'Top Chef' Heads to Boston Because That's What All Wicked Awesome Shows Do: Here's Proof

Tawp Chef is moving to Bahhhhstin. No, you aahhhhhh. Okay, sorry, now that that's out of our system we can tell you for certain: Season 12 of Bravo's hit reality competition series Top Chef (along with host Padma Lakshmi, and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons) will be set in Boston. Shari Levine, the SVP of Current Production for Bravo, said in a statement that "Boston has always been at the top of our wish list as a location for Top Chef, not only because of its rich historical significance, but also because of its robust and ever-growing culinary scene." (And she doesn't just mean the Wahlberg family's Wahlburgers!) While Levine is definitely right about the cultural and food scene in the resilient, incredible city that is Boston, she forgot to mention that it's always a really great place for TV shows to go, reality or otherwise. (Not to mention, Boston is home to some of TV's greatest treasures, including Conan O'Brien, Connie Britton, and John Slattery.)

Now, when you think of TV shows or special seasons, it's hard not to imagine New York City or Los Angeles first, but Beantown is home to some of the best series, seasons, and episodes of television. In other words, you're in good hands, Top Chef. In anticipation of Season 12 of Top Chef's venture to New England (which will premiere in the fall of 2014 and likely have some Red Sox-inspired challenges, considering it will be prime baseball season), we've picked some of our favorite Boston-set television programming.


Cheers remains the gold standard of Boston-set shows, and pretty much sitcoms in general. The motto "Where everybody knows your name" still rings true in the tight-knit Boston and the setting for the show (well the exterior shots, at least), the famous Cheers Beacon Hill, is a must-visit destination for fans around the world. Boston is a drinker's town and Cheers was a drinker's show, and if Top Chef doesn't to a drink-inspired episode during Season 12, they all may as well pack their knives and go now.

St. Elsewhere

Chicago may have a ton of hospital shows to their name, but did they have the iconic 1980's series that starred Denzel Washington and one of the most infamous series finales of all-time? Nope, didn't think so!

The Real World: Boston

Sure, the best seasons of Real World belong to Seattle, New Orleans, and San Francisco, but Boston ranks pretty high up there, too. Not only did they have one of the sweetest Real World houses (a firehouse...with a pole, of course!) but one of the most entertaining casts ever (remember kids, this was before the Real World brought on nothing but dramatic boozehounds). Plus, Jason was a bona fide dreamboat.

The "Winter Madness" Episode of 30 Rock

Destination episodes are a must for any sitcom, but while most shows head to Disney World or Hawaii, Liz Lemon got her crew out of the cold and back into somewhere much colder when 30 Rock went to Boston. (Boston played a prominent role in 30 Rock as it was home to Jack's lost love Nancy, and thus, Julianne Moore's terrible Boston accent.) Not only do we get to experience Boston's Freedom Trail with the best/worst person imaginable (Tracy Jordan), but we get to partake in some good old fashion Beantown rivalries with the writers of the Bruins Beat and, of course, Dale Snitterman.

The "Toilet Bowl" Episode of Friday Night Lights

Yes, Friday Night Lights is a Texas show through and through, but that doesn't mean Massachusetts didn't get any love. During the Season 4 episode "Toilet Bowl" world's greatest person Tami Taylor took her perpetually unimpressed daughter Julie Taylor to the picturesque Boston College for an interview. While Julie may not have wanted to go to BC, Tami's impassioned speeches about the campus made us want to enroll there. (Connie Britton did her hometown proud here.)

The Boston Episode of Drunk History

Drinking and history and Boston? Yep, this pretty much hits all the marks.

Ally McBeal (or Pretty Much Any David E. Kelly Drama, For That Matter)

David E. Kelly put Boston-set legal dramas on the map thanks to his shows like Boston Legal, The Practice, and of course, the dancing baby/car wash nookie/Calista Flockhart introducing late '90s phenomenon that was Ally McBeal. (He was also behind non-lawyer series Boston Public.)

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