The Lifetime Network’s latest drama series, Army Wives
, has been filming on location in Charleston, South Carolina since it began production, but there have been recent talks that the show may be moving out.
The state’s changing financial incentives prompted the makers of the popular cable series to write a letter to Governor Mark Sanford, threatening to relocate filming after the state Commerce Department voted to decrease the wage rebate for nonresidents working on productions.
“Based on this new plan, we will have no choice but to move the production of the Army Wives
... to another state that does not provide for such limitations,” Walt Disney Pictures Executive Mary Ann Hughes said in the letter. Walt Disney Pictures is one of the production companies involved with the drama series.
Originally, the plan allowed production companies to a 20 percent wage rebate for most employees who worked on set. However, the state Commerce Department decided to slash the rebates down to only 10 percent for out-of-state residents starting July. The agency also approved making $3500 the maximum rebate amount for nonresidents.
Commerce Department spokesperson Kara Borie explained that such changes were made in order to encourage companies to employ residents and suppliers from South Carolina.
Governor Sanford said through his spokesperson, Joel Sawyer, that he supports the new plan.
'There are some concerns that the way the incentives are structured, that they are not producing the kind of return on investment we'd ideally like to see,' Sawyer explained.
Although the Charleston Post and Courier reported that no less than six feature films and three television productions have signed on to film in South Carolina since the new plan was approved, High Output manager Marty Bluford is questioning the logic behind the change.
'”We have had a great year,” Bluford said. “But isn't it a little too soon to be scaling back some critical incentives?'
premiered in Lifetime on June 3rd. It stars Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Brian McNamara, Drew Fuller, Sterling K. Brown and Catherine Bell.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Photo Courtesy of Lifetime)