WGN America moves ‘Underground’ production to Georgia for season 2

Underground WGN

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, August 5, 2016

Good news for folks seeking more scripted opportunities in Georgia: WGN America’s historical drama “Underground” is moving production from Louisiana to Georgia for its second season.

The series is listed in the curernt Georgia Film Office’s running tally of active productions. WGN America has not officially confirmed the news.

“Underground” is fictionally set in Georgia and focused on a group of determined slaves attempting to escape servitude via the Underground Railroad.

UPDATE: The network announced on August 25 that the show will be shot in Savannah, the first TV series in quite a long time to be produced in that city. Production begins August 29.

NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks recently praised “Underground” for its timely message of hope, saying it “excites and ignites the imagination and the creativity of our young people…and we, as a country, need to draw upon our history that we might find the sole sustenance for the facing of this hour.”

Louisiana,in a budget crunch, last year capped its tax credits and the number of productions has plummeted. Georgia’s tax credits are not capped at all. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate:

During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Louisiana Economic Development, the state agency that administers the program, received 61 applications from producers for tax credits to offset $225 million of filming costs in Louisiana. During the 12 months of the preceding fiscal year, by comparison, the agency received 138 applications to offset $1.2 billion in filming costs. That suggests a decline in film spending of about 75 percent.

In comparison, Georgia is on the rise, according to a myajc.com story by Scott Trubey this week. Gov. Nathan Deal has shown full support for the burgeoning movie and TV production in the state, centered mostly around metro Atlanta.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said Tuesday that total film spending in the state topped the $2 billion mark for the first time ever in the 2016 fiscal year that ended July 31. Total filming and other movie and television production expenditures were up nearly 19 percent compared to budget year 2015 and more than seven times the figure Hollywood spent in Georgia in 2008.

 

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