Locally shot pilot returns to Wilmington for first season

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The TNT drama, 'Good Behavior,' which shot its pilot in Wilmington in October, will resume filming locally after being picked up for nine episodes. Photo by Hilary Snow.
The TNT drama, ‘Good Behavior,’ which shot its pilot in Wilmington in October, will resume filming locally after being picked up for nine episodes. Photo by Hilary Snow.

A locally filmed TV pilot will return to the Port City after getting picking up for a first season.

TNT has green-lighted the drama, “Good Behavior,” for nine episodes, and Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, said they will all be shot here in town. He said it’s the first confirmed project for the area for 2016, and there is currently no filming ongoing in Wilmington.

“They say it’s coming to Wilmington; that’s their plan,” Griffin noted Friday.

Set in North Carolina and starring Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey,” “Good Behavior” is based off Blake Crouch’s bestselling Letty Dobesh book series. Fresh out of prison, Dobesh (Dockery), a thief and con artist, finds herself entangled in a hired hitman’s plan to kill another man’s wife.

The pilot, which was given a boost from the state’s film grant fund, shot in various locations throughout Wilmington–including downtown restaurant manna and Market Street’s Carolinian Inn–in October. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, up to $1.25 million of the current $5 million pot of grant money has been earmarked for “Good Behavior.”

Although he does not know exactly when shooting will resume, Griffin said it should start “soon after the New Year” and continue into the spring.

After the loss of three major productions in 2015, Griffin said “Good Behavior” is a good sign the state’s beefed up spending on film is already making an impact.

Both the Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” and ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” announced their departure from the area earlier this year. And in September, CBS decided to cancel its locally filmed sci-fi show, “Under the Dome.”

Although they let the film incentive program expire in 2015, state lawmakers have thrown some support at the industry, increasing funding for the film grant fund from $10 million to $30 million annually in the 2015-17 budget.

“Producers have told us in the last couple months that we do have a good program now, that they’re looking at it. This shows that we can still get projects and we have activity in town,” Griffin said. “You know, when we go out to L.A. to [pitch Wilmington], the first thing they want to know is, who is shooting now? If we say no one, it’s like dead silence…But this way when they ask we can show that things are still busy in Wilmington, we still have incentives and crews are still here.”

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.