Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 5th 2011
New York City is one of the most popular location sites for TV shows and movies. Even shows or movies that are shot elsewhere will have actual outside location shots of different places in the City in some of their scenes.
If you're watching a show or movie that was filmed before September 11, 2001, when the scenes include outdoor shots, look closely for glimpses of the World Trade Center towers. Many movies and TV shows have been edited to remove them, but every now and then you'll see an episode that missed the editing knife. When you are fortunate enough to see them as they once were, remember to "have a good thought" (a New York saying) for those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.
Some of the TV shows and movies that use New York City as a setting include Law and Order (the original and SUV for certain) NYPD Blue (outside location shots were filmed here), Friends, Seinfeld, and others. Movies include several directed by and starring Woody Allen, When Harry Met Sally, and countless others.
It's always fun to watch TV shows and movies set in New York City, but if you've ever caught yourself wondering how the places that are shown look in real life, but haven't the first clue about how to find most of them, take a New York TV and Movie Sites tour. This way, you'll be sure to see quite a number of the places you remember from your TV and movie watching.
Where it is
There are several tours you can take but one of the best ones is the "New York TV and Movie Sites Tour" sponsored by "Screentours". These tours are very organized, reasonably priced, and pack a lot of sightseeing into the allotted time. They are held daily at 11:00 AM. The "New York TV and Movie Sites Tour" has tour members to meet near Broadway and 51st Street. You'll be told the exact location when you purchase your ticket (more on that later).
How to get there
New York City is surprisingly easy to navigate, especially if you walk or take advantage of public transportation. Driving can be a little trickier, what with the traffic and scarcity of parking, but it can be done. Broadway and 51st is very close to many Manhattan hotels, which would make walking easy, or, again, you can take the subway, a bus, or a cab.
What to see
We don't want to give away all the different TV and movie location sites and places (and people) you'll see, but we'll list a few, just to give you an idea of what's in store: the apartment building where the Friends gang lived, the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. Yes, there is an actual "soup man" after whom the irascible Seinfeld character was modeled and over 40 filming locations for different movies.
Because the "New York TV and Movie Sites Tour" visits a number of neighborhoods and areas in New York City, including Central Park South and 5th Avenue, Greenwich Village, and Soho, you might see something on your own that interests you. If you do, simply jot down what it was and plan to visit it again.
Also, don't be afraid to ask your tour guide if a specific location you remember from a TV show or movie is on the tour route. If it isn't, the guide still may be able to accommodate you.
What it costs; where to purchase tickets; how long the tour lasts
The cost of your approximately 3 ?-hour tour is $38. This does not include a $2 ticket fee, so your total cost is $40. You can purchase your tickets online at Zerve or by calling Zerve at 212-209-3370. You should plan to purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible, because these tours sell out very fast, and you don't want to miss your chance to see your favorite TV and movie locations.