Cinemax's 'Banshee' will move production to Pittsburgh for season 4
February 12, 2015 1:10 PM
Anthony Starr plays the lead in Cinemax's "Banshee."
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In a first for Western Pennsylvania, two scripted, prime-time TV series will make Pittsburgh their production home in 2015.
Cinemax’s “Banshee” has been renewed for an eight-episode fourth season and will move production from Charlotte, N.C., where its first three seasons filmed, to Pittsburgh.
“Banshee” joins WGN America’s new 13-episode drama “Outsiders,” which previously announced it is setting up shop locally for a spring production start.
“Banshee” is one of several North Carolina-based TV series that went looking for a new filming location after North Carolina legislators gutted the state’s film tax credit program last summer.
“We chose Pittsburgh for the look of the surrounding area and for the Pennsylvania tax incentive," said “Banshee” producer Robert Phillips. "We are delighted with the crew, locations and infrastructure here in Pittsburgh.”
“Banshee” has been set in fictional Banshee, Pa., since it began. Cinemax describes it as the story of ex-con Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), a master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pa., where Hood continues his criminal pursuits while enforcing his own code of justice. The show stars Ivana Milicevic (“Mind of the Married Man”), Ulrich Thomsen (“The Celebration”) Frankie Faison (“The Wire”) and Hoon Lee (“The Blacklist”).
“Banshee” was created by Jonathan Tropper (“This Is Where I Leave You”) and David Schickler (“Kissing in Manhattan”) and counts Alan Ball (HBO’s “True Blood”) among its executive producers.
“Television series are amazing in that they provide long-term employment for our local crew and ongoing business for our local vendors,” said Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer. “This is a direct result of the very successful Film Tax Credit program. If we could uncap the Film Tax Credit program, we would see even more of this type of work and economic activity in our region.”
TV drama episodes typically cost about $3 million per episode; between “Outsiders” and “Banshee,” that’s likely around $60 million in TV production coming to Pittsburgh. The majority of that will be spent locally, although writing and editing, in particular, usually take place in Los Angeles regardless of where a TV show is produced.
WGN America does not have an air date for “Outsiders.” Cinemax’s “Banshee” is debuting episodes from its 10-episode third season at 10 p.m. Friday; new seasons of “Banshee” typically begin airing each January and Cinemax says season four will air in 2016.
TV writer Rob Owen: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.
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