Ranking The 10 Best Television Shows Set In Michigan
Sometimes it seems every show on television is set in either New York or California – but there have been plenty of great series set across the rest of America (even if they aren’t necessarily filmed there).
So as part of our ongoing coverage of entertainment and pop culture in the state, BetMichigan.com – your source for the best Michigan online casinos information – decided to rate the best TV shows set in Michigan.
To begin, we considered all the television series that are listed on Wikipedia as being set in Michigan. Then we created a scoring system based on IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score, Rotten Tomatoes Critic score and awards recognition.
So, what are the best TV shows set in Michigan?
Best TV Shows Set in Michigan
Our Winner Has More Power
According to our scoring system, “Home Improvement” is the best TV show set in Michigan.
The ABC sitcom debuted in fall 1991 – way before Michigan mobile gambling apps were legal and regulated – and lasted throughout most of the 1990s. The show was inspired by the stand-up routine of its star, Tim Allen.
In the show, Allen plays Tim Taylor, a family man and star of “Tool Time,” a fictional home improvement show he hosts alongside his best-friend Al Borland. Though beloved among its fans, “Home Improvement” never won a Primetime Emmy throughout its run of 204 episodes in eight seasons. Of its 7 total Emmy nominations, only one belongs to Tim Allen.
Nevertheless, the Detroit-set series is well remembered locally for its frequent references to the Detroit area —despite being shot in Burbank, California. Notably, Tim Taylor is a die-hard Detroit sports fan, frequently donning shirts, sweaters, and jerseys bearing the logos of local franchises. Detroit’s major sports teams commonly influenced plot lines as well. In one memorable episode, Tim accidentally causes a blackout inside of the old Pontiac Silverdome during the annual Thanksgiving Day Lions game.
This year, the Lions are NFC North favorites among oddsmakers at MI sports betting apps.
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‘Weeds’ Head Up Best Of The Rest
“Weeds” is the second TV show set in Detroit – however, the first three seasons of the critically acclaimed Showtime series are set in California’s San Fernando Valley. The show is about a drug-dealing widower and single mother Nancy Botwin, played by Mary-Louise Parker. Subsequent seasons find the Botwins bouncing around America on the run from the law — which brings them to Nancy’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan.
The third choice on our list is an Adult Swim comedy, “Joe Pera Talks with You,” starring comedian Joe Pera, who plays a choir teacher in the Upper Peninsula. Each episode of the mockumentary-style series offers a humorous take on a new subject, like local rocks and minerals or dancing.
“The OA” at No. 4 was a short-lived science fiction series on Netflix. Originally intended to have a five-season arc, the series follows the mysterious disappearance of a young blind woman from Michigan, whose subsequent re-appearance coincides with her vision also returning. Despite critical acclaim, Netflix cancelled the show after two seasons, ending the series of a huge cliffhanger. Fans were hugely disappointed. One even started a Change.org petition.
Other notable Michigan-set series include “American Horror Story: Cult” at No. 6. The seventh season of the long running anthology series follows a murderous cult that springs up in Michigan following Donald Trump’s election as President in 2016.
“Martin,” the long-running sitcom based on the work of a stand-up comedian “Martin,” also makes our list at No. 8. Co-created and starring Martin Lawrence, the titular stand-up plays a Detroit-area radio DJ. “Martin” ran for five seasons on Fox from 1992-1997.
In 1994, as “Home Improvement” and “Martin” were representing Motor City on the small screen, another Detroit-set sitcom, “Sister, Sister,” debuted as part of ABC’s “TGIF” Friday night lineup. The show starred real-life twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry.
The final spot on our list belongs to “Charmed,” a reboot series that ran from 2019-22 on the CW. The show was originally set in the fictional town of Hilltowne, Michigan. It was a reimagining of the original “Charmed” that ran from 1998 to 2006 on the WB Network and starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan – that version was set in San Francisco.
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