Durangoans might want to dust off their acting chops. NBC Universal is planning to shoot the pilot episode of a new series in town this summer.
The new drama is centered on a Native American lawmaker, and the pilot episode could generate $7.87 million in spending and at least 190 local jobs, according to the Denver Business Journal. If the show is picked up as a series, it would be the first scripted major-network television series to come to Colorado in decades.
“It’s not the first time Durango has been a little starstruck. We have a long history of filmmaking in and around Durango,” said Dean Brookie, the city’s mayor.
More than 30 films have been shot on location in and around Durango since 1925, including “City Slickers,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Prestige” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” according to Durango.com. This pilot would be shot in Durango and Montezuma County and in Denver.
“This is just an ongoing recognition of our authenticity as a community, our natural resources and our creative economy,” Brookie said.
The project from writer/producer William Jehu Garroutte will be produced for ABC, the second major media company in the mix, according to the Denver Business Journal article.
Garroutte has written for the TV series “Stumptown” and produced two documentaries, “Little Hope Was Arson” and “Independent Lens,” according to the IMDb.com.
The state government already approved $1 million in film incentives for the project and would need to find more if it is picked up for the usual 13- to 26-episode series.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity and possibly a significant boost to the economy,” Brookie said. “I hope the series recognizes the cultural aspects of our history and Native American population in an appropriate form.”