While the TV industry might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Pennsylvania, there are many great shows that have been set in the Keystone State. These shows include comedies, dramas, kid’s shows, and even reality series. Most are set in or around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but there are some that feature other spots throughout the state.
While many of these shows weren’t actually filmed in PA, they often offer interesting insights into the culture of the state and include clips of real-life settings around the state.
Here are a few of the best TV shows set in Pennsylvania.
(You can also watch a ton of great movies set in Pennsylvania.)
The Office was a mockumentary-style show that followed the workers at the fictional Scranton paper company, Dunder Mifflin. This show aired on NBC from 2005-2013 and followed these larger-than-life employees as they lived and worked in northeastern PA.
While the show wasn’t shot in Pennsylvania, there are many references to the Scranton area sprinkled into the show. Even better, the video montage used while the theme song was playing was shot in Scranton by actor John Krasinski when he came to the city to research the area before the series began.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia ran for 14 seasons from 2005-2019, which tied it with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as the longest-running, live-action sitcom in American TV history.
Boy Meets World
The show followed Matthews’ life and his interactions with his family, friends, and his next-door neighbor/teacher, Mr. Feeny.
Queer as Folk
Queer as Folk was set in Pittsburgh and tells the story of a group of friends as they navigate life in western PA. This highly-rated show offered an important look into what was, at the time, a little-depicted lifestyle on television.
All My Children
The show was set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia. However, it was modeled after the actual community of Rosemont. The show featured Susan Lucci playing the lead character, Erica Kane. This would become one of the most popular portrayals in the history of daytime television.
At this time, it doesn’t appear that All My Children is available for streaming or to purchase. If you know differently, please let me know.
Jon and Kate Plus 8
The show followed Jon and Kate Gosselin, their twins, and their sextuplets. The family lived and was filmed in Elizabethtown in Lancaster County and later in Wernersville in Berks County.
While the show doesn’t focus on the location, for the most part, looking at the background of many scenes clearly shows that the setting was inspired by the architecture of Philadelphia, most likely the Rittenhouse Square area. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s still interesting to watch the show’s intro and see the city in cartoon form.
The show, which is set in Pittsburgh, follows Mr. Belvedere, a sophisticated British butler that is hired by an American family. The family is headed by George, played by baseball announced Bob Uecker.
Mr. Belvedere isn’t available for streaming, but some of the seasons can be purchased on DVD.
The show, Parking Wars, aired on A&E from 2008-2012 and followed the stories of the employees going about their daily work, as well as vehicle owners dealing with their cars being ticketed, towed, or booted. The city is also prominently featured in the show, and if you’ve visited, you’ll no doubt see locations you are familiar with.
This is Us
In the flashback portions of the show, the family lives in the Pittsburgh area and many references to western Pennsylvania are included. In the present day, one sibling lives in Philly, though other places around the state, such as Bradford, are sometimes mentioned, offering even more references and views of PA.
Unlike many of the shows on this list, portions of This is Us are actually filmed on location in Pennsylvania.
My So-Called Life
The show was set in the fictional Pittsburgh suburb of Three Rivers and followed Danes as she navigated high school. The show touched on many issues that were often overlooked by other shows of the era that focused on teenagers.
Pretty Little Liars
While it wasn’t a focus of the show, the show was set in the fictitious suburb of Rosewood, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, it was said that this community was based on Rosemont, which was also the inspiration behind the setting for All My Children.
Dispatches from Elsewhere
The show follows a group of normal Philadelphians as they try to solve a puzzle that is hiding just out of sight and their attempts to figure out the mysteries behind it.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
It was created by Latrobe, PA native Fred Rogers in 1968 and was filmed in Pittsburgh for its entire run. While the focus of the show wasn’t western Pennsylvania, Rogers would often feature guests from the area on his show. However, while it might not be focused on Pennsylvania, this show is so ingrained in our culture that it has to be included on this list.
It’s worth noting that the show’s cartoon spin-off, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, does often show people and places in western PA during the show.
The show is based on the childhood of creator Adam Goldberg and is set in 1980s-era Jenkintown, a suburb of Philadelphia. This leads to many references to the city, as well as to life in that era.
The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead
It follows Graham Hetrick, the coroner of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The show highlights some of his most unusual and intriguing cases with a mixture of real-life interviews and dramatic reenactments.
One Life to Live
The show is set in Llanview, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia. It was modeled after the Chestnut Hill section of the city. The show is unique in that it focused on four different families from different ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds, creating a unique soap opera that offered many different stories to be told.
Episodes of the show are available for purchase on iTunes.
The show premiered in 1952 as Bandstand. In 1956, Dick Clark began hosting the show, and in 1957, it was picked up nationally on ABC and renamed American Bandstand. While the show would remain on the air until 1989, production was moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 1964.
In the clip above, they are dancing to “South Street” by The Orlons, one of the best songs about Pennsylvania ever written.
While it’s not streaming online anywhere, many clips and even full episodes can be seen on YouTube.
Restored by the Fords
Restored by the Fords follows siblings Leanne and Steve Ford as they restore historic homes in southwestern Pennsylvania. The show first aired in 2016 and a third season is said to be in production. Reruns can also be seen from time to time on the channel.
Interestingly, it appears that the Fords are currently casting a new show for the network called Back in the Burgh, though no dates have been listed for when that show might premiere.
The show was set in the fictional community of Corinth, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philly. The show was known for its many unusual storylines, which included a serial killer that killed most of the show’s main characters as its run was ending.
The show does not appear to be streaming anywhere or available for purchase, but clips and some full episodes can be seen on YouTube.
Do you have a favorite TV show set in Pennsylvania that we didn’t include here? Let us know in the comments below.