Governor Lee, Mayor Strickland weigh in on Bluff City Law filming push

Jimmy Smits and Caitlin McGee star in Bluff City Law (Source: NBC)
Jimmy Smits and Caitlin McGee star in Bluff City Law (Source: NBC)(NBC)
Updated: May. 14, 2019 at 5:52 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It’s crunch time for NBC producers as they decide where to shoot the new legal drama Bluff City Law.

"We certainly will consider any economic activity opportunities like filming," Governor Bill Lee said on Tuesday.

He also says he's well aware of the push for incentives to produce Bluff City Law locally, but Lee's comments came without a secure promise they'd happen.

"I'm very intrigued by that opportunity. It's certainly an exciting one for this city," he said.

Lee and others in his administration have been the focus of a letter writing campaign by Linn Sitler of the Memphis Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

Monday County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking Lee's administration to grant incentives.

"I sincerely hope that we do get this," Commissioner Edmund Ford said.

NBC Universal wants a $10 million package to shoot Bluff City Law in Memphis provided they spend $55 million.

Tennessee lags behind other states in offering production incentives which could hurt the state's chances.

"We will put something in but it pales in comparison to what's needed," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.

The mayor says there's no way the city can pony up the incentives itself, but acknowledged landing production here could be transformative for Memphis.

"I do think the show Nashville did help the growth and the vibe of Nashville and I do think this show could do the same thing," Strickland said.

Strickland wouldn't talk specifics on where talks stand, but said local leaders want to seal the deal.

“We are lobbying very hard and we are hoping for the best,” he said.

The pilot for Bluff City Law was shot in Memphis as well as Oxford, Mississippi.

A spokesperson for NBC Universal told us Memphis was still in discussions – which could be considered a good sign.

The show is set to premiere in the fall and will air at 9 p.m. on WMC Action News 5.

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