City leaders disappointed, but not surprised that 'Revolution' is leaving Wilmington

Published: May. 11, 2013 at 3:57 AM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2013 at 7:14 PM EDT
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NBC's 'Revolution'
NBC's 'Revolution'

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)- City leaders are disappointed but not surprised that Revolution is leaving Wilmington.

Giancarlo Esposito confirmed in a text message to our Frances Weller on Friday night that NBC is moving the hit series to Texas.

Councilman Kevin O'Grady said it seems the story line was moving them away from the Port City.

"They had always made allusions to Texas in the show, and I was thinking if they go to Texas, that it would be hard to imagine Texas here," he said. "We don't have that dry, arroyo type location. So, it's not a complete shock. We have lots of film work and other shows here now and there will be more coming."

NBC announced that Revolution would be picked up for the 2013-14 season a few weeks ago but did not indicate then if the show would be coming back to Wilmington.

O'Grady said he doesn't think the series leaving will have a negative impact on the local film industry.

"The film industry is still here to stay," he said. "We're sorry to see Revolution go. They've been good neighbors for the past year. They've created a lot of jobs for us. Many of the cast and crew lived in our neighborhood, so we will be sorry to see them go."

This could mark the first time in 16 years that Wilmington has not had a TV series filming here. Dawson's Creek filmed from 1997-2003. One Tree Hill picked up where that series left off in 2003 and ran through 2012. Revolution started filming in Wilmington in mid-2012, with much of the crew from OTH working on the show.

Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, wasn't immediately available for comment.

However, Mayor Bill Saffo told us he and Griffin are currently working together to bring several new pilot shows to Wilmington to fill the space left by Revolution's departure.

When the show announced it was coming to Wilmington to film in May of last year, the news was met with a lot of excitement. There was huge fanfare around the premiere of the show when it debuted last fall and hosted a screening at Thalian Hall, with some of the stars attending the event.

Revolution employed around 125 people full time and hired on hundreds of part time extras. The stars of the show settled into the community, even getting involved in charitable organizations while here. Esposito, who plays Capt. Tom Neville, said in a recent interview with WECT that he hoped to have a chance to film again in Wilmington.

The series originally decided to film on location in Wilmington because of the experienced crew and the state's film incentives program.

In North Carolina, productions spending more than $250,000 are eligible for a 25% refundable tax credit and an accommodations tax exemption.

In Texas, productions are reimbursed up to 17.5% if they spend more than $250,000.

Productions can also get 8% to 29.25% back of eligible wages paid to Texas residents, depending on budget levels and types of productions.

According to a news release, Revolution is the season's top-rated drama on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, as well as the top-rated new series among those networks.

Revolution airs Monday nights at 10:00 on WECT.

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