TV Locations in Brooklyn: The Americans, The Knick, Blacklist, and More


    This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

    If you live in Brooklyn, you’re used to seeing the signs up on telephone poles, letting you know that your street is going to be blocked off for a shoot.Thanks to its historic neighborhoods and its wealth of architectural styles, Brooklyn is a favorite for location shoots, both contemporary and period.

    So it’s not surprising that Brooklyn ends up on television a lot. If you’re binge-watching one of these series on Hulu or Netflix, keep your eye out for one of your favorite Brooklyn landmarks.


    In The Americans, FX’s Reagan-era KGB couple Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings (played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) play Soviet spies pretending to be an American couple, while juggling relationships with their kids and neighbors. The award-winning show is set in Washington, DC, but many parts of Brooklyn double for the capital.

    In Season 3 The Jennings walk on a snowy Cadman Plaza Park on the edge of Brooklyn Heights. (Tillary to Cranberry Streets, Cadman Plaza East to West). In another episode, Carroll Park is the setting where Elizabeth Jennings spies on Kimberly Breland (Julia Garner), the daughter of a US government official in the show. Elizabeth Jennings also trains a young South African in spycraft while walking on Hicks street between Cranberry and Orange.

    The Americans shooting at Cadman Plaza Park photo courtesy of DNAinfo via FX Networks.


    the-knick-knickerbocker-hospital-brooklynThe Knick filming location | Dennis via Flickr

    The Knick is auteur-director Steven Soderbergh’s show for Cinemax, starring Clive Owen as Dr. John W. Thackery, an early 20th century physician at the Knickerbocker Hospital (“The Knick”). Thackery battles his own opium and cocaine addictions while bringing medicine into the modern era. Boys High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, built in 1891, is used for the hospital’s exteriors. Find it at Marcy and Putnam Avenues in Brooklyn. Also check out Madison Street in Bed-Stuy, which was dressed in beautiful period detail for the series.


    Black-and-Gold-Record-Store-The-Blacklist-Brooklyn-Interior-NYCBlack & Gold Record Shop scene | via Untapped Cities

    In Blacklist, a new NBC drama, James Spader stars as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a former criminal who turns himself in to the FBI, and then works on catching his one-time mobster allies. Look for him on a pay phone on the corner of Conover Street in Red Hook, with a view of the Liberty Warehouse in the background.

    In the beginning of episode seven, Reddington meets two others in a record shop. This café and record shop with a vintage look is Black & Gold in Carroll Gardens. Check out Black & Gold’s selection of vinyl while you’re there.


    bookcourt-brooklynBookCourt | via Facebook 

    HBO cult favorite Bored to Death, Season 3, features two great Brooklyn literary institutions. In the season premiere Jonathan reads at local-favorite BookCourt in Cobble Hill. If you find yourself on Court Street, keep walking south to check out Carroll Park, where Season 5 opens on a bocce court there. (Carroll Street between Court and Smith). The season ends with another reading, this one by Ray at the fantastic Bergen Street Comics.


    Packer-Collegiate-Institute-gossip-girlPacker Collegiate Institution | via McBrooklyn 

    Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights doubles for tony Upper East Side private school Constance Billard in Gossip Girl, the teenage drama that aired from 2007 to 2012. The neo-gothic exterior, complete with crenelated roof, hides other architectural gems, including Tiffany stained glass windows in the school’s chapel. They are visible from the exterior on Joralemon and Clinton Streets in Brooklyn Heights. Then there’s Daniel Humphrey’s family loft, which can be found in Dumbo at the corner of Plymouth and Washington Streets.


    patty-duke-show-brooklynPatty Duke and Patty Duke in The Patty Duke Show | La Vie C’est Yé-yé 

    Let’s round out the real list with an early mention of Brooklyn Heights on television. The Patty Duke Show was a television mainstay of the 60s, and made a star of its eponymous actress. Although it was actually filmed on a back lot in LA, the theme song turned New York’s first suburb into a television star.

    Meet Cathy, who’s lived most everywhere,
    From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
    But Patty’s only seen the sights
    A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights
    What a crazy pair!


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