While Hollywood may be the home of TV, there are many shows are actually filmed in the Big Apple. Classics like “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “Will & Grace,” all were set in The Big Apple and have numerous exterior shots of New York, New York but are actually filmed in Los Angeles. There are many places you need to see if you’re going on a New York City Television Walking Tour and many different groups do these tours. However you can buck the trend and see the sights yourself with this guide. Consider following this NYC Television guide your next walking trip down 5th Avenue in New York City.
Pulitzer Fountain: 5th Avenue & 59th Street (1) If you think you’ve seen this fountain before, it’s because you probably have. The Pulitzer Fountain is shot in a number of TV shows including “Sex and the City,” “Ugly Betty,” and “The Sopranos.” Perhaps most confusing though is that the Pulitzer Fountain looks just like the fountain that the cast of “Friends” is playing in during the opening credits. That’s because it is; sort of. “Friends” did a painstaking job recreating the fountain for a back lot in Los Angeles so that the cast could have at it in their opening credits. Unfortunately, “Friends,” like so many other shows, even though it was set in New York City was not shot in New York City.
Plaza Hotel: 5th Ave & Central Park South, NY, NY 10019 (2) While you’re at the Pulitzer Fountain, look up! You’ll see the Plaza Hotel; another famous New York City landmark. Perhaps the Plaza Hotel has become more synonymous with dubious TV activity like Charlie Sheen’s hefty post-check out bill at the Plaza in October 2010 (3) or how the Situation from “Jersey Shore” was banned from using the Plaza Hotel’s gym (4). Still you’ll find The Plaza in many exterior shots of shows from “Ugly Betty” to “CSI: NY.”
Fifth Avenue: From here you can go downtown or uptown. Down Fifth Avenue you will of course be able to find all manner of popular culture in your midst. Everyone remembers FAO Schwarz, Tiffany & Co, and Bergdorf Goodman from many of our favorite films. But this is a TV walking tour. As you’re walking down Fifth Avenue notice Henri Bendel: 712 5th Ave NY, NY 10019 (5); one of the retailers featured prominently in the TV show “Gossip Girl.” Keep strolling down Fifth Avenue and you’ll come upon Rockefeller Center. Rock Center is where shows like “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” are filmed. If you’re in Rock Center in the morning you may even get to see Al Roker or Matt Lauer out on the Plaza.
NY Public Library: 5th Ave & 42nd Street, NY, NY 10018 (6) End your New York City walking tour in 42nd Street at Fifth Avenue where the NY Public Library is found. You may recall an episode of Seinfeld where George and Jerry run into a zealous Library Cop who is after a copy of Tropic of Cancer. This guy Bookman and Kramer’s librarian lady friend all work at this library. And there’s been a small green reading spectre who met his demise there in a film, once.
New York City has tons of places to go and things to see. If you’re a fan of movies or TV you will likely find all sorts of other spots you recognize interspersed in just this short walking trip. Make sure to bring a camera and maybe even a video camera; you can commit your own New York City memories to film.