Film and TV

Billy Zane's Coming to Town to Shoot New ABC Series. Are More Network Shows to Follow?

After the jump you'll find a trailer for the ABC-TV mid-season replacement The Deep End, a legal dramedy set in "one of L.A.'s most prestigious law firms." The rest of the narrative sounds like every other legal drama in the history of the vacuum tube (especially the now-adiosed ABC series Boston Legal), but there is one twist: This set-in-Los-Angeles series will shoot in, of all places, Dallas beginning in September. Which means one can expect in coming months plenty of Billy Zane sightings.

Janis Burklund, director of the Dallas Film Commission, has been hinting for months that Fox would bring a show to Dallas -- turns out, this is it, as Fox is producing The Deep End for ABC. In fact, ever since Prison Break escaped Dallas, Burklund's been pursuing a replacement. She says the production is expected to open a local office on August 10, after which it will begin constructing a "very large" set on a local sound stage (most likely, The Studios at Las Colinas, though the paperwork isn't signed). She also says ABC has only committed to a six-episode order, though "there's a good chance there will be more," she tells Unfair Park.

"Truly, we had several networks looking at us for pilots," she says. "Some of them didn't happen or they went somewhere where they were ready to go. It was odd. Fox is doing this for ABC, and I was talking to ABC and CBS and Fox, and it was, 'You're doing a show for which network?' It's become very convoluted. And the other networks are still interested. It just comes down to which showrunners and actors are willing to be here for an extended time. These pieces have to come together. I feel comfortable we'll see more network series coming here -- cable too."

Perhaps the most intriguing news about this news is the fact a network's chosen to shoot here, despite the show being set in Los Angeles. Just maybe the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program is working a mere three months after its implementation. Then again, Burklund does wish the series was about, ya know, Dallas.

"I've got another one I'm talking to that's set in L.A. too," she says. "We'd like them to be set in Dallas, but the creatives have L.A. in mind. One of these days we'll get one set here. For right now, fine: We'll take whoever wants to shoot here and spend money here and hire our people."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky