12:39pm PT by David Caspi
USA's 'Dig' Moves From Israel to Albuquerque Amid Gaza Strip Conflict
Amid escalating rocket attacks for over two weeks towards Israel, filming of USA Network's upcoming Dig is relocating to New Mexico.
The six-episode event series from Tim Kring and Gideon Raff already shot their Jerusalem plot-centered pilot in the Holy Land and were scheduled to resume filming last week following a hiatus. However, security tensions that saw the Israeli Defense Forces launch Operation Protective Edge on July 8 stalled production, which is now headed stateside.
"Given the current situation and after careful consideration, we are relocating the production of Dig partly to Albuquerque and are continuing to explore other locations," reads a statement from Universal Cable Productions, "Our experience filming in Israel was very positive and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to capture such an authentic landscape that will be threaded throughout the series."
Earlier in the week local Israeli media outlets reported speculations that filming is already planned to commence in Malta, yet NBCU says production is still looking into other locations and has made no further decisions.
Last week it was announced that the remaining episodes of FX's new Middle East drama Tyrant have relocated to Turkey for similar reasons. Unlike the Howard Gordon-run show, also created by Raff, Dig's location is far more essential, as it centers around Jerusalem.
"We wanted to and chose to shoot in Jerusalem because of all the history there," said the Jerusalem born and raised Raff during the July 14 TCA panel promoting Dig, adding that the holy city "is a key element in our show. Our hearts go out to everyone in Israel and in Gaza for what is happening there right now, and hopefully it will be resolved very soon."
Dig stars Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche and is set to premiere later in the year.