A&E has confirmed a green light for its Pittsburgh-set series "Those Who Kill" a week after local crew members started getting calls about the series pickup. The pilot filmed locally in December and the balance of the show's 10-episode first season will begin production in Pittsburgh this fall for a cable premiere in 2014.
"Those Who Kill" marks a milestone in Pittsburgh TV production: The largest scripted, prime-time TV series order in the region's history.
Western Pennsylvania almost landed its first one-hour scripted drama a year ago when production company Gaumont International Television committed to film the Netflix streaming series "Hemlock Grove" locally before pulling up stakes and moving production to Toronto.
In 2011 Fox filmed the pilot "Locke & Key" in Pittsburgh but it didn't get a pickup. NBC is filming a set-in-Pittsburgh pilot, "Hatfields & McCoys," in Boston; if it's picked up to series in May, it could conceivably move production to Pittsburgh.
Previous broadcast network series "The Guardian" and "Three Rivers" shot some scenes locally but the bulk of their production was done in Los Angeles. To date, Pittsburgh's biggest television production was Spike TV's eight-hour miniseries "The Kill Point" in 2007. (Lifetime reality show "Dance Moms" films large portions of its episodes in Pittsburgh but reality shows have comparatively small crews and make little economic impact; scripted cable dramas typically carry an average $2 million per episode price tag, with much of that spent where the program is filmed.)
"We're thrilled to welcome 'Those Who Kill' back to Pittsburgh with their full series order," said Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer. "This means long-term employment for our extremely talented film crew. It's going to put everybody back to work after our prolonged lack of filming opportunities due to the lack of available tax credits."
Since "Those Who Kill" wrapped in December, there hasn't been much local, national film or TV production, which Ms. Keezer attributes to Pennsylvania exhausting the film tax credits available for the 2012-13 fiscal year that ends June 30th. "Those Who Kill" has been approved for film tax credits for the series that begins production in Pittsburgh later this year.
"Those Who Kill" stars Chloe Sevigny ("Portlandia," "Big Love") and James D'Arcy ("Hitchcock," "Cloud Atlas") and is based on a Danish crime series format inspired by the work of author Elsebeth Egholm.
The series focuses on Catherine Jensen (Ms. Sevigny), a police detective who tracks down serial killers. She's also investigating her stepfather, who she suspects may be a serial killer. Jensen seeks the assistance of Thomas Schaffer (Mr. D'Arcy), a forensic psychiatrist.
A version of this story first appeared in Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. TV writer Rob Owen: email@example.com or 412-263-2582. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook. First Published April 10, 2013 4:00 AM