Most popular shows that aired in Chicago

Whether it’s a comedy, true-crime or drama, TV shows set in Chicago have been popular among American viewers. Chicago played home to favorite sitcoms in the 1970s and 1980s, and more recently, numerous dramatic shows have been set in the city.

Some of TV’s biggest hits
Married with Children

Married… with Children

This long-running sitcom aired for 11 seasons. It chronicled the lives of an unhappy, dysfunctional family living in a Chicago suburb.

The Good Wife

Inspired by real-life sex scandals, The Good Wife is a new, but popular, legal drama. With more than 11 million viewers, CBS recently renewed the show for a fourth season.

Family Matters

This was one of the most popular shows of the 1990s. The show followed the Winslow family and introduced the wildly popular character, Steve Urkel.

Good Times

In the late 1970s, this was one of the most popular shows on television. It was a spin-off from several New York-based shows, like All in the Family, though it took place in Chicago.

Mike & Molly

A new show to the Chicago scene, Mike & Molly follows an overweight couple trying to lose weight while navigating coupledom. With over 11 million viewers, the show is popular — though controversial for tackling weight-related issues.

Prison Break

Based in and around Chicago, this serialized drama ran for four seasons. The premiere of the show was seen by a huge audience — over 10 million viewers — though the show declined in popularity over the course of the four seasons.

Punky Brewster

One of the most popular shows for young viewers in the 1980s, this sitcom followed the story of orphan Punky Brewster as she was adopted and absorbed into a new family.

The Bob Newhart Show

Comedian Bob Newhart played a Chicago psychologist in this hit from the 1970s.


One of the most award-winning dramas in television history, ER took place in a Chicago emergency room from 1994 to 2009. With an all-star, changing cast, ER reached between 9 million and 25 million viewers each season.


A brand-new show to the Chicago scene, Whitney stars comedian Whitney Cummings as a photographer who lives with her internet-entrepreneur boyfriend. Though it opened to mixed reviews, the show has been picked up for another full season.

Image credit: WENN

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