The Texas Film Commission just sent word that tomorrow at 3 p.m., Mayor Tom Leppert and Governor Rick Perry will be joined by 20th Century Fox TV execs at Dallas City Hall to announce "additional television series coming to the Dallas area." Which begs the question: In addition to The Good Guys and Lonestar?
Why, yes, as a matter of fact -- and it's a series (for CBS and produced by Fox) whose name is no secret among crews around town who've already been approached about working on it. What's interesting about this show: The pilot was filmed in Los Angeles (a la The Deep End) with a name-brand director, but the network decided to shoot here instead.
Texas Film Commission Director Bob Hudgins tells Unfair Park the reason Fox is coming here with yet another series is "because things are going so good," meaning: The production incentives are working, and crews are impressing. But I asked him this morning: Is there a fear that Dallas, now crowded with productions (including NBC's Chase), is going to run out of places to hold all these folks? And: Are we worried about crews getting spread too thin?
"It's going to be heavier lifting," he says. "That's one of our primary concerns -- that we have good, qualified crews working on these shows. We want to maintain that level of quality and capacity, so I am a little nervous, I have to say, because that's how we'll make this work."
I tell him a friend of mine, a cinematographer working on two FOX shows, mentioned to me last week that folks who left Dallas after Walker and Prison Break are beginning to return ... in droves. He says he's seeing that as well.
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"A lot of Californians who are non-Texan are starting to move here. There are giant letters on the billboard: 'Leave California.'" He laughs. "And they are. And we're now a destination. The incentives are working. it takes a year before people believe it's real, and we've hit that point now and we can sustain that baby. That is what they will talk about tomorrow: the need to sustain the incentives."