50 best television shows set across the United States

43 of 52

Tennessee: Nashville

The premise: Connie Britton plays mega country music star, Rayna, with a lingering and dysfunctional romantic history with the lead guitarist in her band, Deacon. The show also traces the varying careers of other folks in her orbit, including a young, spoiled ingenue named Juliett.

The first few seasons produced a few good songs and some decent melodrama. Once Britton and her hair exited the show, it lost its luster.

The setting: Nashville is the Mecca for all aspiring country music singers, so using it as the show’s title invokes everything this city is about. Sometimes called Nash-Vegas by folks in the region, Nashville is a clique town that can just as easily chew you up as make you a star. The show follows performers in all stages of their careers, showing how the city affects each one.

The most Nashville thing about it: The show highlights a lot of local Nashville haunts, both famous and not so famous. But there are very few things that are more Nashville than the Ryman Auditorium. It’s a sacred space in this town. Bluegrass was introduced to the world on this stage, and Johnny Cash met June Carter right there.

It’s not just a country music institution. In its early years, Harry Houdini, Mae West, Katharine Hepburn and President Theodore Roosevelt also made appearances there.