“The Night Shift,” a new medical drama which premieres on NBC this month takes place at ‘San Antonio Memorial Hospital.’ The drama features a lot of scenes showing the tower of the Americas and the Alamo, but 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board report the show was actually filmed in, the home of ‘Breaking Bad,’ New Mexico.
Drew Mayer-Oakes of the San Antonio Film Commission says other states offer huge incentives to Hollywood, incentives that Texas doesn’t offer.
“They are willing to come to San Antonio if we had that type of rebate available from the state and the city combined,” he said.
The program, which is called ‘MASH’ for the War on Terror, follows the team of doctors and hospital officials on the night shift at an ‘underfunded’ hospital.
“At San Antonio Memorial, the men and women who work the night shift are an irreverent and special breed,” NBC says of the show. “Particularly adrenaline junkie RC Callahan. After three grueling tours of duty in Afghanistan, TC is about to learn that his toughest battles will be fought here at home.”
But Mayer-Oakes says the toughest value of all is to convince Hollywood to set up shop in Texas. He says neighboring states offer significantly richer incentives to film companies.
“We have a half a million dollar fund to try to maintain shows like this, but in a TV series, that money would be gone in two episodes,” he said.
Texas came within a hair of losing the filming of the reboot of ‘Dallas’ to, of all places, Louisiana, which also offers generous terms to Hollywood producers.
Offering incentives to Hollywood is a tough sell in Republican places like Texas. First of all, many members of the GOP consider show business, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, to be ‘the enemy,’ and don’t want to provide incentives to an industry filled with people who will donate heavily to the other party.
Then there is the rather unseemly notion of providing money from working Texans to wealthy film moguls and stars. Often referred to as ‘bailing out Tom Cruise,’ providing tax incentives and rebates to Hollywood can be a tough sell at a time when taxpayers are stretched to the limit. Actor Kevin Spacey had to make a direct appeal to the legislature in Maryland to get them to continue filming Netflix’ ‘House of Cards’ in that state.
‘The Night Shift’ begins May 27th.