Reporting Bud Gillett
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The rebooted TV show ‘Dallas’ will debut on June 15, but before it even hits the screen there is already talk of it being renewed for another season.
City of Dallas officials want to make sure if that happens, the filming will continue in Big D.
The show rocked the TV world over 30 years ago; and now the revamped show is poised to return to primetime. Most of the original show was shot on sound stages in California, but this time the show is being filmed completely in and around Dallas.
With a price tag of more than $1 million an episode, there is a lot of money spent in North Texas, so it’s no surprise the Dallas City Council put on their best J.R. smile to do a deal to keep ‘Dallas’ in Dallas.
Members of the council’s economic committee welcomed show producer Ken Toplosky shortly after going into executive session to discuss possible financial incentives to keep the program in Dallas. “We can do this anywhere,” Toplosky told CBS 11, “states want us, so government stepping up and becoming a partner with us? That’s crucial.”
The city has already purchased a warehouse in South Dallas that serves as a sound stage.
There is infrastructure here as well as incentives. Word is the series is likely to be renewed, so to keep it here, city hall is willing to deal. “It’s about sweetening the pot,” says Janis Burkland of the Dallas Film Commission. “If you don’t have ‘Dallas’ here, how do you convince others to come here? It’s pure and simple.”
While other states have greater incentives, especially Louisiana, Texas has cut back on money for film commissions, so the Dallas Film Commission is working extra hard. Toplosky says he appreciates the effort. “Things that are impossible in other cities, we do here easily,” he says, “So, if there’s infrastructure, we maximize that; the more infrastructure you have the more companies will come here.”
The new show will have some old familiar faces. And some old familiar landmarks, as well as some new ones. It’s about image, but are there residual benefits to a community once a TV show is gone?
Near-downtown barbecue restaurant Hickory House thinks so, according to cook George Peoples. “Oh, man, it was wonderful, we had a nice time,” he says of his experience with the crew of the now-canceled series ‘The Good Guys.’ “They ate some of the barbecue and they were saying how great the barbecue really is,” according to Peoples. Store owner Nick Spiros says customers still come in to talk about it. “Something like that’s amazing; it makes the store look great.”
Toplosky insists filming Dallas in Dallas helps give a more authentic feel. “You have actors that love being here; they feel like they’re coming home,” he says of the original cast reprising their roles. “You get an excitement about the show. We feed off of that, people are excited we’re here, it makes us excited to be here.”
Details of incentives are being held close to the vest, but if money can be worked out, J.R. will be back. “We’re going to think out of the box and try to make sure we’ve got a good proposal on the page to make sure they stay here,” according to economics committee chair Tennell Atkins.
For his part, Toplosky is all positive about Dallas, the city. “We’re very excited to be here; for us it’s a dream come true to work on something iconic in a city that is iconic, and celebrate that.”