Advertisements for Itself: Or, Dallas Is Great City in Which to "Jump on the Hood of a Car"

Just a quick follow-up about Code 58, the FOX buddy-cop series set to shoot here beginning January 26 with Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks. Yes, yes, as the great Ed Bark noted yesterday on something called LocateTV.com, some of the series will be shot at Fair Park (the historic locale to which I referred yesterday); Whitford's "washed-up, wild card" Dallas PD detective will live in a trailer in the shadow of the Texas Star, if I read my Uncle Barky right. According to Janis Burklund, head of the Dallas Film Commission, production offices aren't on the fairgrounds, as Ed writes. Still, this is a big deal for the city -- good press for the DPD, turning Fair Park into a sound stage in the off-season, the whole city a set. Fingers are crossed at City Hall this goes longer than the ordered 13 episodes.

"There's a lot to be said for the city showing up as itself in a project," Burklund tells Unfair Park this morning. "In that way, it becomes a product placement for the city. It's way more significant in that matter. Dallas for Dallas makes a big difference." Originally, Matt Nix's show was set in Los Angeles, but city officials convinced showrunners to move locales.

"We've been wanting shows to be set in Dallas, and this one was very open to it," says Burklund. "It's a discussion I've had with all of the shows that shoot here. People remember Dallas for J.R. Ewing and Walker, Texas Ranger. We want them to think of Dallas for new shows and different characters, and this one will show off its diversity. These guys are police officers handling small crimes, and they'll see all the sides of Dallas you can imagine. That's part of our sales pitch -- how much diversity we have here. Our strength is, we can do a Prison Break and The Deep End, where we double for other places, but a lot of people don''t understand what Dallas really is. We're not the stereotypes they think we are."

Or, as Burn Notice creator Nix said earlier this week while pitching the show to TV critics, "You walk around [Dallas] and think Starsky and Hutch or T.J. Hooker. It's a great city to jump on the hood of a car."

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