City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

TV production blossoming all over Atlanta


Atlanta has become a popular place to shoot movies, especially since Georgia began offering sweetened tax incentives in 2008: “The Blind Side,” “Zombieland” and the upcoming Robert Duvall vehicle “Get Low,” to name a few.

But TV has been blossoming, too, providing steady work for the likes of caterers, grips and makeup artists. Over the past two years, the number of television shows shooting here has skyrocketed.

For instance, BET now tapes more than 150 episodes a year of “The Mo’Nique Show” at Turner Studios. The CW’s hit drama “The Vampire Diaries” began production two weeks ago in Decatur and parts around town for its second season. And Lifetime’s dramedy “Drop Dead Diva” is now a staple in Peachtree City.

“I never imagined the growth to happen this quickly,” said Ric Reitz, a local actor who helped design the tax incentive package. “It’s unprecedented in our state’s history.”

What are your favorite shows shot out of metro Atlanta? (Pick up to 3)

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Some shows have been here for years even before the incentives kicked in. Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” has been feeding Food Network fans his quirky brand of food science from his Atlanta studios for more than a decade. The animation team at Adult Swim in Midtown has been twisting college kids’ minds with “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”since 2000. Over four years, Tyler Perry has pumped out a whopping 184 episodes of his sitcom “House of Payne” from his Southwest Atlanta studio mega-complex, spawning “Meet the Browns” two years later.

In recent years, BET has been especially aggressive in Atlanta, where the heavily African-American population provides both an audience and subject matter for the network. Besides taping “Mo’Nique,” BET annually hosts its hip hop and Soul Train awards shows here and has a new scripted comedy in the works “Let’s Stay Together.”

But it’s best known for its locally-shot reality shows, from “Frankie & Neffe” to “Monica: Still Standing” to “Tiny & Toya.” Sister station VH1 earlier this year followed with “What Chilli Wants,” featuring TLC singer Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas.

There are even two shows with “Atlanta” in their names. One has been impossible to avoid: the popular but popularly reviled “Real Housewives of Atlanta” on Bravo, which is wrapping up its third season of production.

TLC’s classier “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” debuted this past Friday, featuring local high-end wedding gown shop Bridals by Lori.

Other new shows this fall: HLN host Nancy Grace has a new syndicated judge show “Swift Justice,” which will be seen on Fox 5 Atlanta (She will do double duty, staying with HLN as well). Discovery is taping “Bidder Rivals” out of Buckhead’s Gallery 63 auction and antique consignment shop. And fans of zombies will slobber over “Walking Dead,” a new AMC series which shot all over the city earlier this summer.

And folks who love James Bond spoofs should be relieved to know that FX’s “Archer,” shot locally at Radical Axis in Atlanta, will be back next year for a second season.

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20 comments Add your comment


July 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

I think the Vampire Diaries will become a movie with Vampires so popular now and with Twilight series .


July 30th, 2010
1:19 pm

Uggh… does anybody watch ANY of these shows? I have run across them a few times, and watching 3 to 5 minutes of it was absolutely awful. That House of Payne stuff isn’t at all funny and half the time, the characters yammer so fast and try to play the character that you can’t understand what they say. And really, does there need to be four reality shows IN THE WORLD, much less in Atlanta alone? Who watches this drivel?????

If you follow any of these shows religiously, you really need to reconsider your priorities and get a life. While I’m all for the local economy growing and succeeding, it doesn’t mean we have to like or be proud of the final product. I guess if someone watches and buys this crap, there is a market, but it’s beyond me what the appeal of ANY of these shows could me. Vampires? done to death (no pun intended). Reality shows? that’s so 2000 and un-original. Anything by Tyler Perry? you gotta have the intelligence of a potato to think any of that is funny. Any housewives show? They are all the same and BORING as heck.

Maybe, hopefully, SOMEDAY, the next generation of writers and entertainment producers can come up with SOMETHING real, creative, original, thought-provoking, intelligent, witty and entertaining. Because 90 percent of what we have on the tube today wouldn’t pass the crap test for most people. Nowadays, TV is just background noise… pretty sad.


July 30th, 2010
1:24 pm

Don’t forget the HGTV shows that are filmed here, too…

Those “locally-shot reality shows” are the best-known? Not in my demographic, that’s for sure.

William Melvin Hicks

July 30th, 2010
1:37 pm

This mindless TV will be the end of civilization. I don’t understand why this needs to be a blog entry. People of Atlanta should be proud of all the crappy TV shows filmed and produced here?

Someone kill me.

I have a life

July 30th, 2010
2:03 pm

I have never even heard of most of this crap. Frankie & Neffe, it just sounds made up.


July 30th, 2010
2:10 pm

I think Alton Brown’s show is awesome! We need more prized shows like this.


July 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

While I agree that the reality shows and dorky comedies aren’t anything to be that proud of, just wait until “The Walking Dead” starts on AMC this October. It’s produced and directed by Frank Darabont (”The Shawshank Redemption”) and will be fantastic.

Sam Smith

July 30th, 2010
5:52 pm

– Supernanny

Animal Planet
– It’s Me or the Dog

– There Goes the Neighborhood

– Vanished (Gale Harold, born in Decatur)

– Curb Appeal: The Block (John Gidding, basically lives here now)
– Designed to Sell (Features local realtors Tonya M. Williams and Heyward Young)
– House Hunters
– Deserving Design (Vern Yip, stayed here after he got his MBA at Georgia Tech)

– Franklin and Bash

– Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Ty Pennington, born in Atlanta)

Feature Film
One Missed Call (2008)

Rodney Ho

July 30th, 2010
5:57 pm

My list wasn’t meant to be comprehensive.

‘It’s Me or the Dog” is now shooting in New York. “Franklin & Bash,” the pilot, was shot here. The series will be shot in Los Angeles, I’m told. No word if “Curb Appeal: The Block” is coming back. “There Goes the Neighborhood” is not coming back. “Supernanny” visits on occasion but doesn’t have a home base. “Deserving Design” was canceled last year. “Designed to Sell’ and “House Hunters”? I’m sure they’ve done quite a few episodes here but I don’t think they do all their shows here. And yes, Ty used to live here but his show, too, moves around.


July 30th, 2010
7:11 pm

I can’t believe Squidbillies wasn’t on this list. Way better than ATHF.
Keep the production jobs coming to ATL. Some of us are happy to have more options for work…besides turner, the weather channel, crawford communications (all of you that work in the industry know what I mean!).


July 30th, 2010
10:39 pm

I like the classics Andy Griffith , The Munsters , Little House , Sanford and Son , Bewitched these shows today are terrible.


July 31st, 2010
7:23 pm

Hey Jeff, if they suck and are a waste of time, why not simply ignore this blog entry?


July 31st, 2010
7:57 pm

Enter your comments here


July 31st, 2010
8:04 pm

i just love the housewives of atl. keep up the good work. and i love T.Perry

Chuckie D

July 31st, 2010
10:53 pm

The Real Housewives of ATL should be retitled and those ladies should live in what they can really afford: “The Trailer Park Trash of the ATL”—


August 1st, 2010
5:04 am

Hey “I have a Life”. Just to let you know, Frankie & Neffe is the mother and sister of R&B singer Keisha Cole. It is not a made up show. You really need to “get a life”.LOL

Jon Lester

August 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

I think the quality of the shows themselves is beside the point (and it definitely hasn’t come between the shows and their viewers). Seeing more available film and video work in the metro area is what’s really important.


August 2nd, 2010
1:14 pm

it doesnt matter really – if the shows are good or bad – what matters is that these shows are bring in employment and not walmart type salaries either – this is big money – best of wishes to all you atlanta/Georgia people being employed! that is awesome – I wish I lived in Georgia right now.


August 3rd, 2010
2:49 pm

When and were are the porn movies going to start being filmed here? Forget that Tyler Perry and Bravo nonsense, we need some real genuine hard core porn. Now that’s something you can really get behind!



August 9th, 2010
7:14 pm

Is there any information that you could give on getting my foot in the door as a makeup artist. I am planning on moving to Atlanta in the next few months.