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14 TV Shows Set In New York And How To Watch Them

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld
(Image credit: NBC)

Ah, New York City, the home of the best pizza, the rudest people, and so much to see. How would I know this? I’m from the state itself, and visited NYC practically every weekend to see family. You just gotta love it. And apparently, Hollywood does as well, as there are plenty of awesome TV shows that are set in the city we all know and love. 

From older comedies like Seinfeld to newer additions like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there are plenty of TV shows set in New York City. Here are some of the best that are streaming right now. 

Jerry Seinfeld as the eponymous character in Seinfeld screenshot

(Image credit: NBC)

Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Probably one of the most classic comedies that take place in the city is Seinfeld, a legendary show starring Jerry Seinfeld that follows a gang of close friends in their thirties who are trying to live their everyday lives in the late eighties and nineties, with that classic setting of New York City behind them. 

Seinfeld is a classic sitcom for a reason. Not only is the Seinfeld cast filled to the brim with talent, but the show is so funny. Sure, there are some jokes that probably wouldn’t do well in today’s humor, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s practically the dictionary definition for what a sitcom should be.

Stream Seinfeld on Netflix.

Ricky and Lucy in I Love Lucy.

(Image credit: CBS)

I Love Lucy (1951-1957)

Take a trip back to one of the first TV hits ever. I Love Lucy follows the titular character, Lucy, and her daily life with her husband, Ricky, as they yearned for more in their lives together in the city of New York back in the 1950s, a very different time. 

I Love Lucy is probably one of the most iconic shows of all time, which means of course it would take place in one of the most iconic cities of all time. What makes this show even more special is that Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, played the couple, creating fun chemistry and hilarious moments that make me laugh every time I watch it. 

Stream I Love Lucy on Paramount Plus.

Rachel Brosnahan on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-Present)

This Amazon original is funny in all the right places. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, taking place in NYC in the 1950s, follows Miriam “Midge” Maisel, whose typical life is turned upside down when her husband leaves her. Now, she decides to do something not many other women have done before - stand-up comedy, something very uncommon for a woman in NYC at that time. 

Having won several awards, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the perfect next binge for you, especially with another season coming out quite soon. The cast is perfect, the jokes hilarious, the story is heartwarming mixed in with empowerment about women wanting to live their own lives and follow their own dreams. Super good. 

Stream The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime.

Chris Noth in Law and Order.

(Image credit: NBC)

Law And Order (1990-Present)

I’d be concerned if you haven’t heard of Law & Order. This classic police procedural taking place in NYC is exactly as you would expect - following the law and order of dealing with a crime, oftentimes a big one like murder, showing how not all cases are black and white, and how you can find the strangest people within New York City. 

I’m pretty sure that every celebrity in existence now has had at least one guest spot on Law & Order, and that’s honestly not that surprising considering it’s been around for thirty-one years, with several spinoffs taking place in many other cities and units of the law. However, the original will always be the best, in my opinion. 

Stream Law and Order on Peacock.

The Friends cast

(Image credit: NBC)

Friends (1994-2004)

They’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. This iconic sitcom from NBC, Friends, is all about a friend group in New York City, living their daily lives through jobs, relationships, and huge life changes, while the background of the craziness of the city guides them through adulthood, mixed in with some hilarious moments of comedy. 

Friends has become one of the most known shows of all time, and the Friends cast has gone on to do amazing things after their time on the show, like Jennifer Aniston or Courteney Cox. The show was so popular it even warranted a reunion special on HBO Max in 2021, years after it ended, so you know that people truly do love this show. 

Stream Friends on HBO Max.

How I Met Your Mother cast

(Image credit: CBS)

How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

In this classic comedy, How I Met Your Mother tells the story of a man who is recapping to his children how they met their mother, and what the journey was to get to her while also having crazy adventures with his best friends in New York City, using the town to their full advantage. 

My personal favorite character from this show is, of course, Barney Stinson. You can’t beat his hilarious jokes. But the How I Met Your Mother cast is full of stars and talent, and the story itself is super great - until the finale, but we don’t need to talk about that. The rest of the show is so worth the watch. And, with a new spinoff on Hulu that premiered in January 2022, now’s the perfect time to see the original. 

Stream How I Met Your Mother on Hulu.

Jon Hamm in Mad Men.

(Image credit: AMC)

Mad Men (2007-2015)

Taking place in the 1960s in New York City, Mad Men's title is a play on the idea of the major advertising companies that were on Madison avenue in NYC, hence the term, “Mad Men.” The series mainly follows Don Draper, one of the executives at an advertising agency, and someone who has plenty of behind the scenes issues in his life. 

Mad Men was such a gem of a show while it was on the air. From the brilliance of the Mad Men cast to the story that it gave to the character arcs that followed, it was perfect from start to finish. And the amount of stars that emerged from this show, like Elisabeth Moss or Alison Brie, is amazing. 

Stream Mad Men on Amazon Prime.

Tina Fey on 30 Rock

(Image credit: NBC)

30 Rock (2006-2013)

Another comedy on this list that takes place in New York City is 30 Rock. This comedy created by Tina Fey (and starring Tina Fey) takes place in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the home of NBC in New York City, detailing the lives of the workers of a fictional sketch show and the constant troubles they have to face, from cocky stars to hard to work with boss’. 

I sort of consider 30 Rock to be the NYC-based version of The Office, as it has a similar tone as the popular work-place comedy, but has much more drama with its cast and characters - as expected, since they're all TV stars and not paper company workers. The whole entire show is so perfect, with plenty of hilarious moments and really cool guest stars that will have you pointing at the screen in surprise. 

The 30 Rock cast is also insanely talented as well, with big names like Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis and more topping the list, all of which have gone on to succeed more in their own ways. 

Stream 30 Rock on Hulu. 

Ben Sinclair in High Maintenance.

(Image credit: Vimeo/HBO)

High Maintenance (2012-2020)

This anthology series is truly outstanding. High Maintenance takes place in the borough of Brooklyn in NYC, following “The Guy,” a man whose real name is unknown and delivers marijuana to clients, all of which are different and strange in their own ways - but it's NYC, so of course you're going to run into some interesting people.

A fun fact about this series is that it actually started out as a Vimeo webseries, before it became so popular HBO picked it up for a full series. And honestly, I can see why. The great comedy paired with the really cool cinematography make for a truly entertaining show. I always love when shows tend to focus on the other boroughs rather than just Manhattan itself, so this show is always a win in my book.

Stream High Maintenance on HBO Max.

Kieran Culkin on Succession

(Image credit: HBO)

Succession (2018-Present)

One of the newer shows on this list, Succession centers around the Roy family, the owners of a huge media and entertainment conglomerate, located in NYC, where their business thrives. But when their patriarch suddenly comes down with an illness that will surely take his life, it’s a competition to see who is going to inherit the empire. 

Succession is a brilliant show. Three seasons in and somehow, they still find a way for me to keep watching and seeing how exactly this family will react. You want to talk about dysfunctional families, this is the go-to. This is one of those shows where I don’t want to reveal much, and with a fourth season already on the way, now’s the perfect time to binge it. 

Stream Succession on HBO Max.

Blake Lively in Gossip Girl

(Image credit: The CW)

Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

Ever wonder how the 1% spend their lives when they’re in high school in NYC? That’s what Gossip Girl explores. This popular CW drama series mainly follows Serena Van der Woodsen, a seemingly regular girl with a rich family on the Upper East Side of New York City, but has secrets from her past that, when exposed, will change her whole life. 

I have to be honest - for years, I stayed away from this show because I always heard about the insane amount of drama and never believed it worth watching, but after binging it for the first time, I can happily say that this show is worth the hype and more. While I’m not the biggest fan of the reboot they brought to HBO Max in 2021, the original series is still up there, and the Gossip Girl cast brings it in every episode, creating astoundingly fun drama about the rich residents of the Upper East Side. 

Stream Gossip Girl on HBO Max.

The main cast of Sex and the City.

(Image credit: HBO)

Sex And The City (1998-2004)

Another famous comedy drama on this list, Sex and the City follows another group of friends in New York City, but this time, a group of women in their thirties (and one in her forties) who are trying to get a grasp on their lives and their ever-changing roles and relationships, while still remaining close friends in the crazy city that they have come to love.

Sex and the City is iconic for many reasons. The relationships are steamy, the drama intense, the cast talented - and those are just a few of the staples of this fun show. With the sequel series that premiered on HBO Max in 2021, I think the original is worth the watch. 

Stream Sex and the City on HBO Max.

Rami Malek in Mr. Robot.

(Image credit: USA Network)

Mr. Robot (2015-2019)

The last full drama on this list, Mr. Robot is a brilliant show set in NYC, following Elliot. By day, he seems like a normal guy, working as an engineer in cyber-security that is located in New York City, but by night he uses his incredible mind to hack into databases, and this talent of his is ultimately what gets him in trouble with the bad folk of the city.

Starring Rami Malek as Elliot, Mr. Robot is an incredibly tense show with so much to love about it. From the moment I watched the first episode, I was hooked, both by Malek’s perfect performance and a storyline that was impossible to look away from. Truly, this is one of the best dramas out there, and the way it concluded was amazing. Watch it if you haven’t. 

Stream Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime.

Andy Samberg in Brooklyn 99.

(Image credit: Fox/NBC)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021)

Last but not least, we have Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This comedy-drama mixed in with police procedural stars Andy Samberg and follows the daily life of Detective Jake Peralta, working at a fictional police station in Brooklyn, NYC, and his normal everyday interactions with his co-workers, often butting heads with his boss who doesn’t agree with his jokes or his carefree point of view at life and his job.

The show came to an end in 2021 after eight seasons, and I can’t tell you how sad I felt when it did end. There’s just something so sweet about the Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast. The friendships and relationships between these characters felt real and the story that revolved around it was perfect as well, mixing in with the wonderful backdrop of NYC. You just have to love it. 

Stream Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu.

There’s probably a million more TV shows that I could have included on this list, but to me, these have always been some of the best. And maybe now, you might have found a new show to watch. Happy binging! 

Alexandra Ramos
Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!