The 11 Best Scripted TV Shows Set in Alaska

Alaska probably isn’t high on many people’s lists of places to visit as a tourist. It’s cold and pretty isolated, and there may not be very many things to do unless you love being out in the snow.

The TV shows on this list might just introduce a different side to the state, though!

View Alaska’s untamed beauty and rocky landscapes through the eyes of these Alaskan-themed TV programs that offer a unique fusion of adventure, survival, and human drama against a backdrop of breathtaking natural wonders, from icy tundras to breathtaking fjords.

For a short version of this list, check out our video on the top 5 scripted TV shows about Alaska:

These shows explore not only the difficulties of surviving in one of the most harsh environments on earth but also the complex bonds that have been forged between people and the place they call home.

The TV shows on this list offer an immersive journey into the heart of the Last Frontier, whether it be by tracking wildlife, following the lives of locals, or discovering the mysteries of this vast wilderness.

Men in Trees, ABC (2006 – 2008)

Men in Trees follows relationship expert Marin Frist as she moves to the remote (and fictional) Alaskan town of Elmo.

She was initially there to attend a conference on love and marriage, but the discovery about her cheating fiancé (and the subsequent breakup) has her staying there in the meantime instead.

In the quirky town, Marin manages the difficulties of small-town life, makes friends with colorful locals, and gradually changes her perspective on love.

She struggles with her own romantic complications as she offers guidance to others, torn between the love of a tough outdoorsman and a charming bartender.

Men in Trees showcases Marin’s personal development alongside Elmo’s eccentricities in a humorous and touching depiction of life’s unforeseen turns in the alluring Alaskan wilderness.

Alaska Daily, ABC (2022 – 2023)

The next show also tells a story of starting a new life in Alaska.

ABC’s Alaska Daily stars Hilary Swank as the central character named Eileen Fitzgerald, who was working in New York City as a talented high-profile investigative reporter.

However, an incident at work causes her to cut ties with her previous job and uproot her life to move to Anchorage, Alaska.

She begins to work for the daily metropolitan newspaper, hoping to start fresh and begin a journey of both personal and professional redemption.

That path is never easy, but Eileen begins by working closely with a colleague, Roz Friendly, to investigate cases of missing and murdered indigenous women across the entire state.

Northern Exposure, CBS (1990 – 1995)

In the TV show Northern Exposure, Joel Fleischman, a doctor from New York City, finds himself contractually obligated to practice medicine in the quirky and remote town of Cicely, Alaska, after the state had agreed to pay for his education in medicine.

Joel, who feels like a fish out of water, struggles to adjust to life in the Alaskan wilderness (especially since he was originally supposed to work in the bigger city of Anchorage!) while navigating the eccentricities of the close-knit community.

He discovers a world far from his urban comfort zone, from treating patients with strange illnesses to making friends with locals’ colorful personalities.

Viewers are treated to a blend of comedy, drama, and touching moments as Joel learns to embrace Cicely’s unconventional rhythms.

Ghost Wars, Syfy (2017 – 2018)

Roman Mercer, an outcast in a remote Alaskan town who has psychic abilities that enable him to see ghosts and communicate with them, is the central character of Syfy’s Ghost Wars.

Roman must accept his gifts and use them to his advantage in order to defend the community as supernatural occurrences worsen and the town’s residents begin to turn against one another.

He uncovers the town’s dark past and his own family’s involvement while forming alliances with others who share his special connection to the spirit world as evil entities step up their attacks.

Throughout the show, Roman sets out on a quest to understand the mysteries underlying the paranormal events amid growing chaos and fear, with the goal of ultimately saving the town from a haunting end.

The Great North, Fox (2021 – present)

The Great North is an animated series (and one of the more recent additions to our list) that centers on the Tobin family living in the fictional Alaskan town of Lone Moose.

Beef Tobin, a single father, manages his eccentric family while juggling his oddball children, including Wolf, who communicates with a fantasy world; Moon, an artist; an aspiring entrepreneur named Judy, and gamer Ham.

Against the backdrop of the breathtaking scenery of Alaska, their daily lives are full of amusing mishaps and attempts to fulfill their individual dreams.

The Tobins show their love and resiliency in the face of absurdities in life as they deal with peculiar challenges.

Their support for each other no matter the circumstances has built a unique bond that ties their family to their unconventional surroundings.

Molly of Denali, PBS Kids/CBC Kids (2019 – present)

Molly of Denali is a TV show made for a younger audience!

It shadows the spirited Molly Mabray, a 10-year-old girl of Athabascan heritage living in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. She sets out on thrilling adventures with her friends, always armed with her tenacity and never-ending curiosity.

She also has to overcome the difficulties of daily life in a remote Alaskan community while exploring her surroundings and solving mysteries, guided by her resourceful and traditional upbringing.

Alongside this, she discovers her heritage, history, and the value of a strong community beside her family and friends.

Young viewers are invited to learn about the history of Alaska, the diversity of its cultures, and the value of comprehending and preserving the past through the show’s combination of engaging storytelling, indigenous perspectives, and educational components.

The Alaskans, ABC (1959 – 1960)

In the Western television series The Alaskans, the Gold Rush era of the late 19th century is where the action takes place.

The drama takes place in the thriving Alaskan town of Skagway and centers on the goals and lives of a group of people who are drawn to the harsh frontier in search of fortune.

The series explores the intricacies of their relationships, conflicts, and endeavors against the stunning scenery of Alaska.

The main characters—gamblers and prospectors—manage the difficulties of a bustling frontier town while engaging in risky schemes to become wealthy.

The show also offers a glimpse into the spirit of adventure and tenacity that defined this historical era as they deal with the harsh realities of the time.

The Alaska Kid, ZDF (1993)

The Alaska Kid is a German-Russian-Polish miniseries that aired three decades ago and is based on American novelist Jack London’s short story anthology Smoke Bellew that was published in 1912.

The original novel featured a series of stories unified by one central character: Kit Bellew.

This miniseries adaptation instead follows Jack Bellew, a newspaper reporter trying to make a name for himself and build his career during the state’s Klondike Gold Rush.

Alongside his best friend, Jack embarks on various adventures across the state – some of which are more dangerous than they bargained for!

The Last Frontier, Fox (1996)

Another 90s show set in Alaska is Fox’s short-lived series The Last Frontier.

It revolves around the life of Julia Ventnor, a wealthy woman who relocates to Anchorage, Alaska.

In a departure from her privileged lifestyle, she decides to share housing with three men who have a markedly different background and social skills.

The show humorously explores the dynamics that arise from this unlikely living arrangement as Julia attempts to adapt to her new surroundings while adjusting to the idiosyncrasies of her male roommates.

Klondike, Discovery Channel (2014)

Klondike follows the journey of two childhood friends, Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein, as they join the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s.

They uproot their lives from New York City and venture into the perilous Klondike region of Alaska in search of fortune.

They run into difficulties due to bad weather, a lack of resources, and fierce competition along the way, all while dealing with conflicts with other prospectors and navigating the complicated dynamics of the thriving mining community as they work to set up a mining operation and strike gold.

The show depicts their relentless pursuit of wealth and the sacrifices they make in their effort to succeed, all against the breathtaking backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness.

Kodiak, ABC (1974)

The last show on our list aired for just one season of four episodes in the mid 1970s.

Kodiak stars Clint Walker as the titular character Cal “Kodiak” McKay, an Alaska State Trooper.

His job has him traversing the state on the hunt for dangerous criminals and killers, chasing them down and bringing them to justice before they can take any more victims.

Helping him along every step of the way is his sidekick, the eskimo Abraham Lincoln Imhook, and the two take their trusty four-wheel drive to traverse the Alaskan wilderness.

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