Saturday, July 13, 2024

Welcome to Burgaw … err, Flatch: Season 2 mockumentary to return to the Cape Fear

Chelsea Holmes, Sam Straley and Sean William Scott in “Welcome to Flatch,” filmed in Burgaw and surrounding areas in 2020 and 2021. Season two will return to film locally. (FOX Entertainment)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — A FOX series that was renewed last week will return to film its second season in southeastern North Carolina.

“Welcome to Flatch” — now airing Thursdays on FOX and available to stream on FOXNow and Hulu — was filmed in Pender, New Hanover and Duplin counties last year under the code name “This Country.” A network representative said its return to Wilmington has received the greenlight.

An American remake of the BBC comedic series “This Country,” the show was produced and written by Jenny Bick (“The Greatest Showman,” “Sex in the City”) and directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “Freaks and Geeks”). The series follows a mockumentary format. 

A documentary crew is sent to explore life in the rural town of Flatch, Ohio, population 1,500. It centers mainly on two cousins, Kelly and Shrub, creating hijinks around the town bus driver, hosting dance-offs in the church hall, setting scarecrows on fire at a town festival, and getting into green juice pyramid schemes. It also tracks the townsfolk around them as they deal with everyday life, finding love and following their dreams.

It stars Chelsea Holmes, Sam Straley, Sean William Scott, Taylor Ortega, Krystal Smith, Justin Linville, and Aya Cash. A few Wilmington faces also show up in the series, including Ed Wagenseller, UNCW theater professor, and Dead Crow Comedy Room owner Timmy Sherrill.

Whether the same cast will return in season two is unknown at this time. Deadline has reported it could change.

The show began filming in the Wilmington area at the beginning of 2020 but was shuttered due to Covid-19. Cameras started rolling again in November 2020 and wrapped last year in March. 

Locations mainly center on the sleepy farm town of Burgaw, though downtown Wilmington and Wallace can be seen throughout the half-hour comedy. Double Happiness on Wrightsville Avenue makes it into scenes as the town’s Chinese restaurant. The town church is filmed at the Macedonia A.M.E. Church on Walker Street in Burgaw.

Reviews have compared the quirky series to “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” The 14-episode first season will conclude May 26 with a “Merry Flatchmas” finale.

Nielsen ratings are averaging 0.2 (the percentage of 120.6 million households tracked by the company) among adults 18-49. That’s around 1 million total viewers, including a week’s worth of delayed viewing.

The show is produced by Lionsgate, BBC Studios’ LA production arm and FOX Entertainment. The 2020-2021 production was approved for an $8-million grant rebate, according to the North Carolina Film Commission.

“Based on forms submitted to the state, it was estimated in advance to be a $25 million NC spend,” said Johnny Griffin, executive director of the Wilmington Film Commission.

Griffin said the production hired around 175 crew last season and expects season two to remain around the same.  

It’s unknown at this time when “Welcome to Flatch” will set up offices in town. 

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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