As you might know, we love digging into film locations in New York City. So much so, the New York Times interviewed our founder Michelle Young about tracking down the Master of None film locations last year. New York City has been actively courting television and cinema filming in New York City, via its Office of Media and Entertainment, and as WNYC reports with a fun interactive map about NYC’s film locations, the number of scripted television shows filmed here has quadrupled since 2002 (it’s at about 50 shows currently). WNYC also notes that “The 2013-2014 season marked the first time on record that more drama pilots were shot in New York than Los Angeles.”
In the WNYC map, you can drop down to see film permits filed by television show for the last four years. While this does not include all 46, it does include some of our favorites like Master of None, Broad City, The Knick, The Americans, Mr. Robot, and The Blacklist. Notably, two of the shows, The Americans and The Blacklist are actually set in Washington D.C., but make New York City work (mostly) for its backdrops.
Some noticeable patterns emerge. Most shows will take advantage of the sets and environs at Kaufman/Astoria Studios, Silvercup Studios, and Steiner Studios. Shows like Master of None, Broad City and Girls which address contemporary issues of life in New York City concentrate predominantly in Manhattan and Greenpoint/Williamsburg/Red Hook, which make sense given that the places their characters would live and hang out would likely concentrate in these trendier or well-established areas:
A show like Mr. Robot takes place in a not-so-distant future, and the filming takes place in fairly recognizable places, mostly in Manhattan and likely on the sound stages in Astoria and the Navy Yard:
A show like The Americans takes place not only in a different city (Washington D.C.) but also a different time period. Their film locations are among the most diverse geographically in New York City, and you’ll notice in the show they take care not to showcase too many moments that give away that they’re filming here in New York City:
A prime-time mass audience show like The Blacklist. is set in Washington D.C. (and sometimes other cities), but seems less concerned about the conflict between visible New York City landmarks and where the show is supposed to take place. As such, they film heavily on Manhattan and along its waterfront on the Hudson, as well as on the Brooklyn Queens waterfront. They have also filmed quite a bit in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in Yonkers:
A show like The Knick takes place in a different century. The show tends to use locations with time-period authentic architecture (hence staying away from most of downtown and Midtown) apart from the Financial District and environs.
Next, check out film locations for Master of None on Netflix.