Thursday, December 16, 2004

Geographical Diversity on Network TV

Pop Quiz: Name as many TV shows as you can that were set in your state.

I live in Georgia. Despite being home to Atlanta, a fairly major metropolis and home to the '96 Olympics, I can name less than half a dozen shows that have ever been set here. Designing Women, The Dukes of Hazzard, Matlock, Savannah, and Profiler. According to TV Acres, there have only been 13 network shows set here since the 1950s.

I've felt for some time that my part of the country gets slighted when it comes to TV shows. Even though most shows are shot on soundstages, which should allow the writers to set their shows virtually anywhere, the networks usually stick with shows set in big cities on the Northeast and West coasts.

So for fun (yes, I have a perverse sense of "fun"), I did a breakdown of this fall's network programming. And here are my initial findings. Not surprisingly, the networks love NYC and LA, but seem a little less fond of the "flyover states." I think the results for Texas alone provide a fair bit of insight into the mentality of Hollywood.


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