Producers of the TV drama ‘Nashville’ say shooting here isn’t a sure thing for season 2. They’ve yet to tap Metro coffers for help, but it’s increasingly looking like they will.
State government provided incentives to lure initial production of the ABC show to Nashville, offering what amounts to a 32 percent rebate for the cost of production. But that’s going to be cut to 25 percent, amounting to roughly $11 million.
“You can’t expect the state to carry the ball forever,” says Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who sounds like a city leader prepared to spend with it takes to keep production in Nashville.
“An opportunity like this to have a network show with our city’s name on it that has great footage of the city is not something that comes along very often,” Dean says. “It’s something that really is pretty special.”
The finale to season 1 aired this week. Filming for season 2 – be it in Nashville or elsewhere – is slated to begin this summer.
Over at The Scene, writer Adam Gold tries to ferret out whether the debate over shooting in Nashville is just a way to squeak more money government officials:
Sources close to the show speculate that Lionsgate is rattling its saber and threatening to relocate production as a negotiating tactic, to pressure city and state officials and wring out every tax credit they can.
“Moving a location of a production, while not unprecedented, is rare,” says Variety TV critic Jon Weisman, who despite being a non-country listener from Los Angeles says he tunes in to Nashville each week. “Shows tend to stay where they started. … If and when they do move, there’s a lot of economic forces at play, I’m sure.”
“I wouldn’t sell anybody short in terms of their ability to make one place look like another place,” Weisman says. “But I can’t imagine it hurts the show to be done in Nashville.”