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TV Shows Set in Chicago

Updated on February 19, 2008

There are more TV series set in Chicago then I’m listing below, but I chose these nine shows because I have actually watched them. That means you get my personal review of each show. Aren’t you excited? From hospital emergency rooms to talking dogs to suspenders, you are in for an adventure down memory lane.


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Married…with Children

Al, Bud, Peggy, and Kelly make up the most dysfunctional family on television…but, they stick together through the good times and the bad (and let me tell you, there are more bad than good). This comedy is full of silly, wry humor. To see it is to love it. If you were wondering, this is where the talking dog comes in. That’s right, the family dog’s thoughts are narrated. To be honest, he’s the smartest one on the show. (1987–1997)


If you guessed this is the show that takes place in a hospital emergency room, then you are on the money. With more cast changes than Britney’s had mental breakdowns, this show still chugs strongly along. While most of it does take place in the ER, there have been some wonderful shots of Chicago shown during this city. Even cooler, however, are the amazing episodes set in Africa. From George Clooney to the chick from the Scooby Doo movies, ER draws in the big names. Drama, drama, and bloody guts galore. (1994-present)

Family Matters

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Did you know this show was originally intended to focus on a family, but was hijacked by the dorky neighbor, Steve Urkel? I watched this show every week because it was a part of TGIF, and I never missed an episode of Full House. This goofy comedy definitely lasted longer than it should have, but I did enjoy the overweight cop father eating donuts all the time. All they had to do was throw in a Polish cop, and I would have remembered that it was set in Chicago. (1989–1998)

The Hogan Family (1986–1991)

Honestly, I don’t remember this show being set in Chicago. But, I was fairly young when it was on, and it wasn’t one I had to watch on a regular basis. I do remember feeling really sad when the mom died. And, the chubby neighbor stands out in my memory, probably because she always brought over food—and I love food. One neat piece of info about this show is that it featured the first time the word condom was used on prime-time television.


Four women in a sauna. No, this isn’t a dirty joke. The women were sisters, and they liked to hang out, chatting about their lives, in a sauna. I used to watch this with my grandma. Again, I didn’t realize it was set in Chicago when I used to watch it. My favorite part about the show is that Ashley Judd was on it—I’m an Ashley Judd fan. This prime-time soap drama had a good run, until it ended. (1991–1996)

Perfect Strangers

Ah yes, Larry and Balky—two cousins/roommates who were quite different from one another. I’ll never forget how upset I was when my mom told me the actor who played Balky didn’t really have an accent. For some reason, it really bothered me that he was lying! Of course, now I realize it is called acting. Another TGIF show, I watched it every week. Oh, the hijinks those two got into in good old Chicago. Did you know Family Matters was a spin-off of this show? I know, it is funny! (1986–1993)

Punky Brewster

Honestly, I was never a big fan of this show. Punky kind of got on my nerves. She had really cute clothes, but it was just silly. Oh, yeah, and it was set in Chicago. (1984–1986)

Life Goes On

I really enjoyed this show, but wasn’t able to watch on a regular basis (my mom had rules about how much TV I could watch a week). I do remember that it tackled some serious issues. Corky showed the world that people with Down Syndrome are people with feelings. The show was set in a fictional Chicago suburb. (1989-1993)

Samantha Who?

This one comes last because it is the newest of them all. I’ve only caught a few episodes, but it is funny in a quirky way. Christina Applegate (Kelly from Married… with Children) stars in this show as Samantha, a woman who has amnesia. She is trying to figure out who she was, while avoiding who she used to be. (2007-present)


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    • profile image

      ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      Your mom should have let you watch Life Goes On instead of Punky Brewster. Life was a much better show by far.

    • jjexon profile image

      jjexon 6 years ago

      Beautiful dear


    • profile image

      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      For a lot of shows it doesn't matter what city it is in. Most the scenes are in the home anyway.

    • profile image

      Carol Tollas 7 years ago

      What about "Still Standing?" That was a hilarious show that portrayed what real parents are like. It was often irreverant, but it always had a warm ending with a message.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      You might want to add "Early Edition" to the list

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I think I've seen the Newhart show on DVD. Fewer commercials than today as well.

    • drbruce profile image

      drbruce 9 years ago from Singaraja, Bali

      Thanks for the hub. I was on Bozo many, many years ago. An old show with Bob Newhart was set in Chicago in the 70s.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Haha, yes. Srpinger avoidance can be good.

      Chicago Hope likely is available. Commander 5 may be available as an Oldtime TV sort of thing. It is on th eorder of Space Patrol, but with a clown as well.

      We have cable at the univeristy in some snack areas, also in different languages, so its free for about 10 hours a day or so.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      We don't have cable or internet, but I will see if I can find anything on youtube. If they look good, I'll see if the series are available on Netflix.

      Jerry Springer...yeah...I've managed to avoid it all these years, why break my streak now?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Chicago Hope is in syndication on cable/other (it's pretty good) and Bozo's circus is on sattelite late at night (have seen at a friend's house). Commander 5 is really old and a local one, reruns shown occasionally. Jerry Springer I really don't recommend. I had been reminded by your Hub of St. Elsewhere, but that's Boston so I hope Boston Legal does some stunt with that one. Should be funny if the actors live long enough. Leonard Nimoy and the St. Elsewhere crew in the same episode would be good.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      Yes Patty, but I've never watched any of those except Oprah (which is a talk show, so I didn't include it). I only included shows I have actually watched. What about the shows you listed do you like? You might convince me to check them out!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Chicago Hope? Bozo's Circus, Commander 5 (really old), Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey? :)

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      Wonderful shows, so many good shows from Chicago, mine is a small city, no chance of getting a big show like this :).