TVThis fall, ABC’s Once Upon a Time is sort of rebooting the series with one storyline that takes place in Seattle. This got me thinking about how many other TV series have been set in the rainy city. The answer may surprise you. However, what might not surprise you is how many of the following shows were not actually filmed in Seattle outside of a few exterior shots.
The 4400 (2004-2007)
Filmed in Vancouver, B.C., this show featured a group of 4400 people who were dumped from the sky in the foothills near Mount Rainer
Almost Home (1993)
Originally known as The Torkelsons, this sitcom was originally based in Oklahoma, but for the second season, the show was retooled and renamed, Almost Home where the family moved to Seattle.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force – various other names (2000-2015)
This animated TV series for Adult Swim featuring anthropomorphic fast food items (Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad) the series initially took place in South New Jersey, but in 2011, the location was changed to Seattle. Then, the next year, the setting was called Seattle, New Jersey which just about makes as much sense as this show did.
NBC Comedy that starred Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston as an empty-nest couple whose adult daughters move back in their Seattle-area home.
Dark Angel (2000-2002)
Created by James Cameron, this sci-fi series starring Jessica Alba took place in 2019 post-apocalyptic Seattle.
Davis Rules (1991-1992)
Sitcom starring Randy Quaid, Jonathan Winters and (as of 1992) Bonnie Hunt where a widowed elementary school principal raised his three boys with the help of his father. A modern day My Three Sons based near Seattle.
Dead Like Me (2003-2004)
Showtime’s comedy/drama/fantasy starring Mandy Patinkin as the Grim Reaper roaming around Seattle.
Dirk Gently Holistic Detective (2016-present)
Airing on BBC America and starring Max Landis and Elijah Wood, this show is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Douglas Adams taking place after the events in the book. Landis plays the detective while Elijah plays the sidekick.
Domestic Life (1984)
Sitcom created by Steven Martin and Martin Mull, Mull played a Seattle TV commentator where jokes about the rain and dark winters were abundant.
Perhaps the best of the list, Fraisier Craine (Kelsey Grammer) played a radio psychologist based in Seattle and got a lot of the nuances of the city correct even if some the town’s names were not. One episode was actually filmed in Seattle!
The Fugitive (2000-2001)
A remake of the older 1960s show starred Tim Daly as Dr. Kimble who was wrongly accused of killing his wife. Though the show was set and filmed in various locations of the country, many of the episodes were actually filmed in the greater Seattle area.
Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)
ABC’s medical marvel of a soap-opera set in the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. Created by Shonda Rhimes and starring Ellen Pompeo (among many others over the years), a few episodes have actually been filmed in town.
Harry and the Hendersons (1991-1993)
Based on the movie of the same name about the Henderson family who “adopted” Big Foot and brought him home.
Here Come the Brides (1968-1970)
The comedy western took place in Seattle during the 1860s about the efforts to bring “marriageable” women from the east coast to live in Seattle.
Nickelodeon’s sitcom starring Miranda Cosgrove as teen Carly Shay who lived with her older brother and guardian and created her own web TV series. Though Carly lived in Seattle, even the exterior shots were filmed in Los Angeles.
The creepy crime/horror/comedy based on a comic book of the same name is about a Seattle medical resident who turns into a zombie and then eats part of victims at the King County Morgue to help solve crimes.
John Doe (2002-2003)
This FOX show starred Dominic Purcell as a man who wakes up naked on an island near the coast of Seattle with no knowledge of who he is or where he came from and since the show was cancelled after just one season, audiences still don’t know.
The Killing (2011-2014)
Based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen (The Crime), The Killing took place in Seattle, but like many other series, was filmed in Vancouver B.C.
Kyle XY (2006-2009)
Sounding a lot like John Doe, Matt Dallas played a teen boy who woke up naked in the middle of a forest outside of Seattle.
Life as We Know It (2004-2005)
Set at Woodrow Wilson High School in Seattle was a teen drama series based on the novel, Doing It, by Melvin Burgess.
Medicine Ball (1995)
Short-lived series about medical interns training at a Seattle hospital. Sound familiar?
Created by Chris Carter of The X-Files fame, this similar-sounding show followed FBI agent Frank Black, who can see inside the minds of criminals, in and around Seattle.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1996)
Scott Bakula and Maria Bello starred as a spy couple in a short that was not only set in Seattle but filmed there too!
No Tomorrow (2016-2017)
A romantic comedy based on a Brazilian series starred Joshua Sasse and Tori Anderson as a mix-matched couple trying out a romantic relationship set in Seattle.
Odd comedy about a man who finds out that his parents once made a deal with the devil that their son would help the devil track down souls who have escaped hell. Apparently, Seattle housed a lot of these souls.
Second Chance (2016)
Failed TV series that was inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a corrupt 75-year-old Jimmy Pritchard, a King County Sheriff is forced to retire, is murdered and then brought back to life in the body of a much younger man.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991 and 2017)
David Lynch’s cult classic TV series was based in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, but was filmed in North Bend, Snoqualmie, Everett and other locations near Seattle.
Under One Roof (1995)
Starring James Earl Jones, Joe Morton and Vanessa Bell Calloway, this drama featured three generations of African-Americans living “under one roof” in Seattle.
This dark comedy starring Mary-Louise Parker as a mother who turns to selling marijuana to support her family. The show began with the family located in Agrestic, California, but in seasons four and five, the family relocated to Seattle.