New Memphis TV Show ‘Bluff City Law’ Wants Corporate Welfare

Memphis officials want corporate welfare for a new fictionalized drama that could film regularly on location in the city and air on NBC, according to The Memphis Business Journal.

The show’s working title — Bluff City Law.

The website compares these potential incentives to what state officials gave the ABC and CMT drama Nashville.

According to the Memphis-based WMC Action News 5, the show is about a father-daughter Memphis legal team who practice civil rights law. Jimmy Smits stars.

Bluff City Law recently filmed its pilot in Memphis, but NBC has not yet committed to picking the show up, according to various news outlets.

“City lobbyists and others hope to get up to $18 million in incentives included in the State of Tennessee’s proposed supplemental budget, which is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed budget that was released in March did not include any new money included for film and TV incentives,” The Memphis Business Journal reported.

Linn Sitler, head of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, reportedly told the website the show could have “a powerful economic impact locally.”

“However, there was no new state funding included in the budget for film and TV incentives, according to a budget book posted online. Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD) spokeswoman Jennifer McEachern said $2 million in recurring funding will be available for the upcoming fiscal year,” according to The Memphis Business Journal.

“About $6 million in new funds were requested by the TNECD but not included in the budget. In Tennessee, film incentives aren’t a straight cash payment. They are instead a rebate for a certain amount of expenditures made in-state. The $18 million the City of Memphis is seeking is based on a projected $100 million spend for the first season of ‘Bluff City Law.’ Over the course of six seasons, ‘Nashville’ received $45 million in incentives.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]







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  1. […] As reported, Bluff City Law is the title, and producers want state incentives similar to what state officials gave the ABC and CMT drama Nashville. […]