Television has long had a love affair with using Colorado as the home for TV series. The state is up there with California and New York for hosting shows, and some of the best shows have the Centennial State as its backdrop.
BetColorado.com took a break from covering Colorado sportsbooks and considered all 73 television series set in Colorado 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 Academy recognition to create a weighted scoring system.
Best TV Shows Set in Colorado
Not Totally From Colorado
The scoring system produced HBO’s “The Last of Us” as the No. 1 show with part of it set in Colorado. The popular 2023 show has been renewed for a second season, but characters Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) only spent one episode in “Colorado” as they travel across America in the post-apocalyptic show.
The show, which is based on a video game, is mainly filmed in Canada and in Episode 6 they rode horseback across Colorado to the fictional East Colorado State in Boulder. If that sounds strange, since Boulder isn’t in East Colorado, you’re right. Hollywood often doesn’t let the facts get in the way of the story.
The second-ranked show — which would likely be a huge favorite if Colorado sports betting took wagers on such things — is Comedy Central’s animated “South Park,” which has used real Colorado sites among its 26 seasons and 325 episodes since 1997. The Denver Gazette lists places such as the Casa Bonita restaurant, Fairplay, Stark’s Pond and Cave of the Winds.
“Community” comes in at No. 3 since the show about a community college happens in the fictional Colorado town of Greendale. The ensemble cast includes Joel McHale as the lead character Jeff Winger, a disbarred lawyer trying to earn a real degree to make up for the one he lied about to become a lawyer.
The show, which developed a cult following, ran for five seasons on NBC and one on Yahoo! Screen. It also stars Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong and Chevy Chase.
Allen, Williams Part of List
The fourth-ranked show is “Last Man Standing,” which ran for six seasons on ABC and three more on Fox from 2011 to 2021. Tim Allen starred as Mike Baxter, an executive at an outdoor sporting goods store in Denver.
There’s a tie at No. 5 between “Good Luck Charlie” and “Mork & Mindy.” If you didn’t have kids watching the Disney Channel, you probably missed out on Charlie’s four-season run from 2010-2014. It was based in Denver, and the show centered around the Duncan family welcoming its fourth kid, Charlie. Each show includes a video diary for Charlie, and eventually the family has a fifth child.
Most know “Mork & Mindy” served as the launching pad for Robin Williams’ acting career. The show was based in Boulder and ran from 1978 to 1982. It was a spinoff from a “Happy Days” episode with Williams playing an alien from outer space. He lived with Mindy, who was played by Pam Dawber.