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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Which of these well-known TV shows set in Washington state were actually filmed here?

The cast of NBC’s “Frasier” poses in this undated publicity photo. From left are David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Niles Crane, Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle, John Mahoney as Martin Crane  (Paramount)
By Karlee Van De Venter Tri-City Herald

There’s something gratifying about media filmed on location, like the film or show was made for locals and those in the know.

It’s not often that media is primarily set in the Evergreen State, especially in light of industry hubs that exist in locales like California or New York. When Washington is a main location, it’s sometimes hard to tell if it was actually filmed in that place.

What looks like Washington state scenery could just as easily be Oregon or British Columbia.

So we decided to look into which of these 10 popular TV shows set in Washington State were actually filmed here?

When we looked into how many movies set in Washington were actually filmed here, there was a good mix of Washington-based production and other filming locations. This doesn’t appear to be the case for TV shows. Whether this is due to long filming seasons, state law or other factors is unclear.

Shows set in WA, filmed in WA

”Twin Peaks” – 1990-91

Set in the small, titular fictional town in Western Washington, “Twin Peaks” follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, who is actually from Yakima) as he investigates the death of a popular teenager.

Filming locations: Like its subsequent film, Twin Peaks is filmed almost entirely in the Snoqualmie area.

Stream it on: Paramount+, Vudu, Amazon Prime

”Highlander” – 1992-98

An alternate sequel to the movie with the same name, the “Highlander” series follows Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul), a 400-year-old immortal being from Scotland. While living a quiet life running an antique shop with his girlfriend in Washington, he’s drawn back to “the Game” in which all immortals chase after a prize.

Filming locations: The series includes several settings, not all based in Washington, but regional filming was done in Seattle.

Stream it on: Peacock, Amazon Prime

”Frasier” – 1993-2004

Boston therapist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) moves to his hometown, Seattle, to start a new job as a radio psychiatrist. The “Cheers” spin-off follows his work, life and relationships in the new chapter of his life.

Filming locations: “Frasier” was not primarily filmed in Washington. It was primarily filmed in Los Angeles, but establishing shots were taken in Seattle. The show still gets mentioned here because one episode was filmed entirely in the Emerald City, an acceptable compromise.

Stream it on: Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime

Shows set in WA, filmed elsewhere

”Grey’s Anatomy” – 2005-Current day

The long-running medical drama follows Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and her incoming class of doctors starting as interns at a Seattle hospital. The show follows her medical career and personal life.

Filming locations: Despite the many reminders of the show’s setting, “Grey’s Anatomy” is primarily filmed in Los Angeles

Stream it on: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+

”iCarly” – 2007-12, 2021

The Nickelodeon series about Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) and her friends creating a popular web show is based in Seattle, with cut scenes often showing the Space Needle. While navigating life, school and relationships, the three friends also balance a consistent webcast with many fans. Paramount+ came out with a reboot of the show in 2021, with some of the original cast, where Shay returns to Seattle as an adult and restarts the show.

Filming locations: Both the original and the reboot are filmed entirely in California

Stream it on: Netflix, Paramount+, Vudu, Amazon Prime

”The Killing” – 2011-14

The crime series follows detectives in Seattle as they investigate complicated murders. Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) is planning to retire when a teenager’s body is found in the trunk of a car that belongs to a local councilman’s campaign committee.

Filming locations: Filmed entirely in British Columbia

Stream it on: Netflix, Hulu, Vudu

”Station 19” – 2018-Current day

A spin-off of “Grey’s Anatomy” that features some of the cast, “Station 19” follows the work and lives of crew at a Seattle fire station. The station is reportedly based on the Queen Anne Fire Station 20.

Filming locations: Primarily filmed in Los Angeles

Stream it on: Hulu, ABC, Vudu, Amazon Prime

”Tacoma FD” – 2019-Current day

Another show that follows the work and lives of Washington firefighters, “Tacoma FD” is exactly what it sounds like – a show about the Tacoma Fire Department. Considered one of the wettest cities in America, the truTV comedy series follows the crew on less exciting elements of the job and what is done when fires aren’t burning.

Filming locations: Filmed in California

Stream it on: Max, Hulu, Vudu

”Unbelievable” – 2019

Based on award-winning journalism, the Netflix miniseries is a retelling of a true crime case in Washington that revealed a series of rapes. When troubled young girl Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) reports a rape to local police, she is questioned and accused of making up a story. She recants the report and is threatened with criminal charges for lying. But when a female detective in another state uncovers another rape matching Adler’s story, everything unfolds.

Filming locations: Filmed entirely in Los Angeles

Stream it on: Netflix

”Maid” – 2021

The Netflix miniseries “Maid” tells the story of a young mother in the Seattle area (Margaret Qualley) who leaves an abusive partner with their toddler, cleaning houses to get by. Based on the memoir by Stephanie Land, the series touches on low-income struggles.

Filming locations: While set in fictional Washington locations meant to mirror real places, “Maid” was entirely filmed in British Columbia.

Stream it on: Netflix