New York on TV
On any given day in New York City you’re bound to run into a television shoot. Just look for the “no parking” signs that say the name of the “project” or follow the signs for “craft services.”
Living for almost 10 years in the Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, and Ft. Greene areas of Brooklyn I’ve seen my fair share of movie and TV shoots. In fact, Burn After Reading (a totally missable movie) was filmed on my block of Hicks St. and gawkers would often camp out to catch a glimpse of George Clooney. At our last apartment on Atlantic Avenue, they were filming Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. I never got to see Javier Bardem though!
Gossip Girl would often shoot near Starting Artists on Smith St., Boardwalk Empire is shooting in Ft. Greene right now, In Treatment moved to Brooklyn probably to accommodate our neighbors Gabriel Byrne and Hope Davis, and who can forget all of the Sex in the City shoots? My mother caught them filming the very last episode in midtown! There are too many shows to name here so I’ve picked a few of the most memorable in my opinion. Click on the titles without videos to see them on YouTube.
How to Make it in America
By far my favorite opening to any current show (though Weeds and US of Tara are cool too they don’t take place in NYC)! I’m now a huge fan of Aloe Blacc whose song drives this credit sequence. This opening has inspired me to hone my After Effects skills so I can emulate this genius. I don’t know of an opening credits sequence that better reflects what it’s like to be in NYC right now.
Chances are you can find an episode of Law & Order playing at any hour in NYC. This is one of the original opening credit sequences. Yeah Chris Noth aka Mr. Big! “In the Criminal Justice System, the People are represented by two separate yet equally important groups; The police who investigate crime, and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
All in the Family
My second favorite opening theme of all time and probably my favorite show ever set in NYC. All in the Family was a groundbreaking show that would still be considered somewhat controversial even today. The theme song is so famous that it’s been parodied dozens of times and was the inspiration for Family Guy, no doubt!
This is the opening for the 100th episode. Quintessentially New York, I think I refer back to an episode of Seinfeld at least once a week.
Another one from HBO. Okay, so this is technically a show about New Jersey but some of the action takes place in NYC and the opening so accurately depicts what it’s like to drive from New York to New Jersey that I had to include it!
Here’s a clip from the Vitameatavegamin commercial – my favorite episode! I still laugh out loud watching this. It’s fun to think of what NYC was like back then when everything was black & white.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
This is the Season 1 Opening – they changed it a bit later on. Often, when I was a single gal I would find myself singing this song to myself walking down the mean streets of Manhattan.
“He’s a ghost and he writes to us: Ghostwriter!” This show aired on PBS and was shot on location in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Guest stars on this show about a bunch of kid detectives who are helped out by a ghost included: Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Julia Stiles, Salt-N-Pepa, and Daisy Fuentes.
Still on and going strong! This opening sequence is from the late 70s early 80s and was probably one that I watched myself. Sesame Street was the show that made me want to live in New York in a brownstone. No joke – I loved watching the city kids playing in fire hydrant fountains, on their front stoops, and going down to the corner store for candy. I was also obsessed with The Bloodhound Gang on 3-2-1 Contact! Watch an episode HERE.
“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” I’ve done the NBC Behind-the-scenes tour a few times and it never gets old. Click on the link above to view SNL clips!
I might get some cringes with this one but this is what I watched when My So Called Life (also a fun intro but not in NYC) was canceled. Gotta love that they called it University of New York when clearly they wanted to depict NYU. Wonder if the legal team made them change the name!