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More and more shows are leaving L.A. and New York behind. See our favorites

1 of 15 Skip Bolen/CBS

NCIS: New Orleans

Location: New Orleans (duh) On the latest iteration of NCIS, The Big Easy will play as big a role as any of the characters in the new office, according to executive producer Gary Glasberg. From the steamy swamps to the revelry on Bourbon Street, the city's vibrant culture — embodied by music, food and of course, drinks — will provide the perfect backdrop for Scott Bakula & Co. to let the good times roll. Fortunately, TV is increasingly featuring locales that aren't New York or Los Angeles. Click ahead to check out more of our favorites.
2 of 15 Ursula Coyote/AMC

Breaking Bad

Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Breaking Bad was originally set in California until production company Sony TV suggested Albuquerque because of a film tax break. The city's stark, beautiful desert landscape, expansive skies, border relations, and convergence of old and contemporary not only gave us a refreshing aesthetic and visuals, but provided the backbone for what the drama truly is: a modern-day Western. An outlaw with something to prove, testing his mettle, engaging in death-stare standoffs; a good ol' train robbery; and a bloodbath shootout — it can only happen in the desert, where you can remember your name: Heisenberg.
3 of 15 Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead

Location: Atlanta and rural Northern Georgia Zombies are terrifying in any location, but there's something about The Walking Dead's rural setting that amplifies the horror. Perhaps it's that you'd expect to see huge packs of brain-craving undead monsters in an Atlanta department store, but when farmhouses and the idyllic countryside can instantly become feasting grounds for zombies, what can you do? Just like the sprawling Southern landscape, the horrors of the apocalypse never seem to end.
4 of 15 Tina Rowden/SundanceTV


Location: Paulie, Ga. If Daniel Holden was from anywhere but Paulie, his entire life might have taken a different path. The tight-knit conservative community added extra pressure for law enforcement to get a conviction for Hanna's murder all those years ago, resulting in Daniel's false confession and ultimate conviction. And now that he's out, Daniel hasn't received an ounce of that famed Southern hospitality, especially whenever he accidentally runs into Hanna's brother or one of the men who helped put him away. Yet despite all the trouble, Daniel still manages to find the beauty in the small town where time seems to have slowed down.
5 of 15 Prashant Gupta/FX


Location: Harlan County, Ky. While it's easy to paint many of the crooks on FX's Southern-fried drama series as simple-minded bumpkins, the world the show has created in the hills of Kentucky is extremely complex. While hero Raylan Givens tries to spend his days in the more cosmopolitan city of Lexington, his job (and his childhood memories) keep bringing him back to the holler. That's because, despite the simpler way of life, Harlan County is a brilliantly woven tapestry of characters who, whether for good or for ill, respect the sacred bond they share in this inviting (if dangerous) close-knit community.
6 of 15 Skip Bolen/The CW

The Originals

Location: New Orleans When you have a family that's lived for centuries and all over the world, you have your pick of settings. For The Originals creator Julie Plec, New Orleans and its magical, mysterious, dark and edgy qualities fit perfectly with the show's tone. Plec also liked that the French Quarter, with its rich and colorful history, has a small-town vibe, but is also a playground for indulgence — not unlike how vampires live their lives.
7 of 15 HBO/Kobal Collection

Boardwalk Empire

Location: Atlantic City, N.J. Although the HBO drama has spread its story to Chicago, Florida and, this season, Cuba, it all began on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, where wheeler-dealer politician Nucky Thompson used his sway to sell and ship illegal liquor during Prohibition. The pre-Vegas sin city is the perfect backdrop for this world of corruption and murder. And just as Nucky is a survivor, the lights on the boardwalk always seem to twinkle no matter how dark things may get.
8 of 15 Joseph Lederer/A&E

Bates Motel

Location: White Pine Bay, Ore. Just like the loving relationship between mother and son Norma and Norman Bates, not everything in this bucolic town is as it seems. The gloomy Pacific Northwest location casts an appropriate pall over this dark tale, which, like the town, gets more and more twisted the further it is explored. But the setting also provides a sense of isolation from the rest of the world that, as anyone who knows how Psycho ends can tell you, could make you go "a little mad sometimes."
9 of 15 Ursula Coyote/A&E


Location: Absaroka County, Wyo. The fictional county in Wyoming may exist in modern day, but it evokes the classic Westerns of yesteryear with its wide vistas and small-town vibe. Because of this, each of the crimes that hit the town feels more personal and intimate, so Absaroka County must put its trust in Sheriff Walt Longmire, who is as honorable as he is laconic. The setting and the lawman are inextricably linked, which is why it's so important that Longmire continues to win reelection.
10 of 15 Blake Tyers/AMC

Halt and Catch Fire

Location: Austin, Texas The West was always the frontier, so this land of cowboys is the perfect setting for a show about a group of ambitions computer designers and programmers hoping to blaze a new trail in technology. Known as the "Silicon Prairie," Halt's setting is less refined than Silicon Valley and therefore breeds a brand of scrappy misfits who must rely on each other more than the competitors to create a superior product. Plus: On a more practical level, you couldn't have your lead symbolically run over an armadillo if the show were set in L.A.
11 of 15 Robert Voets/CBS

The Mentalist

Location: Austin, Texas Don't mess with Texas! Midway through its sixth season, The Mentalist underwent a reboot that not only moved the story ahead two years, but also shifted Patrick Jane's location from Sacramento to Austin. Though the show only shoots minimally in the Texas capital, the move provided a nice jumping-off point for Jane to start his post-Red John life (after that beach detour). And in Season 7, maybe it will be a nice locale for him and Lisbon to settle down!
12 of 15 Comedy Central

South Park

Location: South Park, Colo. South Park may be a fictional mountain town in Colorado, but it's supposedly situated near Denver. This placement in the real world only serves as a jumping-off point for the series' constant lampooning of pop culture. South Park's mutable fantasy world provides the canvas for a semi-perpetual winter, a population of incompetent adults and enterprising children, and where a sentient piece of poop restores the spirit of Christmas. Anything is possible in South Park, and nothing — and no one — is safe from the caustic wit of creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
13 of 15 Steve Jennings/NBC

Parks & Recreation

Location: Pawnee, Ind. Leslie Knope didn't name her book Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America for nothing! It may be just a fictional Indiana enclave, but Pawnee feels pretty darn real in the hearts of devoted Parks fans. Since the show's 2009 launch, Pawnee has expanded from simply an interchangeable backdrop to the beloved home of the Harvest Festival, JJ's Diner, Sweetums Candy and most importantly, the late, great Li'l Sebastian. Sure, Pawnee isn't perfect — after all, the town was founded when a local reverend drove out the Native American tribe already living on the land — but do you know any other town whose unofficial mascot is a tiny horse?! We didn't think so.
14 of 15 Mark Levine/ABC


Location: Nashville What better setting for a soapy drama about the on- and offstage lives of country singer/songwriters than Music City itself? Let's face it, Nashville just wouldn't be the same if it were, say, Louisville. Aside from the show's use of the actual Bluebird Café as a setting for several musical performances, the city's biggest contribution is the music itself: Most of the original songs are penned by local musicians.
15 of 15 CBS

Hawaii Five-0

Location: Honolulu Those amazing beach shots aren't CGI — like its predecessor, Hawaii Five-0 is shot on location on the island of Oahu. The tropical setting provides the perfect escapist backdrop for some of the craziest car chases and explosions on television. Plus: It offers a nice respite from the stuffy corporate offices in which most other police procedurals take place.