‘Bluff City Law’ to stop filming after first season, so what does that mean for Memphis?

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn., (localmemphis.com) – NBC’s latest show featuring the city of Memphis will stop filming by October 31 because of a drop in viewership. More than $4 million in tax incentives were used to bring the NBC show to Memphis. 

Many taxpayers might be wondering if this money was well spent for the show. Linn Sitler of the Memphis Film Commission explained how the money was allocated. 

“In the case of the incentives used to attract ‘Bluff City Law,’ there has been no ‘waste of taxpayer dollars.’” Sitler said. “This is because the City, County, and EDGE incentive was designed to kick in per episode. So the annual potential incentive of $1.4 million will be pro-rated as a payment per episode aired.”

The show is still set to finish filming the remaining six episodes of its first season. Filming for season two will be decided in the spring, based on its ratings from the first season. 

Chief Economic Development Officer for Memphis and Shelby County Reid Dulberger explained how the tax incentives were broken down.

“The award is subject to the Applicant producing at least nine episodes of ‘Bluff City Law’ in Memphis and Shelby County. The Applicant shall be entitled to one calendar year’s benefit for each nine shows with completed production in in Memphis and in Shelby County, up to a maximum of 36 shows, of which creates four years of benefit regardless of the period of the production,” Dulberger said. 

Sitler furthermore explained this is not a loss of tax dollars, because ‘Bluff City Law’ will film the full 10 episodes and complete it’s agreement. Sitler also explained the incentives from the state were used to boost the local economy by creating jobs and contributing to local businesses. 

“The second big incentive from the state is based on money spent in state,” Sitler said. “It’s a 25% cash refund on money spent on Tennessee vendors and wages. But the money has to be spent before anything is refunded.” 

Memphis Tourism also contributed $300,000 to the show’s production. Sitler said that money was already allocated toward TV marketing for the city of Memphis and the show served as the perfect platform for that. 

“The money they otherwise would have been spent on creation and placement of national and regional TV commercials and advertising, professionals considered investing in even a few ‘Bluff City Law’ episodes a better return on investment. Because of the series’ commitment to showcase iconic Memphis locations in prime time,” Sitler explained.

Sitler said ‘Bluff City Law’ was a great feature of the city of Memphis and reiterated that even though filming has stopped, the show has not been cancelled. 

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