Whether you’re stuck inside or worn out from days out exploring, we know there might be times better spent with your TV. And in case you didn’t know, there are quite a few TV shows filmed in or set in North Carolina.
We’re going to share some iconic shows along with personal favorites in this guide. And as an added bonus, most of these shows are available (some FREE) with popular streaming services, which we will add to each entry.
While we try our best to keep up with where you can find them, grab your remotes and reminiscence as we share shows that are absolutely worth binging away your days.
We originally created this post on March 21, 2020.
Binge-Worthy North Carolina TV Shows
The Andy Griffith Show
We starting things off by throwing it back to Mayberry along with a fun fact alert! While The Andy Griffith Show was filmed in Culver City, California, Mayberry is said to be based on Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, Surry County. Stop by and you’ll find many attractions based on the television series.
In the show, you’ll fall in love with the entire community as the title character keeps the peace as the small town’s trusted sheriff. Popular characters Barney Fife, Opie (played by a young Ron Howard), and Aunt Bee joined Griffith during the shows run from 1960-68.
One Tree Hill
There really isn’t anything better than escaping reality than going back to high school, is there? Filmed in Wilmington and set in the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina, this series quickly rose to 4.3 million weekly viewers.
With the first couple of seasons focusing on half-brothers Lucas and Nathan in high school, One Tree Hill follows them and their social circle through adulthood.
Eastbound & Down
HBO, Amazon Prime
Former professional baseball pitcher Kenny Powers deals with a new hand as returns home to Shelby in Eastbound & Down. Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions produced the show that enjoyed a four-season run on HBO.
The show follows Powers tries to make a comeback while standing in his own way to success. There are more than a few hilarious and unpredictable moments along the way in this show.
State of Grace
In State of Grace, best friends Hannah (Alia Shawkat) and Grace (Mae Whitman) navigate the 1960s in the fictitious town of Ashmore (not Asheboro), North Carolina.
Hannah’s family moves from Chicago to Ashmore, where her parents own a furniture factory. She joins forces with friend Grace to form a smart and funny pre-teen duo who navigates life in ways similar to The Wonder Years.
Interestingly, both Shawkat and Whitman starred in Arrested Development as Maeby Fünke and Ann Veal (her?).
The Carmichael Show
Amazon Prime, Hulu
The Carmichael Show ran from 2015-17 on NBC and followed Jerrod Carmichael and his fictional family through provocative situations with hilarious jokes. Set in Charlotte, the sitcom received positive reviews and is worth at least a giggle or two on your couch!
A Chef’s Life
PBS, Amazon Prime
North Carolina-born chef and celebrity Vivian Howard explores what farm-fresh food looks like and how to utilize it in A Chef’s Life. Each episode highlights one ingredient and farmer in and around Kinston.
If you love food and where it comes from, watch the Deep Run native share North Carolina’s heart and soul. She does that through dish demos by herself or with folks who join the show.
Bless the Harts
Does the town of Greenpoint sound oddly familiar to anymore? If not, that’s okay because it serves as the fictional setting of Bless the Harts. In this animated sitcom, a working-class family struggles to make ends meet.
It features the familiar voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and other names from various popular shows. The show’s second season is set to debut in September 2020.
American Horror Story: Roanoke
FX, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix
This FX series American Horror Story has taken the nation by storm, with a whole host of interesting themes and stories. During the sixth season, it takes a darker tone and follows a couple who fled to North Carolina.
There, they work to refurbish an abandoned colonial farmhouse in an area reminiscent of Roanoke Island’s Lost Colony. Recurring characters such as Kathy Bates and Cuba Gooding Jr along for the ride, promising suspense around every corner.
Five main drivers were followed throughout the series. While it was canceled before the season finale aired, there have been many talks about putting out another show based on races at Bowman Gray.
Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks
Amazon Prime Video
Wicked Tuna takes it to the coast as fisherman battle to see who can catch the most Atlantic bluefin tuna off the Outer Banks. Not only is there competition on this reality TV series, you’ll learn about how the catch provides for these hardworking folks and their families.
My Big Fat Fabulous Life
TLC, Amazon Prime Video
Before moving to North Carolina, I was a big fan of Greensboro resident Whitney Way Thore. Like me, she spent time teaching in South Korea and I absolutely loved the body-positive message she spread in My Big Fat Fabulous Life.
Thore was clearly one of the first to focus on this. The show chronicles her life as she navigates her weight, love life, and beyond.
Bonus: Dawson’s Creek
Be still my Millennial heart. I mean, who else grew up falling in love with Dawson, Pacey, Joey, and Jen? And while Dawson’s Creek took place in the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts, it was most definitely filmed in Wilmington.
Other North Carolina spots featured include Wrightsville Beach and UNC-Wilmington, Duke University in Durham, and spots around Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Honestly, the real question should be, “How dare they try and pass Massachusetts off for North Carolina?!”
Our Thoughts and Yours, Too!
We think these North Carolina-filmed and -set TV shows will take care of your next binge, especially if you love traveling through this state. Don’t forget that we’re always updating our posts, so keep coming back and you’ll likely find something added.
A big reason why we update our posts is because of you. If you have a show in mind that we MUST add, please let us know about it here or via email. We’d love to binge, I mean, look into prospective additions and do thorough investigative research.