SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – The City of Savannah is set to lose millions of dollars after the cancellation of a popular NBC show.
“Council of Dads” is a TV series written by a Savannah native and filmed in the Hostess City. The president and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Hugh “Trip” Tollison, told WSAV News 3 that the show created over $30 million in revenue from restaurants to jobs on the production crew.
“The $36 million include what the crew or actors would spend if they went out to eat or if they catered to their facilities, any lodging needs, building sets, it’s a whole list of things,” said Tollison.
A location scout for the show “Council of Dads,” Anthony Paderewski, said that he believes about 300 locals helped with the making of the series.
“It’s not just the hotels and restaurants, it’s the caterers. It’s so many different companies that come together with our big film circus to make it happen,” said Paderewski.
In 2019, the film industry generated $125.6 million in direct spending and $266.3 million in economic impact for the region.
Most production companies were shut down from March until the end of May. Tollison told News 3 that he has finally started taking calls again from production companies who are interested in learning more information about what Savannah has to offer.
“We’re ready to get back to work. We’re ready to feed our families. We’re ready to create these amazing TV shows that give so much to people,” said Paderewski.
Governor Brian Kemp announced two weeks ago that the major motion picture, television, and streaming companies plan to bring back and hire an estimated 40,000 production workers. However, this new spike in cases is threatening to push that off again.
Both Paderewski and Tollison said that they are disappointed by the cancellation of “Council of Dads,” but they are hopeful that Hollywood will see an opportunity in Savannah.
“We always say that film business is show business, 90% is business 10% is show. As long as we can continue to make the business case, if we keep doing what we’re doing locally, marketing and selling Savannah as a destination for film production, then the sky’s the limit,” said Tollison.
The Georgia Film Office has created new safety guidelines to help entertainment workers get back to business. View those here.