Mayor Karl Dean: ABC’s ‘Nashville’ Means More To The City Than Free Advertising

'Nashville' has scenic shots of the city in each episode, which help boost the city's image. Credit: ABC / Craig Sjodin

‘Nashville’ has scenic shots of the city in each episode, which help boost the city’s image. Credit: ABC / Craig Sjodin

Update, 8:00 a.m.: We’ve seen reports that “Nashville” will stay in town for an $8 million inventive package, with $5.5 million coming from the state. We’re working on verifying that — more updates soon. 

While ABC recently renewed the TV drama “Nashville” for a third season, it has yet to announce whether the show will continue to film in its title city.

Last season, the state of Tennessee subsidized the show by $12.5 million. But after the state slashed its film incentive fund by about 90 percent, the show reportedly started scoping out other cities to film in.

This wouldn’t be the first show to reject the city it’s supposed to portray. As we reported a few weeks ago, “CSI: Miami” was filmed in southern California, and the political thriller “House of Cards” is filmed not in Washington, D.C., but in nearby Baltimore.

Even if “Nashville” moves out of Nashville, the city would still get a tourism boost from the show, both from the name alone and the scenic shots of the skyline and countryside. Mayor Karl Dean says the free advertising is invaluable — but losing the show to another city would still hurt.

“It employs a lot of people. It contributes to the development of the TV [and] film industry. So I think it does matter where it’s filmed.”

The show has a reason to stay even with less money from the state, Dean says: “I think part of the appeal of the show is that it is genuinely shot in Nashville, and that it taps into the music industry here. That cannot be done in any other place.”

Dean is hoping to win over the producers without having to make up for the state’s contributions.

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