The Role of the Sofa on TV

Selecting the right props is an important stage in the creation of a good television show. They are used by the actors to interact with each other and play a significant role in forming the style and feel of the programme.  The sofa has long been used as an item to bring characters together in a naturalistic setting, and is a piece of furniture which has become synonymous with some of the nation’s best loved shows. Here are a few of them.


The American TV programme that made a New York coffee house part of popular culture – as the show became a ratings hit, imitations of the show’s Central Perk cafe started to spring up all over the world. The sofa in the cafe played a central role in the programme as the place where Ross, Rachel et al would meet to discuss their latest trials and tribulations. This long running series was loved by fans from all around the world and this humble piece of furniture became an iconic part of the show.

The Royle Family

This great British comedy played with the idea of an audience sitting down to watch TV. The Royle Family invited us to sit on our own sofas in our own homes to watch a TV programme about a family sitting on theirs whilst watching their TV. Perhaps only the British have the sense of humour to see Jim as a role model!


Whilst sofas are seen in most of the houses of Ramsey Street, perhaps it is the one which stood for years in Toadie’s living room which is the most iconic. This battered old piece of furniture served Toadie well and, despite its condition and the fact that he is a highly paid lawyer, he refused to part with it until it fell apart. His attachment to it demonstrated the sentimental value an everyday object can have in our lives.

The Big Bang Theory

This popular US sitcom about four science nerds and an attractive female neighbour largely takes place in the apartment of Sheldon, who, it has to be said, is highly eccentric even by ‘nerd’ standards. One of his many quirks is an insistence that he must always have the same seating position in the apartment, claiming that it has the best acoustics, avoids the draft and allows him to watch TV whilst still talking to guests. He refuses to reconsider his position on the sofa, and this is where most of the dialogue in the programme takes place.

The Graham Norton Show

This popular TV show sees host Graham Norton inviting his guests to sit on the studio sofa to discuss their latest films, records or TV programmes, often in an irreverent manner. Unusually for this type of show, his guests are all seated together, side by side, instead of separately. By doing this, the programme cleverly generates the feeling of a relaxing chat taking place in your very own living room.

This article is brought to you by – providers of quality leather sofas.

[IMAGE ATTRIBUTION] – courtesy of AleBonvini – courtesy of Hollywood_PR