10 Best Shows Like ‘Sullivan’s Crossing’

A new show about a doctor currently in a complicated legal situation and even more complicated relationships that she left unresolved back in her hometown, is about to air on The CW, one based on the book series written by Virgin River author, Robyn Carr, and some viewers may not want to wait.

For anyone who is a fan of wholesome television shows about small town life, an unexpected love blossoming between two people, or families trying to resolve an issue that has been plaguing them for a long time, these are ten shows to watch to help viewers get excited before this series finally airs.

10 ‘Family Law’ (2021-)

Family-Law tv
Image via Global

This family is the very definition of complicated relationships and personal problems, and in this series they overlap all the time. After some legal troubles of her own, an intelligent but abrasive lawyer must rely on her estranged father and the children he had from two other marriages who work with him at his practice in order to salvage what’s left of her career.

Related:‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ Lands Early Season 2 Renewal at The CW

Not only does this show explore dysfunction within the central family, but thanks to the sort of law they practice, family law, viewers are exposed to all kinds of other problems as well.

9 ‘Sweet Magnolias’ (2020-)

Image via Netflix

This show proves that it’s not just family who are in the trenches with you when times get tough, more often than not it’s also a tight-knit group of friends who have known and loved you for a long time.

Centered around a mother going through a particularly brutal divorce following her husband’s infidelity, Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) and her lifelong friends decide to go into business together and run their own spa, something that requires them to have courage, confidence and vision.

8 ‘One Tree Hill’ (2003-2012)

Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott in One Tree Hill

Before he was starring as the love interest of the protagonist Maggie Sullivan, Chad Michael Murray was leading this popular teen drama from the early 2000s as the bookish and brooding Lucas Scott, a basketball player and aspiring writer struggling with the fact that his estranged father and half-brother live in the same town as him and happen to share his name.

Related: 12 Best TV Shows About Dysfunctional Families, Ranked

As soapy as this show could be accused of being, it maintains a special place in viewers’ hearts, due in part to the fact that is always seemed unafraid to dive into deep, scary everyday emotions that come with growing up and simply living life.

7 ‘Gilmore Girls’ (2000-2007)

Image by Annamaria Ward

Another alum of a much beloved small town series, Scott Patterson stars in this series as the father of series protagonist, Sully, with who Maggie has a rather strained relationship with. In Gilmore Girls he portrays a gruff, but ultimately loving father figure to series’ deuteragonist, Rory (Alexis Bledel) the daughter of a woman he becomes romantically involved with and later marries, Lorelai (Lauren Graham).

More comedy than drama, Gilmore Girls portrays all the trials and tribulations of growing up, even as an adult, but seems to wrap these problems up in a warm autumn sweater, making them far easier to take.

6 ‘Dawson’s Creek’ (1998-2003)

Main cast of the series 'Dawson's Creek'

Family drama is the name of the game in this CW series. Aspiring filmmaker Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) goes on a journey of self discovery right alongside his equally lost and curious friends in their small community of Capeside, Massachusetts. When they’re not dealing with relationship drama, marital affairs, bullying teachers, bullies period, they’re all discovering the depths of their own individual sexuality.

However, this show also has some particularly stunning scenery going on in the background of everything that happens.

5 ‘Virgin River’ (2019-)


Where would a list about the ups and downs, heart breaks and sweet romances of small town life be without the addition of Virgin River? In this series, heartbroken after a myriad of fairly recent tragedies, nurse practitioner, mid-wife and widow Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) moves to Virgin River to join the small town doctor’s practice in the hopes of healing.

In addition to being shot in an extremely beautiful location, the show covers some serious themes rather gracefully such as postpartum depression.

4 ‘Hart of Dixie’ (2011-2015)


Another show about a big city doctor who moves to a small town to work in a family doctor’s medical practice in the hopes of improving herself, Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) is also reconnecting with a father she’s been distant from, albeit in a much different way.

Related:11 Shows About Family-Owned Business Empires, Ranked

Rather than having known him all her life and looking to repair their relationship, Zoe discovers that a man she never knew is actually her biological father and seeks to create a bond with him and even understand herself better by working at the medical practice that he left her in his will.

3 ‘Friday Night Lights’ (2006-2011)

Friday Night Lights' (2006 - 2011) (1)
Image via NBC

This series had every kind of familial, platonic, and romantic relationship there is to have, from toxic and ill-advised to healthy and aspirational, giving viewers a very clear idea on how to solve problems and how not to solve them.

In a town where football, and especially winning football seasons is everything to it’s citizens, this series acts as both a sports drama and a regular teen drama, and is marvelously efficient at weaving both storylines into one heartstrings pulling story.

2 ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ (1960-1968)

Image Via CBS

If viewers what really want is a wholesome story all about simple small town life, neighbors helping one another, and a family man raising his son among an equally loving support system, look no further and go back in time and watch this ageless gem.

Who says that life or television has to be complicated or dramatic in order to be compelling? Life in Mayberry may be slow in pace, but it’s through that simple kind of beauty that this series lives within the hearts of its viewers all these decades later.

1 ‘Schitt’s Creek’ (2015-2020)

David and Stevie from Schitt's Creek

While the foul language and somewhat melancholy premise may not make viewers instinctively think of this show as an uplifting portrayal of small town life or even humanity in general, in a lot of ways, this show embodied all of those things because it didn’t appear that way on the surface.

It forces the audience, much like the newcomers, the formerly wealthy Rose family to give the place an honest chance and allow it to make them better through a healthy mix of positivity and brutal honesty.

Next:10 Best Small Town Romance Movies, Ranked

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