After years of watching shows set in California or New York – or, if they were political, Washington D.C. – my television landscape has suddenly become much broader. Last year alone saw the debut of successful series set in Ohio (Glee), Indiana (The Middle), and North Carolina (The Vampire Diaries). That’s in addition to established shows set in Louisiana (True Blood), Michigan (Hung), Washington state (Eureka), New Mexico (In Plain Sight), and South Dakota (Warehouse 13). It’s so nice to see other parts of the country represented, acknowledging that we’re made up of more than the two major metropolitan areas. But I’ve noticed another trend in locations for television. While they may never rival California & New York for total screen time, Texas & Florida have emerged as hot locations for TV in the last couple of years.
Currently home to Friday Night Lights and The Good Guys, the Lone Star State will be featured again this autumn when three new series hit the airwaves. Fox’s new series, the aptly titled Lone Star, is about a Texas con-man leading a double life. My Generation, an ensemble dramedy catching up with 9 high school classmates from Austin, Texas, at their 10 year reunion, heads to ABC this fall. Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest high-octane series, Chase, follows U.S. Marshals as they track criminals in South Texas; watch for it Mondays on NBC.
With such a vast area to play in, weather that pretty much allows filming year-round, and geography that goes from lush grassland to desert, small town to huge metropolis, Texas offers a wealth of storytelling opportunities. I have to wonder, though, with the state’s current burgeoning popularity, are we getting ready for the return of the Western?
Already home to Dexter, Burn Notice, and CSI: Miami, plus several Spanish-language series and reality shows, the Sunshine state welcomed the ABC sitcom Cougar Town last season and this summer added another crime series, The Glades, which was a hit for A&E and pretty much guaranteed a second season.
The lush, tropical settings in Florida are a vibrant backdrop for comedy, drama, and action, and those sultry nights are ripe for romance. The five current series and their popularity certainly make a case for more shows to make their way down South.
Did I miss any shows set in these two states currently on the air? Which other states do you think are ready for their close-ups on TV?