1. Life & Culture

9 TV shows set in Florida but not Miami, like 'Claws' in Manatee County

The Florida-set series Claws stars Niecy Nash, center, as the owner of Manatee County nail salon that’s part of a money-laundering scheme.
The Florida-set series Claws stars Niecy Nash, center, as the owner of Manatee County nail salon that’s part of a money-laundering scheme.
Published Jun. 7, 2017

The ladies of Manatee County are coming to a TV screen near you this weekend.

No, it's not Real Housewives of Bradenton or some other reality show spinoff. On Sunday, TNT debuts Claws, about a money-laundering scheme in a Manatee County nail salon. Read more about it here, but I'm sure you're already asking, "Why Manatee County?"

Shows set in Miami are a dime a dozen, from classics like Miami Vice and The Golden Girls to newer ones like Dexter and Nip/Tuck and franchise spinoffs like CSI: Miami. Some are shows that just happen to be set there, like Jane the Virgin, which is filmed in California and doesn't try to look much like Florida, and some embrace it more, like Burn Notice, which was filmed in Florida and featured random beach shots as scene breaks just to remind you.

But shows set elsewhere in the Sunshine State are a little harder to come by. Manatee County, for example, doesn't really seem like somewhere you just pick off of a map. Herewith, a handful of other shows that spotlighted Floridian locales other than Miami.

I Dream of Jeannie

This is always one of my favorite reruns to watch, but it's easy to forget Maj. Tony Nelson and Jeannie called Cocoa Beach home. It gets easier when you remember Maj. Nelson was an astronaut at Cape Canaveral.

Second Noah

Tampa got its moment in the spotlight in this short-lived mid-'90s series about a family with a tendency to take in kids and stray animals. Part of the big happy family: a young James Marsden as the oldest child and a mom who was a vet at Busch Gardens.

Fresh Off the Boat

Speaking of Central Florida in the '90s, ABC's hit sitcom features a Taiwanese family moving from Washington, D.C., to Orlando around 1995. Constance Wu brings the laughs as the mom raising kids in 'burbs without much of an Asian population.

The Glades

This A&E show about an FDLE detective was set in fictional Palm Glade somewhere in, well, the Everglades and filmed around South Florida, but was originally titled Sugarloaf and meant to be set around Tampa. In its four seasons — a good, chill binge on Netflix — episodes touch on everywhere from Tampa to Ocala horse country to Gibsonton and its carnival history.

Siesta Key

A reality series filmed around Sarasota County's popular beach destination is set to premiere July 19 on MTV, depicting "lots of attractive energetic young people enjoying the lifestyle and culture of Siesta Key," per a Sarasota film official.


Netflix's recently concluded family thriller was set and filmed in the Keys. As creator Todd A. Kessler put it: "There is no place quite like the Keys … and it really feeling like paradise and then having this kind of underbelly of what's going on underneath it." A darker side of paradise? We know nothing about that.

American Horror Story

2014-15's Freak Show season was set in Jupiter in 1952, following the lives of members of, well, a freak show. Among the cast: St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett as a three-breasted woman. We know nothing about those, either.

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Cougar Town

Courteney Cox & Co. were on the prowl in fictional Gulfhaven, nicknamed "Cougar Town," somewhere around Venice and Sarasota on the map. Co-creator Kevin Biegel is a 1994 Riverview High School grad.


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