Minimal Amount Of Sets On A TV Show

I’ve been watching reruns of Barney Miller lately and it always seems to take place in either the main detective room or Barney’s office. That is two sets. OK there were times when we saw Barney’s flat (very early on) or a few times when Wojo had a stateout or the like, but the whole sitcom was basically two sets.

I was trying to think of other sitcoms or TV shows that had so few sets as Barney Miller.

When it comes to any TV shows, plenty of reality shows have no sets at all, and talk shows and such have just one.

I was thinking of examples when I just had seen the title of your post, and Barney Miller immediately came to mind. There were quite a few scenes at home the first season when Barbara Barrie was still on the show, but after that it was pretty much as you said.

All in the Family pretty much had 3 - the living room, the kitchen, and every so often the Stivic’s house next door. Once in a great while he went outside.

Welcome Back Kotter had three main sets, I think. The classroom, the hallway, and Kotter’s apartment.

The Honeymooners had one set, the Kramden’s kitchen.

*Cheers *mostly took place in the bar or Sam’s office. They used other sets occasionally, but that was pretty rare.

Cheers pretty much had the bar and a few rooms in the bar. How many sets did the Cosby’s have?

Speaking of sets, do any houses actually have a living room with the stairs at the back and a couch in the middle or is that just a TV thing.

Doh! Beaten by Blibliocat.

The Dick Van Dyke Show pretty much cut back and forth between Rob’s house and his office.

If you are talking about the “Classic 39” episodes (as opposed to the skits on the Jackie Gleason’s variety show) even thought they spent the vast majority of the time in the Kramden’s kitchen, they also showed sets representing the Nortons’ apartment, the bus depot, the Raccoon Lodge, the roller rink, and several other places.

I remember a number of scenes in the Frasier’s apartment and some in other characters’ apartments.

Must be age, because I don’t remember these at all.

Or maybe not:

Okay, some examples:

The episode where Ralph’s regular passenger leaves him her “Fortune” has a scene in the lawyer’s office.

The episode where Ralph encounters a bully (prominent line “Get a load of Fatso”) has a scene in a gym.

The $64,000 question, where Ralph proclaims Ed Norton the composer of “Swanee River” has a scene on a set for the TV show in question.

The episode where Alice thinks Ralph wants a woman like his boss’s silly new wife takes place in part at the boss’s apartment.

The episode in which Ralph thinks Norton has been seriously injured and offers to give blood for a transfusion includes a visit to an emergency room set.

The episode in which Ralph inspires his fellow raccoons to exclude wives from their annual fishing trip has a scene at the lodge, and another scene in a car that is supposed to be parked in front of their apartment building.

The episode in which Ralph and Ed are handcuffed together with malfunctioning “trick” handcuffs takes place mostly on a train.

All of these sets are extremely simple, and were likely all on the same soundstage, but they are meant to represent places other than the Kramden’s apartment, and required different set dressing.

Chef of the Future: This is definitely not the Kramden’s kitchen.

There was also the costume party at the lodge where Norton came in with his work clothes and won the contest.

I don’t think It’s Gary Shandling’s Show was anywhere but the set of It’s Gary Shandling’s Show. The set – since it was a set – could be used for multiple locations while still being the same location.

Calucci’s Department, a Barney-Miller-esque comedy about an unemployment office, had only the one set, but ran for a very short time.

Quite a few - the living room, the kitchen, the parents’ bedroom, at least one kid bedroom, the basement, and the dining room. Oh, and Cliff’s office.

The Golden Girls didn’t have many, although they did leave the house sometimes. Inside the house there was the living room, kitchen, a patio, and sometimes a bedroom.

Then I’m going back to pleading age, because I honestly don’t remember any of these, except the YouTube clip once I saw it.

Did I Love Lucy ever have any sets other than the Ricardo apartment?


Yes, Fred and Ethel’s apartment and Ricky’s nightclub. Then there was the set for the trip to Hollywood.

ETA: Chuck posted a classic. There was also the commercial set for Vita-Meata-Vegimin.

Most “filmed before a studio audience” sitcoms have a minimal number of sets, because you’re largely limited to one soundstage.

For what it’s worth, I always thought Cheers suffered a bit when it strayed from the bar set. The chemistry among all the actors seemed at its best when everybody was in his usual spot in that familiar setting. (A notable exception, though, is actually one of my favorite episodes: Woody’s wedding, done up as French-farce stage play in a kitchen, complete with swinging doors, a dumbwaiter and a dead body. Hilarious!)

They probably opened up occasionally, but offhand I can’t think of a scene from The Bob Newhart Show that wasn’t set either in the Hartleys’ apartment or Bob’s office.

And, one of my favorites was the Thanksgiving episode with the food fight, which was primarily (if not entirely) set at Carla’s.