Film and TV

ABC Studios Is in Dallas This Month Shooting a TV Pilot Starring Vanessa Williams

Wikimedia Commons
Hollywood is smack dab in the middle of another busy pilot season, and one production vying for a full season on a major network is being filmed here in Dallas.

ABC Studios officials confirmed that film crews are scheduled to shoot a pilot for a new dramatic television show titled False Profits sometime this month in the city. The show's cast includes actress and singer Vanessa Williams.

The Dallas Film Commission posted a job ad looking for crew members for the False Profits pilot production in mid-February. The ad described the show as a "one-hour, scripted, ABC television pilot."

Janet K. Daily, the vice president of communications for the Disney-ABC Television Group, confirmed the production for the pilot scheduled to start shooting this month. The series "follows a team of down-and-out women in suburban Arizona as they fight their way to the top of the cutthroat world of a multi-level marketing cosmetics business," Daily wrote in an email to the Dallas Observer.

Williams plays a character named Suzanne. Other cast members in the pilot include Shelley Henning, who played Stephanie Johnson on the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives and the were-coyote Malia Tate in the third season of the MTV drama Teen Wolf; Bellamy Young, who starred in the ABC drama Scandal as President Mellie Grant; and Ben Lawson from the ABC political thriller Designated Survivor and the CBS crime drama Doubt.

It is not known whether the show's production will stay in Dallas if ABC gives a full season to False Profits on its upcoming primetime schedule.

Last year, Fox completed a pilot shoot in Dallas for its action drama The Gifted based on characters from the Marvel Comics universe. Fox picked up The Gifted for a full season on its network but moved the production out to Georgia. Fox gave the green light for a second season in January, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Dallas Film Commissioner Janis Burklund wrote in a post on her department's official Facebook page that the network decided to pull the production out of Dallas because of apprehension caused by the Texas Legislature's wavering stance on providing support for the Texas Moving Image Incentive Program. State Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) also blamed the loss of the production on "discriminatory legislation" such as a transgender student bathroom bill that passed the Texas House less than a week before Fox pulled the series.

Burklund said she could not comment on the False Profits pilot at this time.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.