Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is it Showtime for Charlotte?

As you may have heard, the city of Charlotte is getting its close-up this month thanks to 20th Century Fox -- which has a film crew in the area shooting a pilot for the Showtime cable network.

Reporter Caroline McMillan provided details about the production of "Homeland" in a recent Observer story; on Tuesday, one of the series' executive producers gave us a few more pieces of info.

Howard Gordon, who was executive producer and showrunner for "24" during its eight-season run, said North Carolina was an easy sell for his team.

"It matched the location we wanted, the tax credits were great, and Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, who are two of our lead actors, are based in New York (so) it was a commutable distance for them," he said. "We scouted Wilmington as well, but the architecture and everything worked better here."

Charlotte is standing in for the Virginia-D.C. area, Gordon says.

In addition to south Charlotte's Mountainbrook neighborhood -- where two homes are being used as the primary domestic settings -- filming is taking place at locations including the Ritz-Carlton in uptown, the Carolinas Aviation Museum adjacent to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and the shuttered Philip Morris USA plant in Concord (which is doubling as the CIA headquarters, Gordon says).

Shooting originally was to start on Jan. 10, but the recent snowstorm hit the area that morning, and production was shut down for two days. Otherwise, Gordon says, "It’s been a wonderful experience. ... It's great and it's a terrific crew and it's interesting in a non-Hollywood town to see a film crew."

Gordon says filming of the pilot is scheduled to wrap here on Feb. 2. Production then moves to Washington, D.C., for a day, then everyone flies to Israel for two days of shooting (Israel will stand in for Baghdad).

As McMillan reported, once they've finished filming and editing the pilot, Fox will show it to the executives at Showtime. The network would probably make their decision in mid-March.

If they order a series, pre-production would start in April and the crew would likely film June to October. The first episodes would begin airing on Showtime around the end of August, while they're still in production.

Gordon says the plan is to continue shooting in Charlotte if the show gets picked up. "I'm protecting myself by lowering expectations. But we're optimistic."

The show stars British actor Damian Lewis as a U.S. Marine sergeant who comes home a war hero after having been held as a prisoner of war in Baghdad for eight years, during which time he was presumed dead. Danes, who won a Golden Globe on Sunday night for the HBO movie "Temple Grandin," plays a CIA agent who suspects that he's plotting an attack on America.

Interested in working as an extra in the Showtime pilot? Submit your photo and information to You also can keep up with casting news and needs on the Homeland Casting Facebook page. As of Wednesday night, the production was "still in need of Professional/CIA/Government types and folks with newer American made cars."


Jenny said...

I really like all the actors scheduled to be in this show... and I was addicted to 24. I might just have to order Showtime!

Dee Stephens said...

This is awesome! I hope it gets picked up. This would be great for the city!

Anonymous said...

You guys and your obsession with Charlotte being "seen" cracks me up. How many movies have been shot in Charlotte before? but this one is set in DC. No one will know or care its Charlotte.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what time of day they shoot? One of the houses where they are shooting in south Charlotte is right down the street from where I live, and I want to see some filming.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous "How many movies have been shot in Charlotte before? but this one is set in DC. No one will know or care its Charlotte."

Who cares that you don't care! It's a lot of WORK coming into town! It's putting a lot of people to work. And oh, by the way. Films shot and produced here?

The Trial
Witness Insecurity
The Box for Rob
Blood Done Sign My Name
April Fool’s Day
Gospel Hill
Ta Ra Rum Pum (Don't Worry Be Happy)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
The Ultimate Gift
Walker Payne
Just Like the Son
Cold Mountain
NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience
Shallow Hal
George Washington
The Original Kings of Comedy
Juwanna Mann
The Patriot
My Baby's Gone
Carrie II: The Rage
Urban Mythology
Black Dog
He Got Game
Body Count
Days of Thunder
29th Street
Black Rainbow
Born to Race
From the Hip
Stroker Ace
The Color Purple
Evil Dead II
The Closest Thing to Heaven
The Great Unpleasantness
Road Kill
Reuben, Reuben
The Boneyard
Mr. Destiny
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
43: The Richard Petty Story
40 Fears
Redneck Roots
Lovestruck Pancho
Returns to Grace
A Tale About Bootlegging
Among Brothers
Chocolate Drops
Cold Storage
Great World of Sound
In/Significant Others
Jury of Our Peers
Night Feeders
One Night Stand
Southern Gothic
The Foot Fist Way
The Lifted
The Unlikely's
Victim of Circumstance

Made for TV movies
3: The Dale Earnhardt Story
The Last Brickmaker
Shake, Rattle & Roll
Having Our Say
Saint Maybe
Steel Chariots
The Secret
Tammy Faye: Death Defying
To Love, Honor & Deceive
No Recourse
The Lottery
Best Friend for Life
Blessed Assurance
Leave of Absence
One of Her Own
Bandit Goes Country
Beauty and the Bandit
Terror in the Night
A Mother's Right
The Look Alike
The Ryan White Story
The Feud
A Stoning in Fulham County
Death in Small Doses
Breaking the Silence
Nightmare in Columbia
She Says She's
Murder in New Hampshire
Scattered Dreams
In a Child's Name
Set for Life
Vestige of Honor
Asimov's Probe
TV Production
A Makeover Story
All American Rookie - Fox
Ambush Makeover
America’s Got Talent - NBC
America’s Most Wanted
America's Next Top Driver - Discovery Channel/Brainbox Production
Antiques Roadshow
As the World Turns
Biography Channel
Breakfast with the Arts – A&E
Brothers at War – BBC Changing Lanes - BET
Dawson’s Creek – WB
Do it Yourself Network – DIY
Earth to America – TBS
Everyday Edisons – PBS
Fantasia For Real - VH1 Food Network George & Jane - ABC
Gillette Fast Cars and Superstars - ABC
Great American Network – GAC
High School Stories – MTV
History Channel
Inspiration Network Inside NASCAR - Showtime
Learning Channel
Little Black Book – NBC
Live with Regis and Kelly
Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Making of the Band – MTV
Motormouth VH1
My First Sale - HGTV
NASCAR Productions – Chasing Sunday
NFL Films
One Tree Hill – WB
Popularity Contest – CMT
Premier Retail Network
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Roush Racing Driver X – Discovery Channel
Speed Channel
Starting Over – NBC
Surprise by Design
Sweet 16 – MTV
Travel Channel
WE: Women’s Entertainment
Weather Channel
What Not to Wear – TLC
While You Were Out – BBC
Whole Body Health – Retirement Living TV
Wife Swap – NBC