City approves $1.2 million in tax money for 'Dallas' production

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 13 at 6:36 PM

DALLAS - The new "Dallas" TV show debuts tonight at 8:00 p.m. on TNT and with unanimous approval Wednesday, the city council approved spending up to $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars to keep production here.

The city's incentive package allows for $200,000 to be paid annually to Horizon Scripted Television, which is producing the show, for six years. In return, the production company must film 13 episodes locally that air.

And Ken Topolsky, the show's producer, said they will air in the U.S. and internationally, reaching a potential audience of millions.

According to several Dallas City Council members, Supporting the incentive package was easy, considering the near priceless marketing value the new version of "Dallas" offers the city.

Council members were almost giddy at the prospect of a world audience seeing downtown landmarks, the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Cowboys Stadium.

"No money could pay for the advertising and marketing for the City of Dallas," councilmember Tennell Atkins said.

Noting the immediate economic impact of 300 jobs created and all goods used in the show purchased in Dallas, councilmember Delia Jasso said, "This gives Dallas worldwide attention that we have not gotten since 'Dallas' stopped."

Others who got to screen the pilot and second episode on Wednesday were thrilled that the on-screen conniving that made the original a success remains.

"It's all so good, all the backstabbing," said councilmember Sandy Greyson.

Unlike the original, which did most of the filming in California, Topolsky said he plans to do all of the updated episodes in Dallas.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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