January 16, 2013

TV series based on Stephen King novel to film in Wilmington

“Under the Dome” will join “Revolution,” another TV series that films in Wilmington. Across the state, TV’s “Homeland” and “Banshee” film in Charlotte.

North Carolina has scored another major television production.

The Wilmington Regional Film Commission lists “Under the Dome,” a TV series based on a novel by Stephen King, as being in pre-production in Wilmington. “Under the Dome” is a science-fiction novel about people in a Maine town who suddenly find themselves sealed off from the rest of the world under a gigantic, transparent force field. The 1,072-page book follows the townspeople living in post-apocalyptic conditions, trying to deal with the consequences of being shut off from the rest of the world.

Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, “Under the Dome” is scheduled to begin filming in Wilmington in February and will debut on CBS on June 24. According to CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler, promos of the show will air during the Super Bowl.

Showtime, a CBS subsidiary, had originally planned to air “Under the Dome” as a miniseries, but it was announced in November that the show would air as a 13-episode series on CBS instead.

No announcements about casting have been made.

“Under the Dome” isn’t the only big game in the Port City. The freshman NBC series “Revolution” has been filming in and around Wilmington since July 2012.

“Revolution” explores society after the loss of electricity and all forms of technology, and like “Under the Dome,” has a strong post-apocalyptic vibe. Rick Porter, a TV critic for Zap2It.com, quipped during a panel discussion on “Revolution” at the winter meeting of television critics in California last week, “Wilmington, N.C., apparently has a lot of abandoned stuff that works great on ‘Revolution.’ ”

“Revolution” is in the middle of a midseason break but resumed filming last week. The season’s final 10 episodes begin on NBC on March 25.

‘Homeland,’ ‘Banshee’

On the other end of the state, Charlotte is host to Showtime’s “Homeland” series, an award-winning TV drama about a CIA agent’s personal and professional relationship with a Marine POW, who may or may not be an al-Qaida terrorist. “Homeland” finished airing its second season in December, and a third season has been ordered.

“Banshee,” an HBO Films drama about a justice-seeking sheriff in a small Amish town, also films in Charlotte and debuted on Jan. 11 on Cinemax. “Banshee” is executive-produced by Alan Ball, who created the HBO series “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood.”

A number of small independent projects film in North Carolina each year, but the state hit the jackpot in 2011 and 2012 when it landed “The Hunger Games” and “Iron Man 3,” respectively. “Hunger Games” filmed in the Charlotte area and the North Carolina mountains, while the “Iron Man” sequel filmed all over southeastern North Carolina and even spent a week filming in the Triangle.

The eighth season of ABC’s reality show “The Bachelorette” also filmed in Charlotte last year, as did many news programs and talk shows that visited the state during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

‘Safe Haven’

A film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, “Safe Haven,” recently wrapped production in Wilmington and Southport. “We’re the Millers,” a comedy starring Jennifer Anniston and Jason Sudeikis, also filmed in Wilmington in 2012.

“Safe Haven” is set for release on Feb. 14, and “We’re the Millers” should hit theaters in August.

According to the governor’s office, film crews spent more than $376 million in North Carolina in 2012, and created about 20,000 job opportunities, including talent and background extra positions. Of those jobs, more than 4,100 were considered well-paid positions for skilled workforce. Filming took place in about a third of the state’s 100 counties.

Those figures beat 2011’s then-record-breaking stats of pulling in $220 million in spending and 3,300 in skilled crew positions.

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