The Best TV Shows Set In Ohio

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Here at, we're gearing up for all NFL storylines emerging across Ohio sports betting, especially when it comes to the Bengals and Browns. 

Alas, we still have a couple weeks until the games actually count, so we've come up with a fun research project that may just appeal to the masses. Or at least give you something to watch until Week 1 kicks off. considered all the television series set in Ohio as listed on Wikipedia as a starting basis for the research. We then utilized IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score, Rotten Tomatoes Critic score, and awards recognition to create a weighted scoring system. 

When it was all said and done, we had a ranking of the best television shows set in the Buckeye State. 

Read on to see if you agree with our rankings, or if you just need a new show before diving into the Browns playoff chances for the next five months.

Ranking Best Shows Set In Ohio

RankShowTotal Points
T1 Glee 117
T1 3rd Rock from the Sun 117
3 Family Ties103.5
4 WKRP in Cincinnati 91
5Hot in Cleveland 86.5
6Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story85
7 Little Fires Everywhere 82.3
8Ed 79
9 The Drew Carey Show76
10 Greek72.3

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A Unique Tie At No. 1

In the great state of Ohio, we have a tie for the top TV series set in the state between "Glee" and "3rd Rock From The Sun." To the credit of state residents, this shows a nice variety in taste, as these two programs didn't have a whole lot to do with each other. 

The first season of "Glee" caught the world by storm, with the high school choir at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, capturing audiences' hearts right out of the gate. Thanks to its deep cast and consistent pop song covers, the show didn't feel like anything else on broadcast TV at the time, and fans flocked to the series over its first few seasons from 2009-2011. 

After the legacy of "Glee" was complicated by the tragic deaths of several cast members in unrelated incidents over the years, it's nice to see Ohioans still recalling the show fondly. 

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John Lithgow Makes Presence Known

Tied with "Glee" for the Ohio title is "3rd Rock From The Sun," the hilarious and bizarre sitcom starring John Lithgow from 1996-2001. The show revolved around Lithgow and a few other aliens who touch down in a city outside Cleveland to learn about human society. And for six seasons on NBC, hijinks ensued. 

Very much led by the energetic Lithgow, the show also featured former "Saturday Night Live" star Jane Curtin and a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Lithgow received an Emmy Award nomination for each year the show was broadcast, winning in 1996, 1997, and 1999.

Other Ohio-set shows that garnered a respectable ranking include the classic "Family Ties," "WKRP in Cincinnati," Betty White's "Hot In Cleveland" and of course, "The Drew Carey Show." 

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Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for He previously spent six years at Sports Business Journal, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch a digital newsletter division.

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