USA Network pulls the plug on TV series production in New Mexico | KOB 4

USA Network pulls the plug on TV series production in New Mexico

Megan Abundis
Updated: July 17, 2020 10:16 AM
Created: July 15, 2020 10:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The film industry would normally be buzzing in New Mexico this time of year, but the pandemic has forced some studios to pull the plug on productions.

A thrill-seeking limited series based on the 1970s stuntman, Evel Knievel, was set to film in Albuquerque before it got the boot.

The USA Network confirmed with us that the Evel series, starring Milo Ventimiglia, would not be moving forward.

“USA Network will not be moving forward with the EVEL limited series project, due to the production stopdown caused by COVID-19,” NBCUniversal said. “Production was about to begin when it was forced to halt on the last day of prep (March 13, 2020)”

However, the series is being shopped around and could get picked back up again.

“There’s a huge backlog and a huge demand for content and everyone’s behind,” said Amber Dodson, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. “The industry is pretty much shut down. Most projects are on hold, halted in the gates when the world opens up.”

Dodson said that production being shut down is detrimental in the short term because people are wanting to get back to work. 

The long term, however,  is proving to be successful. Dodson says they’ve recently had a ton of interest from production companies, and that's thanks to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's leadership. She emphasized that the health and safety of New Mexicans is the most important factor and that reopening production will be at the safest possible time.

“With COVID-19, New Mexico seems to be more appealing to especially companies in Los Angeles," she said.

Dodson said companies who had previously booked other locations now want to relocate here because of the competitive incentives.

She couldn’t give too many hints about who might be coming but did say, “low budget, super high budget, TV film, studio, indies, and commercials.”

The bottom line from our film experts: trust the process. They said when the state does reopen, production will be back with a boom.

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