Which TV shows take place in Arizona and are considered the best?

Fact Checked by Young Ruth

Although there are not many TV series set in Arizona, some of the highest-rated shows filmed in the state have drawn in top celebrities.

Yengols.com took a break from covering Arizona sports betting to delve into television series set in Arizona as listed on Wikipedia. They conducted an in-depth analysis of IMDb ratings, Rotten Tomatoes Audience scores, Rotten Tomatoes Critic scores, and Academy recognition to create a weighted scoring system for their study.

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Top TV Shows Taking Place in Arizona

Overall RankShowTotal Points
1The Good Place101.3
2The Last Man on Earth85.3
T3The Sheriff of Cochise79
T3The High Chaparral79
T5Boots and Saddles73
T5Annie Oakley73
6Hey Dude72
7The Deputy69
8The New Dick Van Dyke Show66

Top Two Partially From Arizona

NBC’s “The Good Place,” a show set in the afterlife, was named the top show featuring scenes in Arizona. The show designates Arizona as part of its setting because the protagonist, Eleanor Shellstrop, is a saleswoman from Phoenix who has died.

In the TV series “The Good Place,” Kristen Bell’s character sets out on a quest to prove her deservingness of a spot in the afterlife. The show, which aired from 2016 to 2020, consists of four seasons and a total of 53 episodes, showcasing a talented ensemble cast that includes Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, D’Arcy Carden, and others.

The tie to Arizona in the second-ranked show is that the main character in “The Last Man on Earth” is from Tucson. Will Forte plays the character, who starts off in Tucson in the first few episodes of the series, which ran for four seasons and 67 episodes from 2015 to 2018. As the story progresses, it moves to California and Mexico, introducing more characters and showing that Phil Miller is not actually the last man on Earth.

Luckily for local sports fans, Arizona betting apps have a more robust presence in the state than the popular TV programs.

Numerous Arizona events feature a western theme.

Both of the third place shows have a clear connection to Arizona. “The Sheriff of Cochise” was a police crime drama set in Cochise County, Arizona. It ran for two seasons from 1956 to 1958, with a total of 79 episodes. The show starred John Bromfield as Frank Morgan, a lawman tackling modern-day crimes against a western backdrop.

From 1958 to 1960, the show transitioned into “U.S. Marshal” as the Sheriff was promoted to U.S. Marshal for Arizona. After the show, Bromfield decided to retire from acting and become a commercial fisherman. The spinoff series was directed by a young Robert Altman in 15 episodes. Altman went on to receive five Academy Award nominations for best director, starting with the iconic film “M.A.S.H.,” which later inspired a popular TV series.

Coming in at a tie for third place is “The High Chaparral,” a show set in the 1870s featuring Leif Erickson as rancher “Big John” Cannon. The series ran for four seasons from 1967 to 1971, with a total of 98 episodes. It is the first of four American Western-themed shows on the list and is set in the Southern Arizona Territory near the Mexico border. The show revolves around Big John’s ranch, also named “The High Chaparral,” where he faces off against a hostile Apache tribe and forges alliances by marrying the daughter of a Mexican rancher to help with their ranching challenges.

Tied at number 6 on the list of American Westerns are “Boots and Saddles” and “Annie Oakley”, with “The Deputy” following at number 9. “Boots and Saddles” is based in the fictional Fort Lowell near Tucson, focusing on the U.S. Cavalry and airing for one season in 1957-58. Surprisingly, the show was filmed in Utah.

Gene Autry produced “Annie Oakley,” starring Gail Davis, which aired for three seasons from 1954 to 1957, comprising a total of 81 episodes. Set in the fictional town of Diablo, Arizona.

In the acclaimed series “The Deputy,” Henry Fonda took on the role of Chief Marshal Simon Fry in the Arizona Territory, with Alan Case playing the deputy. The show ran from 1959 to 1961.

“The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” in which Van Dyke portrayed a talk show host in Phoenix, was ranked 10th in the ratings. Hope Lange portrayed his wife in the series, which aired from 1971 to 1974. The original “Dick Van Dyke Show,” based in New York City and starring Mary Tyler Moore as his wife, ran from 1961 to 1966.


Roberts Usher

Roberts Usher has built a successful career as a sports journalist over the last 30 years, working for esteemed publications in Texas, Arkansas, and New York including the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, and Newsday. Most recently, he spent eight years overseeing the Student Media Department at Texas A&M University.

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