Special Report

Famous Places in Every State That Appear in at Least One TV Series

In the early days of television, nearly all the shows were filmed in either California or New York City. But the explosion in reality TV programming, often regionally based, as well as the aggressive overtures made by states to lure television and film projects to their locations, has significantly expanded the geography of television filming sites. 

Virtually every state has a television and motion picture division that touts tax credits, discretionary grants, and other incentives to attract producers. States can later leverage the filming sites to attract tourists, who can go on tours of well-known locations for such series as the acclaimed crime dramas “Breaking Bad” (Albuquerque) or “Miami Vice.” (Here are 30 classic TV shows we’d like to see rebooted.)

To compile a list of famous places in every state that appear in at least one TV series, 24/7 Tempo consulted sources including IMDb, various state and city websites, and several entertainment industry sites. We chose series that were actually filmed in each state, at least in part, and not necessarily those that were set there. 

In some cases, one city or location was used to stand in for another. For instance, “Justified,” while set in Kentucky, was shot partially in Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh representing Lexington. “The Big C” used cityscapes from Stamford, Connecticut, to play Minneapolis.

A vast number of TV shows, including many of those listed here, are or were filmed mostly on studio sound stages or movie ranches in California, but used memorable images of the places where they were set in order to establish some authenticity. 

Click here for a list of famous places in every state that appear in at least one TV series

Reality shows tend to focus on a single location (though that may change seasonally), and by definition avoid sound stages. Occasionally a scripted show is also filmed entirely in the place where it is set – like the long-running and recently revived original New York City-based “Law & Order.” (These are the best TV shows set in New York City.)

Most of the famous places on our list are iconic destinations in their respective states, but some have become famous precisely because one or more popular shows were set there.

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