Network drama Nashville has been slated to return as a joint production of ABC, Lionsgate and Ryman Entertainment, despite a $5.25 million decrease in state and local incentives for the production.
“It was not an easy decision to make,” noted Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “We obviously had lots of conversations, and I’m sure it’s not the amount they wanted.”
The Tennessean noted that an $8 million incentive package for 22 episodes of ABC’s Season Three was accepted after weeks of negotiations, concluding as such:
- $5.5 million from the state’s film incentive program
- $1 million from Metro (subject to council approval)
- $500,000 Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation
- $500,000 from the city’s event marketing fund under the Nashville Convention Visitors Corporation
- $500,000 from Ryman Hospitality Properties
“We’re [investing] for the ability to communicate what this city has to offer to people who historically have never been exposed to Country music and the music scene of this fabulous city,” noted CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Colin Reed, to the paper.
By comparison, Season Two’s 2013-14 incentives totaled 13.25 million proposed dollars, $500,000 of which from Metro Nashville’s first investment in the production, whereas the production enjoyed a sole state investment of between 25-32 percent of Tennessee-based costs for the 2012-13 debut season. Those incentives are noted as totaling a reported $14 million.
International distribution of the program to more than 50 countries was noted as a major reason for the continued investment. “It’s been an overwhelmingly good thing for the city,” continued Dean. “We have a strong tourism economy and a strong convention economy, but this just adds to it in a way that we would never be able to do on our own.”
The paper notes that payroll for non-actors totaled $13 million for Season Two, with 90 percent of the staffing being local. News 2 notes the production has a $40 million per year impact on Nashville while supporting up to 500 local jobs.
Big Machine Records, in association with ABC Studios, Lionsgate and ABC Music Lounge, has released a total of four soundtracks for the program, contributing to sales of over 600,000 albums and 3 million individual track downloads.
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