Rob Frydlewicz, VP-media research director at the Media Edge, said, "Programmers are attracted to the glamor of the East and West coasts and Chicago."
"Perhaps the shows' creators believe the vibrancy of these metropolises lend themselves to more fascinating characters and story lines," he said.
The South, however, seems to be losing its luster. Florida and Texas, home to four shows each last year, this season dropped to two ("Dave's World" and "Empty Nest") and one ("Walker, Texas Ranger"), respectively. And while 15 shows were set in southern states last year, that number dropped to 11 in 1994-95.
By comparison, 27 states, comprising one-third of the U.S. population, have no prime-time programs representing them.
Mr. Frydlewicz said it was difficult to identify the settings for some shows. Among the hardest to locate: "SeaQuest," "Lois & Clark" (at home in Metropolis) and "The Simpsons," located in Springfield-a town in any of 13 states.
But residents of towns without a series aren't without hope. There's always a chance that mid-season replacements will venture into their territory. And, of course, there are always "Cops," "Rescue: 911" and "America's Most Wanted."