There are plenty of TV shows about cops, but what about firefighters? There really aren’t a lot of them, especially compared to shows about other professions. There are countless shows about hospitals, cops, lawyers, crime scene investigators, however, firefighters seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to television. Movies will be covered in a future blog post, but for now, here are the top firefighter TV shows. Note, this list is not definitive, nor is it in any particular order. If you disagree with a specific choice or think the list is missing a particular show, sound off in the comments down below.
Having just aired its 85th episode (all on NBC), Chicago Fire is the only show on this list that’s currently airing. It has already been renewed for season 5 and has crossed over with the likes of Chicago PD and Chicago Med. Chicago Fire was created by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, responsible for the screenplays of movies such as Invincible, 3:10 to Yuma, and Wanted. It has a 7.9 on IMDB and it sparked 2 spinoffs, Chicago PD and Chicago Med.
Running 129 episodes from 1972-1977, Emergency!, another NBC show, stars two specially trained firefighters authorized to provide initial emergency medical care to the victims of incidents in the field. Memorabilia from the show is part of the National Museum of American History’s public-service section. The show introduced many people to the concept of pre-hospital care, CPR, and fire prevention. Emergency! was nominated for one Golden Globe.
This British drama lasted 170 episodes, being broadcast from 1988-2002. It focused on the lives of members of the London Fire Brigade at Blackwall fire station. It has the prestigious honor of being the longest running show on this list. Fun Fact: One of the characters in the show is played by movie star Kate Beckinsale’s half-sister, Samantha Beckinsale. London’s Burning actually started as a TV movie in 1986, which was so successful that it spun off into its own show. It received one BAFTA nomination.
This Dennis Leary lead dramedy aired on FX from 2004-2011. It focuses on the personal and professional lives of a group of New York City firefighters, post 9/11. It was the number eight all-time series premiere in basic cable, being watched by almost 4.1 million people. It’s been nominated for 7 Emmys, winning one, and was nominated for a Golden Globe as well. It has an 8.4 rating on IMDB, and is very high up on the top TV show list.
This crime drama, revolving around both the NYPD and FDNY, also aired on NBC, from 1999-2005, lasting 132 episodes over 6 seasons. One of Third Watch’s creators, John Wells, was the executive producer and showrunner on ER, The West Wing, and is currently the showrunner of Shameless airing on Showtime. It was nominated for seven Emmys, and won one.