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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

Atlanta loses Kevin Bacon’s ‘The Following’ and J.J. Abrams’ ‘Revolution.’ Is ‘Teen Wolf’ to follow?

Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy shot "The Following" pilot in Atlanta. But they won't be back. CREDIT: Fox

Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy shot "The Following" pilot in Atlanta. But they won't be back. CREDIT: Fox

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.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

34 comments Add your comment

JF

June 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

I worked on part of the marketing efforts for “The Following”. During our work while the pilot was taping I talked with a FOX exec about whether the show would shoot in Atlanta and she said “nope, it’ll be shot in NYC if it’s picked up” because of proximity to several key cast & crew folks – mainly Kevin Bacon. Someone else (I don’t remember if it was one of the EP’s or a key writer) was also mentioned as a reason they’d be shooting in NYC if picked up.

RGB

June 5th, 2012
8:49 pm

Perhaps Kasim should try to court and keep these productions rather than wandering overseas in search of……vaca…I mean international business.

Nah, better to appear on Meet the Depressed and advocate another stimulus to be spent on infrastructure in order to reduce, cough, unemployment.

Atlanta loses to Wilmington. How shameful.

atler8

June 5th, 2012
8:55 pm

RGB
You obviously don’t know diddly about the film biz, on either a local or national basis.
So go grind your political axe elsewhere.

Austin

June 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

Another key difference between the California and Georgia tax credits is that Georgia is uncapped. Georgia gave away over $200 million last year vs. CA’s $100 million. And another key difference is that CA’s program only covers below the line costs, not above the line costs like Georgia. That means Georgia is able to pay for 30% of Kevin Bacon’s salary. But there is one natural incentive for CA, most all the actors live there.

Amanda W.

June 5th, 2012
9:19 pm

Whoops!!

It looks like some was sleepy while typing…. I saw typos and missing words toward the end of the story.

Stan

June 5th, 2012
9:23 pm

The state and the city jump through financial hoops to attract these production companies and then the shows jump state…. meanwhile education suffers.

Patrick Romano WAR DAMN EAGLE

June 5th, 2012
9:27 pm

Hell, I feel like moving to Wilmington, NC Where’s the beach, land-locked in Atlanta…

Debbie

June 5th, 2012
10:32 pm

Step it up Georgia. We were getting a little too cocky about being Hollywood South. As quickly as they came they can go away.

Sam

June 5th, 2012
10:36 pm

Stan,
I don’t think the film production business works the way that you think it works. And, if you think that the tax incentive for the film industry in Georgia is depriving other public sectors from funding, you may need to take a basic public administration course.

Really?

June 5th, 2012
11:15 pm

Mr. Ho…do a better job of proofing your article before releasing!

“What’s worse, Atlanta may MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” which just started its second season Sunday night, may be moving to Los Angeles for season three.”

What in the world are you trying to say in this “sentence”? 5 hours later and you still have yet to post a corrected article. Shameful…

ATL resident

June 5th, 2012
11:23 pm

Other than enjoying seeing metroAtlanta in various tv and films (most of which have sucked by the way)these tv productions are giant pain in the butt for residents and businesses. I don’t see what they’re adding to the economy other than a few more temp and extra jobs and alot of film production rental equipment getting driven across the country from California.

Eric

June 6th, 2012
2:20 am

I’m not a big CW watcher… I’m aware that ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is filmed in Covington… and I hope that the CW show stays in Georgia.

‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ and ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ were also filmed in Covington… and I believe production of both shows stayed in Georgia. ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ was a classic show… and may see reruns on Peachtree-TV (channel 17), My-Atl-TV (channel 36), or CW-69, depending on which station has rights to air the reruns.

Eric

June 6th, 2012
2:23 am

I believe cable network WGN America carries reruns of ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ as well. I believe that ‘Matlock’ was filmed in Georgia, but not sure if production stayed in Georgia.

[...] Atlanta loses Kevin Bacon’s ‘The Following’ and J.J. Abrams’ ‘Revoluti… We are a cheap first date, but not appropriate for marriage, perhaps? [...]

John

June 6th, 2012
6:40 am

Will Atlanta ever get JackFM or is DaveFM it?? JackFM is far better and better music.

Bobby

June 6th, 2012
6:44 am

Mayor Reed and his cronies are two busy corrupting Hartsfield with favoritism to be concerned about keeping film jobs in Atlanta. Maybe for his next vacation overseas he’ll get a family discount while shopping in the new international concourse. Reed is as much a crook as the two most recent Mayors Atlanta has had. How sad.

Highlander

June 6th, 2012
7:01 am

“Georgia gave away over $200 million last year vs. CA’s $100 million.” – Austin, 6/5, 8:59pm

I think I understand what you’re trying to say but let’s set it straight. Neither GA nor CA is “giving away” millions of dollars. You can’t give away what you never had. The production company’s get tax breaks, not dollars. And they actually bring more real money into the state. (That’s why there’s competition between the states for them.)

Getaway

June 6th, 2012
7:04 am

ERic – The pilot for Dukes of Hazard was shot in Covington, the series was shot in California.

If the producers of Revolution were looking for post-apocalyptic beaches, then I guess, Wilmington (or is that Wrightsville?)wins hands-down.

Opalescence

June 6th, 2012
7:47 am

Rodney Ho is a lazy, inconsistent writer.

Rodney Ho

June 6th, 2012
8:29 am

@Highlander Georgia gives tax credits to the film and TV companies. That is actually tax money handed directly to production companies to defray taxes or to sell to other corporations to defray taxes. True, they bring jobs to Georgia but there are folks who question whether the money given to the film and TV companies could be used more productively elsewhere.

RedHead

June 6th, 2012
8:33 am

Hate that Revolution will not stay in Atlanta, I know a couple of guys who worked on the pilot and they were hoping for long term employment with JJ – he is really the best.

Rodney Ho

June 6th, 2012
8:39 am

@Opalescence. I wrote six items yesterday. That does make me very productive so you can’t call me lazy on that front. Lazy about copy editing my own writing? Well, yes.

real john

June 6th, 2012
9:32 am

Good article Rodney…thanks for the update. Don’t worry about the haters. Some people just always want to find something to whine about

WP

June 6th, 2012
10:19 am

Eric – I believe Matlock was shot in Wilmington as well. Personally I am happy either way; I may have been living in Atlanta for 20years but Wilmington is still home. I would see the beaches and smaller population a major plus. Concerning Revolution’s apocalyptic world- you can drive about 15 minutes outside of Wilmington and be in the back country (everything from just farmland to swamps and beaches too).

snottrocket

June 6th, 2012
10:57 am

So what will it take to keep current productions coming back to shoot here?

Understanding the premise of the show, I’m not sure I buy into the whole “Wilmington has less light pollution than Atlanta” argument. Look at Falling Skies and Jericho…there are plenty of night shots that made it appear dark but they still needed a light source to shoot the scenes. Why not shoot in Savannah or Rome? Maybe their location coordinators need to explore a little more.

Tom

June 6th, 2012
1:36 pm

I used to love Teen wolve but mostly the Jason Baitman one. I think he was even better than Michael Fox. Which is funny if you think about a Fox playing a wolve. I never thought of that before. But I hope we don’t lose teen wolve. I am actively workign on getting into acting and would like to play a grown up wolve or even a watcher for the “Vampires”. Anyway Rodney is doing a great job and you should maybe cut him a break. He got a snazzy hat to!

Snozz

June 6th, 2012
1:41 pm

@snottrocket As Rodney’s article implies, Wilmington has a production infrastructure- companies. technicians, actors, etc. that Georgia largely lacks outside of Atlanta.

As to why the state competes to get these productions, it’s all about money. Sure, there are tax credits given, however they are structured. But there’s lots more money coming in- every person working on a film or television shoot pays Georgia income taxes, production crew and actors, whether they live here full-time or not; if you earn income in this state you pay taxes to this state. . They eat meals here, rent equipment and hotel rooms here, buy gas here… and so on. And the companies involved, equipment, producing, rental- they pay corporate income taxes, too

It’s big money.

Klonk

June 6th, 2012
2:35 pm

@Debbie Nobody thought Atlanta was Hollywood South. Everyone knew productions came here for the tax credits.

Snozz

June 6th, 2012
4:01 pm

On this topic (sort of), any idea what’s shooting at the Colonnade Restaurant today? Just curious…

Rodney Ho

June 6th, 2012
4:14 pm

“ID Theft,” Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy

Eric

June 6th, 2012
4:15 pm

I’m aware of one episode of Matlock that was filmed here in Georgia… the episode titled “The Reporter”, that (believe it or not) featured the inside of the WAGA-TV studio. I wasn’t 100% sure about The Dukes of Hazzard. I do know that In The Heat Of The Night stayed in Georgia.

Snozz

June 6th, 2012
5:33 pm

Thank you much, Rodney. Nice job on your coverage of the 106.7 format flip/launch too, BTW.

Bored

June 7th, 2012
12:01 am

EffOffHollyWood

June 11th, 2012
10:06 pm

Good riddance.