Additional Incentives Sought by ‘Nashville’ Production Team

ABC Nashville producers are reportedly seeking increased state and local incentives to continue filming Nashville in Middle Tennessee, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

In the show’s first year, incentives­ have accounted for 32 percent of Tennessee-based costs. This is all about to change, notes Brian Reisinger of the NBJ:

Going forward, instead of 32 percent, the state will reimburse up to 25 percent, but also has made the incentive available to more types of productions. Nashville wants to convince state officials to grandfather in the show for the full 32 percent in future years. Proponents also hope Haslam and Dean will use other discretionary money for a larger, multi-faceted incentive package.

Show producers argue that Music City lacks a infrastructure to support a long-term film-related market without providing government tax incentives to offset the costs. This could be an important bargaining chip for producers, as city and state officials will undoubtedly want to keep the production based here. “[Each episode is] a 43-minute advertisement, prime time, once a week [for the city],” said the show’s producer, Loucas George, who noted that the Nashville team had incurred extra costs to build infrastructure.

According to the NBJ, estimates of the show’s direct spending in Tennessee total $44 million. Seventeen percent ($7.5 million) of that spending will be covered by a reimbursable grant if the show airs all 22 episodes.

State economic and community development spokesman Clint Brewer will be making further decisions based on the show’s success. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Gov. Bill Haslam will make final decisions regarding additional incentives.

“It’s hard to understand how a show called Nashville could be done in an authentic way without being shot in Nashville,” said Dean.

A production of Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Ryman Hospitality, the network drama is currently filming 13 episodes in anticipation to be picked up for a full 22 episodes this season.

Read MusicRow’s recap of the pilot episode here and catch an exclusive feature about the show in our 2012 MusicRow Publisher print magazine, out next week (10/16).

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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