Underscoring the pitched battle to land television dramas, production of NBC's post-apocalyptic drama "Revolution" has moved halfway across the country to Austin, Texas.
The first season of the J.J. Abrams-produced science fiction drama was shot in Wilmington, N.C. But this summer Warner Bros. relocated production of the hourlong show to the Lone Star state, which offers generous tax credits.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said Saturday that scenery and storytelling also factored into the decision to shift the show to Austin. North Carolina also has lucrative incentives for TV producers.
"This has been a nomadic show," Greenblatt said during NBC's executive session at the Television Critics Assn. conference in Beverly Hills. "The show producers looked at that area, and the producers and Warner Bros. agreed that it would be great to move the show to Austin for a second season."
"Revolution," which was initially set in the Chicago area before moving on, opened strong last fall before falling dramatically in the ratings following a nearly four-month hiatus over the winter months. Producers are under pressure this year to restore some of the show's initial luster and promise, while at the same time controlling costs to sustain the production.
Texas has an increasingly vibrant film community, greatly benefiting that state's economy. So far this year the state has hosted more than 16 TV and film projects.
Austin officials expect the show to inject $50 million into the local economy, providing jobs for an estimated 250 people. Austin also was home to NBC's fan favorite "Friday Night Lights," and ABC Family's "The Lying Game." The "Dallas" remake for Time Warner Inc.'s TNT channel is produced around Dallas.
Texas' incentive program offers producers of television shows, feature films, TV commercials and video games rebates of 5% to 17.5% of eligible Texas spending, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
Los Angeles continues to hemorrhage the particularly lucrative productions of TV dramas to other states offering generous tax incentives. NBC has just one new fall drama, "Ironside," shooting in Los Angeles, in part because star Blair Underwood wanted to stay in L.A.
Only two of 23 new network dramas, including "Ironside," will be shot in Los Angeles.