What Are The Best TV Shows Set In North Carolina?
North Carolina is known for its history, culture, stunning landscapes and interesting people. With so much going on, including North Carolina sports betting, it’s no wonder the state has featured in dozens of TV series over the years — but which one is the best?
We decided to find out.
Here at BetCarolina.com, not only do we provide unparalleled reporting on sports betting across the state, but also cover interesting topics related to the movies, television and the entertainment industry across the state. Today we’re looking at the best TV shows set in North Carolina.
But because the “best” is a subjective, we developed a ranking system, utilizing various data points, to come up with a top 10 list. This meant taking all of the series cited on Wikipedia’s “Television Shows set in North Carolina” page, and scoring them based on a combination of IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score, Rotten Tomatoes Critic score, and award recognition.
So without further ado, here are the best TV shows set in North Carolina.
Best TV Shows Set in North Carolina
As Gomer Pyle would say … Well, Golll-ly! Turns out that by our numbers “The Andy Griffith Show” is the best TV series set in North Carolina.
Airing on CBS from 1960 to 1968, the wholesome sitcom starred comedian Andy Griffith as a sheriff in the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina. Other cast-members include Deputy Barney Fife, as played by the beloved comedian Don Knotts, Aunt Bee, and of course Andy’s son Opie —portrayed by a young Ron Howard, years before his role on “Happy Days” and decades before he would become an Oscar winning director.
Although Mayberry may be a fictional location, it’s largely inspired by the town of Mount Airy — Andy Griffith’s hometown. Today you can travel to Mount Airy to visit the Andy Griffith Museum or the Andy Griffith Playhouse theatre.
You can even book a night in Andy Griffith’s childhood home!
No. 2 May Shock You
No. 2 on our list is “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” a satirical send-up of Martha Stewart-esque home lifestyle shows that aired on TruTV for three seasons from 2017-2020.
The Raleigh-born Sedaris set the show in her home-state as a tribute to the homemaking series she grew up watching on local television.
While it may not have reached a large audience, ultimately getting cancelled in 2021, Sedaris’ surrealist look at homemaking was lauded by critics. It was a hit among fellow-celebs as well, landing big name guest appearances from the likes of Paul Giamatti, Neil Patrick Harris and Susan Sarandon.
Kenny Powers Enters The Picture
Another comedy series checks in at No. 3, “Eastbound & Down.” The HBO show about Kenny Powers, a washed up, foul mouthed minor league pitcher played by Danny McBride, ran between 2009-2013.
While the show bounced around to different locations throughout its four season run, the first season follows Kenny Powers’ fall from grace as he returns to Shelby, N.C., to live with his brother and teach gym at his old middle school.
“The Carmichael Show,” which ranks as the fourth best North Carolina-set series, was a multi-cam sitcom created by and starring comedian Jerrod Carmichael, based on his family-life and set in Charlotte.
The series ran for three seasons, receiving warm reviews, but failing to find much of an audience. Nevertheless, Carmichael’s star has continued to rise. In 2022, he won an Emmy for his comedy special “Rothaniel.” And earlier this year he hosted the 80th Annual Golden Globes.
Like “The Carmichael Show,” Nos. 5 and 6 on our list are also set in Charlotte and feature predominantly African-American casts.
“My Brother and Me” is a Nickelodon kids sitcom that ran for one season in the early-90s, and followed two brothers facing the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Meanwhile “Delilah,” which debuted in 2021 — and was filmed on location in Charlotte — is about a determined lawyer motivated by justice over money. The show only ran for eight episodes before being cancelled by the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Season six of the anthology series “American Horror Story” lands at No. 7 on our list. Subtitled “Roanoke,” the 10 episode season surrounds the mystery of the 16th century colonization of Roanoke Island by the English, who infamously vanished without a trace.
Rounding Out The Top 10
The eighth best North Carolina series is “One Big Happy Family,” a reality TV show that aired on TLC in the early-2010s. The dismissive title refers to the big happy Coles family and their efforts to lose weight, which is the central premise of the show. The show was pulled halfway through its second season.
The final two titles on our top 10 list feature stories about North Carolina teens — albeit from two different eras. Millennials will remember “One Tree Hill” and the melodramatic misadventures of half-brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott — portrayed by Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty, respectively.
Meanwhile, Gen Z has fallen for Netflix’s “Outer Banks,” about upper-class and working-class teenagers hunting for love and lost treasure. Set in the Outer Banks region along the North Carolina shoreline, the series was just picked up for a fourth season.
Stick with BetCarolina.com for more fun pieces like this ahead of NC sports betting apps launching early next year.