Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dallas gets Fox show "Jack and Dan"
A shorter version of this appeared Friday in the Dallas Morning News:
Fox’s new series Jack and Dan will shoot 13 episodes in Dallas starting in January, adding to a growing television presence in North Texas.
The show features Colin Hanks (Tom's son) as a straight-laced detective who is paired with a drunken partner portrayed by Bradley Whitford (West Wing). Originally plans had the show set in Los Angeles, but the setting will now be Dallas, said Janis Burklund of the Dallas Film Commission.
That is in contrast to the ABC series The Deep End which is currently shooting six episodes—with a potential of more--in Dallas but is actually set in a Los Angeles law firm.
“It’s really going to show diversity of Dallas,” Burklund, said. “It’s not just going to be old stereotype of Dallas.”
Filming all around Dallas will continue for 96 days into June with a conservative estimate of $1 million in local spending for each of the episodes shot. Local production offices are expected to open immediately, and at least one local casting director has already been contacted by show producers.
Increased incentives for filming in Texas played a factor, but those almost didn’t keep Atlanta from luring the series, which Dallas has been courting in some form since June, Burklund said. The difference appears to be a combination of a strong crew and cast base, and heavy cooperation from city officials who offered whatever they could to sweeten the deal, including deals on hotels and longer-term housing.
“The city is using its full capacity to make this a very good thing,” said Bob Hudgins, head of the Texas Film Commission. “It’s pretty amazing to have two series shooting in Dallas and our friends at Friday Night Lights in Austin are chugging along.”
The state’s film incentives program offers rebates to filmmakers based either on total in-state spend or as a percentage of wages paid cast and crew who are Texas residents. Burklund said Fox is leaning toward the latter, which would require at least 70 percent of cast and crew by Texans.
Texas’ incentive is up to 15 percent of in-state spend or up to 25 percent of wages, with both figures increased slightly for filming in areas deemed “underutilized.” Georgia, in contrast, offers a 30 percent tax credit.
“The creatives were wanting to be here,” Burklund said. “Luckily we had them on our side fighting for it.”
The show was created by Matt Nix (Burn Notice), and the 13-episode order was made by Fox without a pilot episode being shot, an unusual show of confidence by the network.
Burklund announced the show Thursday amid a pile of boxes in the Dallas Film Commission offices. The commission is set to relocate today from the auspices of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to the city’s Office of Economic Development in City Hall.