San Francisco's Tv Show Hall of Fame
S.F. has a rich history of TV shows set in the city, but few were filmed within easy driving distance of the Bay Area. So when we made a list for our fictitious S.F. TV Show Hall of Fame, we ousted programs such as “Full House” and “Suddenly Susan,” which were S.F. in name only. Here are our favorites. http://sfchron.cl/tv (via Peter Hartlaub)
- •"Ironside” (1967-75)While much of this police procedural TV show starring Raymond Burr was shot in Los Angeles, early episodes use the old Hall of Justice at 750 Kearny St., and the exteriors are plentiful — including views with the pre-Transamerica Pyramid skyline.
- •"McMillan and Wife” (1971-77)This pick got a strong endorsement from our TV critic. Rock Hudson and Susan St. James are the title characters, solving crimes in a post-Summer of Love San Francisco from their Greenwich Street apartment.
- •“Streets of San Francisco” (1972-77)The greatest TV show in San Francisco history made wonderful use of interiors and exteriors, and had two great stars (Karl Malden and Michael Douglas) and by far the coolest opening credits theme song in S.F. history. It’s fun to watch this show just to see gritty 1970s San Francisco in full color.
- •"Midnight Caller” (1988-1991)Even with a severe penalty for an extremely misguided AIDS episode, this show about a late-night talk show host (Gary Cole) in the city is an elite S.F. program. The location shooting wasn’t as bold as the action-centric “Streets," but the show captured the mood of a city finding its progressive stride.
- •“The Real World: San Francisco” (1994)It’s hard to imagine, considering how far the “Real World” series has fallen, but this program deserves credit for telling the story of Pedro Zamora, an AIDS-afflicted housemate who died while episodes were still airing. The housemates were less of a train wreck than most “Real World” incarnations.
- •“Nash Bridges” (1996-2001)It wasn’t Shakespeare, but the Don Johnson/Cheech Marin cop show lovingly filmed the city, and employed hundreds of actors and crew members over five seasons.
- •“Looking” (2014-15)Short-lived, well-written and slow at times, this HBO series embedded itself in the Mission District and lovingly filmed San Francisco (and a little bit of the East Bay). The creators took pains to capture the difficulty of living in the city during the tech boom — these episodes will be fun to look at in 20 or 30 years.
- •“Mythbusters” (2004-present)The science-fueled reality show made use of special effects veterans Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage (the latter co-star had experience as a child actor). Using Hyneman’s real-life shop south of Potrero Hill, the hosts have stayed local and true to their educational roots.