City May Need to Rope In More Funds for 'Dallas' | KERA News

City May Need to Rope In More Funds for 'Dallas'

May 21, 2012

The Dallas City Council met today to discuss how to keep producing the television show Dallas in Dallas.  

It may just depend on what the city is willing to offer.

It’s what put Dallas on the map, and now a new TNT series is bringing JR and the Ewing family back for a new generation. Ken Topolsky, the producer of the new Dallas series, said he spent more than a million dollars an episode and employed more than 300 people in Dallas the first year of production. 

"For us this is a dream come true to work on something iconic in a city that’s iconic and celebrate that," he said.

 That’s not something the city wants to lose if production continues, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins said.

"We’re going to think outside of the box," Atkins said. "Make sure we have a good proposal on the page to make sure they stay here."

Atkins said the council sees the show as an investment in Dallas, and they don’t want to lose the series to places like Louisiana, one of Texas’ biggest competitors.

Janis Burklund is the director of Dallas Film Commission. She said Texas cut its film incentive program by half -- almost 15 million dollars -- so there’s more pressure on the cities to make up the difference.

"I feel like its critical that the series stay here," Burklund said. "If you don’t have Dallas here,  how do you convince others to come here?"

Last year, the council okayed a $235,000 economic development grant for a production facility and $50,000 for additional costs.

For JR Ewing, that might seem like pocket change, but for the producers, it’s the cost of doing business in Big D.

 

Official website for 'Dallas'
Dallas Film Commission