'Fringe' moves production to Canada

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EW has learned that Fringe, J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi series on Fox—which is set in Boston but films in New York—is planning a move to Vancouver, Canada in the event that it is picked up for a second season. In a statement, Warner Bros. Television tells EW that “in this challenging and uncertain economic environment, we have made the very difficult decision to move… We did not come to this conclusion easily, but economic and practical imperatives dictated that this decision be made in a timely manner.” It is believed that the decision to relocate is due largely to the lingering possibility that New York state’s film/TV production tax incentive program, which just recently ran out of funds, will not be replenished by Governor David Paterson.

According to Stuart Suna, head of Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios—where Fringe currently films—the program’s $685 million budget, which was put into place in April 2008, was initially expected to last until 2013. But because of its popularity, “all of the allocated money was used up. So many productions came to New York. It was more than anybody expected.”

With the potential expiration of these tax incentives, the future shooting locales for certain NYC-based shows—like 30 Rock, In Treatment, and Life On Mars—remain in limbo. The problem is compounded by the fact that in the past week, California and Ottawa each made aggressive moves to court productions with their own tax incentives. EW can report, however, that neither Ugly Betty nor Gossip Girl will be exiting the Big Apple anytime soon; they were fortunate enough to file their applications just before the piggy bank emptied.

EW will follow this story as it continues to develop, so keep checking back for updates.

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Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Drewgo

    Good news for Vancouver, where I live… We’ve filmed the X-Files here and Supernatural…Fringe would fit right in…. And of course Joshua Jackson is from here too

  • ardawna

    stay in the usa

  • Barbs

    How many shows (and movies) can you film at one time? I wonder if we could see a Twilight, Fringe and Supernatural cross-over?! ; )

  • Anonymous

    YAY, one for canada.

  • Ted

    Whatever happens, I hope they keep the show going. It has become a favorite – a good split between sci fi action and some wry humor. I like the New England setting though, although they seem to make it around the region faster than Jack Bauer can get around LA or DC!

  • bondfool

    “30 Rock” mustn’t leave 30 Rock. The NYiness shines with that show.

  • Steven

    It seems to me that 30 Rock couldn’t really film anywhere else but New York. Is that just an irrational assumption?

  • Lisa

    Moving shows like Fringe, Life on Mars, etc. has a huge impact on NYC. And I’m not talking about $$ the city gets. These shows constantly hire background actors/actresses in the NYC area. There will be lots of people not getting work when these shows leave.

  • Anonymous

    30 rock films in jersey

  • Karen

    Go Ottawa! Home town REPRESENT! :) Vancouver is PERFECT for Fringe. They shoudla been there all along, anyway.

  • DW

    I love Vancouver, but tend to think that shows that film there look incredibly generic. I hope Fringe doesn’t start looking like every show on ABC Family.

  • J.

    If Vancouver is less expensive, then Fringe should move there to film. It’s a no-brainer. But I’m disappointed; couldn’t they find one less way to be like the X-Files? The first 5 season of the X-Files were shot there, exclusively.

  • Mister F

    I’m okay with Fringe moving to Vancouver (why they didn’t just make the setting New York in the first place is still weird), but Vancouver is just so…..overused and pretty generic.
    But there’s no excuse for 30 Rock not to film where’s it expected to!

  • bruno

    it’s too bad vancouver gets such a bad rap, because as “generic” as it may seem, it’s not. shows just choose not to show the city in all its glory, because it always has to fill in for someplace else…

  • orkosrevenge

    This makes no sense they filmed the pilot in toronto and fall of this year and winter of this year and next vancouver will be getting ready for the olympics, which will cause a huge trafic problems. Also they will be competing for space there with the other shows filming there. Where as toronto just built a HUGE studio that is sitting empty.

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