — Big LoveWhat better show to represent Utah than Big Love, the Mormon sister-wife drama starring Bill Paxton (RIP), Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin. It aired on HBO from 2006 to 2011 and was very well-received by critics. Of course, Mormonism isn't the only thing going on in Utah, but Big Love is one of the only TV shows set there.
Vermont — Newhart
via: Getty ImagesBob Newhart is an American treasure, and his Vermont-set sitcom was a total classic, airing for eight seasons in the 1980s. In the show, Bob Newhart runs an inn in a small New England now. Newhart is most famous for its series finale. In the final scene of the show, Bob Newhart wakes up in bed next to his TV wife from his previous show, The Bob Newhart Show, and reveals that all eight seasons of Newhart were actually just a dream his character from The Bob Newhart Show (which aired int he '70s) had. Brilliant.
Virginia — HomelandClaire Danes is Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer with bipolar disorder, in spy drama Homeland. The show was a phenomenon when it premiered on Showtime in 2011, and it's still going strong! The show's seventh season is premiering in February 2018.
Washington — Frasier
via: Getty ImagesSeattle-based Frasier is possibly the most successful spin-off series of all time. Psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane started as a supporting character on Cheers, but then he makes his way to Washington state, where he lives with his father Martin (John Mahoney, who we recently lost) and hangs out with his younger brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and his radio show producer Roz (Peri Gilpin). The show premiered in 1993 and ran for 11 seasons! Sure, Grey's Anatomy also takes place in Washington state, but Frasier is my favorite.
West Virginia — Hawkins
via: YouTubeNot too many West Virginia shows to choose from, but this one stars Jimmy Stewart as lawyer Billy Jim Hawkins. It ran for less than a season between 1973 and 1974 — seven 90-minute episodes is all that remains of this show. Apparently, Stewart requested the show be canceled because he didn't think the quality of scripts and directors couldn't hold a candle to the quality to which he was used to in film.
Wisconsin — Laverne & Shirley
via: Getty ImagesSchlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated! Laverne & Shirley starred Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams as Laverne and Shirley, two single gal roommates who work as bottle cappers in a Milwaukee brewery. Their neighbors, Lenny and Squiggy, were iconic characters all their own. Wisconsin was also home to Happy Days and That '70s Show, but Laverne & Shirley just makes me smile.
Wyoming — Longmire
via: AmazonLongmire is a Western crime drama that began in 2012 on A&E and moved over to Netflix for its fourth season. The show centers on Walt Longmire, a sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming, which is not a real place. And that's about the only show set in Wyoming. Since Washington, D.C. isn't a state but there are lots of amazing shows set there, I decided to shout 'em out here, at the end of the list. Give it up for VEEP, The West Wing, House of Cards, Murphy Brown, and the short-lived, under-watched, and underrated BrainDead.