Nashville TV Series Gets Up to $7.5M Grant from State

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Nashville, the episodic drama that was picked up for the fall TV season by ABC, will receive up to $7.5 million in reimbursable grants for its in-state spending, the state Department of Economic and Community Development announced yesterday. That's the largest grant the state has handed out since Gov. Bill Haslam folded the film and TV commission under the ECD umbrella last year.

In a release, ECD representative Laura Elkins said the TV series is expected to hire some 350 Tennessee residents as crew when it begins shooting here next month — a source of major concern, at a time the state's film workers have been migrating south to incentives-rich Georgia. Of all the projects a state can land, episodic TV is among the most prized, as a long-running series can provide years of work and create almost a small economy in itself.

On top of that, Nashville will handle much of its music scoring, recording and publishing here.

The pilot, written by former Nashvillian Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) and starring Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Powers Boothe, has been getting solid buzz, including a plug from USA Today recently as one of the fall's hottest TV prospects. Next up, Elkins says, is an independent film called The Identical shooting in Tennessee this September.

Below, the full Nashville release.

ECD APPROVES GRANT FOR “NASHVILLE” PRODUCTION
New ABC Fall Show Begins Pre-Production, Projected to Hire More Than 350 Tennesseans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) announced today that it has approved a grant of up to $7.5 million for the “Nashville” television show that will film in Music City and premier on ABC this fall. The reimbursable grant will be based on the production’s actual qualified expenditures made in Tennessee. Qualified expenditures are those incurred in the state for goods or services purchased from a Tennessee vendor or paid to a Tennessee resident in connection with the production.

“We are taking a new approach to one of Tennessee’s strongest and most unique businesses, the entertainment industry,” Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said. “Gov. Bill Haslam has made a concerted effort to fold the film and music sectors into our department and make them a part of the state’s regular economic goals and initiatives.

“The unique confluence of film and music that ‘Nashville’ offers is central to our aim of highlighting Tennessee’s great strength as a center of creative excellence in the music industry,” Hagerty added. “Additionally, the consistent employment afforded Tennesseans as a result of this multi-episode series will result in constructive training and talent development and longer term employment for Tennessee’s entertainment industry.”

Pre-production on the series, which will be filmed in and around Nashville, has already begun with principal photography slated to begin mid-July. “Nashville” is expected to employ more than 350 Tennessee residents in various crew positions. Additionally, much of the musical scoring, recording and publishing will be done in Music City.

“Nashville” stars Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights,” “American Horror Story”) as Rayna James, a country music legend, and Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”) as Juliette Barnes, a young up-and-coming star. Also starring in the series are Powers Boothe (“MacGruber,” “24”), Eric Close (“Chaos,” “Without a Trace”) and Clare Bowen (“General Hospital”).

The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Gaylord Entertainment. For more information on the show, visit www.facebook.com/NashvilleABC.

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