This was not a good week for Atlanta TV production.
First, the two broadcast networks who shot pilots locally in March and got picked up for the 2012-13 season snubbed the city to go elsewhere: the Kevin Williamson cop drama “The Following” on Fox starring Kevin Bacon and the very buzzy NBC post-apocalyptic drama “Revolution.”
I confirmed today with Wilmington, N.C. film commissioner Johnny Griffin that the state was able to entice “Revolution” to move to the coast. Interestingly, the show will not use the sets available at Screen Gems, which also operates in Atlanta. Those are being used to film the latest “Iron Man” film.
Wilmington, N.C. was home first to the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” from 1998 to 2003, then “One Tree Hill” on the WB, then the CW from 2003 until this past spring.
The tax credits between North Carolina and Georgia are comparable. The one thing Atlanta does not have that Wilmington has: beaches. Lots and lots of beaches. Perhaps that works better for “Revolution.” Who knows? I’m awaiting a response from Warner Brothers, which produces “Revolution’ for NBC.
A source told me a good reason why they chose the less populated Wilmington over Atlanta. The show is about life without electricity. Atlanta has massive amounts of light pollution. Wilmington? Less so.
The show is set to debut in September after “The Voice” on Mondays.
The Bacon project is going to New York City. I was told early on that the production company had its eyes elsewhere from the get go. So Kevin Bacon won’t be back to Dad’s Garage’s BaconFest. Sorry.
That show is set to debut midseason on Fox.
What’s worse, Atlanta may lose MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” which just started its second season Sunday night. It could end up moving to Los Angeles for its third season.
California, according to the Los Angeles Times, has been increasingly alarmed by the exodus of film and TV productions from the state. It offers $100 million in film and TV tax credits each year, doled out in lottery fashion. “Teen Wolf” was one of a dozen TV shows that received a credit.
The drama, based loosely on the 1985 film, hasn’t been officially renewed for a third season but so far, ratings the first two nights (2.1 million this past Sunday, 1.8 million on Monday) indicate it probably will be. The show averaged about 1.7 million viewers in first viewing season one, 2.3 million counting DVR playback but not counting repeats. For MTV, that’s a hit.
MTV couldn’t be reached for comment but insiders say no final decision has been made yet. It appears that MTV applied for the California tax credits as a hedge in case, say, Georgia did something that made theirs less enticing. Given what the L.A. Times stories says, I think the Georgia credits appear to be better (since they are up to 30% vs. 20 to 25% for California.) But most of the actors and writers still live in Los Angeles so that could make a difference.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk