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Top 5 TV Shows Set in L.A. | See the City on the Small Screen

Picture of Kaitlin Cassidy
Kaitlin Cassidy
Updated: 17 October 2016
Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood so it seems only fitting that it plays a backdrop in several television shows. Often Los Angeles is more than just a location but a vibrant supporting character. The city is known for its glitz, grits, and girls. Below is a list of five TV shows that emphasize the city of Los Angeles in their storytelling.

CHiPs

Los Angeles recently topped the USA Today List of worst cities for traffic in the USA, so with most Angelenos spending several hours per day in their car it is not surprising Hollywood would get inspiration for a show while driving. CHiPs aired on NBC from 1977-1983 with a total of 139 episodes and one TV movie. The show followed two California Highway Patrol officers as they patrolled the Los Angeles freeways. They rode their motorcycles on the 101 freeway, throughout Hollywood, the Valley, and everywhere in between. The shows episodes ranged from drama to comedy and launched Erik Estrada’s career. Watch CHiPs on Amazon.com.

Baywatch

Los Angeles is known for its beaches, and Baywatch capitalized on the beautiful, fit lifeguards at Malibu Beach. David Hasselhoff was already a household name from his show Knight Rider, but Baywatch launched him as a super star internationally. The show usually centered around the lifeguards while on duty, their personal lives, and rescues. Baywatch aired for over a decade and first premiered on NBC. The show became a pop culture phenomenon and iconic for the Baywatch bathing suit. (There was even a Baywatch Barbie.) Baywatch went on to spawn spin-offs and movies. The complete DVD series is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Beverly Hills, 90210

Aaron Spelling’s glossy teen drama aired on Fox for a decade. The backdrop was the ultra-rich, mansion-lined Beverly Hills, which is located in the center of Los Angeles.The teens frequented the famed Rodeo Drive and trendy stores like Fred Segal. Life was hard for the group as they struggled with high school, relationships, and parents. The show catapulted the careers of Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, and Ian Ziering and produced the spin-off Melrose Place (1992-1999). In 2008 The CW revamped Beverly Hills, 90210 and simply titled it 90210. Beverly Hills, 90210’s first season is available on Amazon.

Entourage

Ari Gold was king, and Los Angeles was his kingdom. During its eight-season run Entourage featured various Los Angeles hotspots and landmarks like Runyon Canyon, The Roosevelt Hotel, Canter’s Deli, and Chateau Marmont. For the guys of Entourage, Los Angeles was their playground, and the show utilized LA locations to build their world. Entourage aired from 2004 to 2011. The boys will be back but this time on the silver screen in their first feature, which will be released this summer. You can currently catch episodes of Entourage with HBO GO.

NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: Los Angeles is the first spin-off from the successful NCIS franchise on CBS. The procedural drama follows two special agents as they work together to solve criminal investigations in Los Angeles, spanning from downtown LA to trendy hotspots like The W Hotel in Hollywood. The show is in its sixth season and stars Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J. You can catch current episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles Monday nights on CBS or on CBS.com.