Three new broadcast series to shoot in Texas
Illinois, Michigan also in the mix; New York nearly shut outNEW YORK -- Texas film and TV commissioner Bob Hudgins has something to brag about after last week's upfront presentations: The broadcast networks have picked up three new shows for this fall that will be shot in the Lone Star State.
"The Chase" (NBC) and "Lonestar" (Fox) will film in Dallas, while "My Generation" (ABC), which is set in Austin, is expected to shoot in the state capital. In addition, Dallas is the location for Fox summer show "The Good Guys."
"It's by far a banner year," Hudgins said. "In the past, one (show) was great, so I can't say enough." He pointed to Texas' production infrastructure and crews, as well as the state's film and TV production incentives that went into effect in April 2009 as key drivers.
"Incentives have made all the difference," he said.
Other big cities and states are getting primetime exposure as well.
Illinois had something to celebrate when Fox picked up "Ride-Along" for the new TV season. The cop show is set in Chicago and near the town of Rockford, where creator Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") grew up.
Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the Illinois Film Office, said Ryan really wanted to shoot the pilot and show in Chicago, and the state's production crews and open-ended and unlimited incentives program helped seal the deal.
"We are excited about having the chance to have another primetime show here" and showcasing what the city and state have to offer productions, she said.
Asked about the locations decisions for "Ride-Along" and "Lonestar," a spokesman for producer 20th Century Fox TV said: "Both are set in their respective cities, plus economic incentives worked out. Therefore we can actually shoot there. But we would never retro-fit a show's setting based on incentives programs."
Even Detroit might get a broadcast show this fall. After shooting some exteriors in the Motor City for the pilot of "Detroit 1-8-7," ABC is looking at basing the show in Michigan.
New York, a traditionally busy location spot, was nearly shut out. It lost 20-year veteran "Law & Order," and the only pickup was "Blue Bloods" on CBS. Given that the show is about a family of NYPD cops from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge and surrounding boroughs, "it makes sense for the story setting," a CBS spokesman said.
New York State might have had more appeal if it had passed a multiyear production tax credit, part of a budget now bogged down in Albany. New York has seen only a handful of pilots shot within city limits the past two years.
"The real problem is there is not much in the pilot pipeline, due mainly to the uncertainty of a multiyear tax credit program," said John Johnston, executive director of the N.Y. Production Alliance.
However, HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this season will shoot some episodes in New York.