Cancellations mean Seattle is getting a lot less television exposure these days

June 21, 1995|By Seattle Post-Intelligencer

SEATTLE -- Earlier this spring, Seattle was the production home for three TV series. Now there are none.

Thomas Carter, creator and executive producer for "Under One Roof," confirmed this week that the landmark drama about a black extended family will not be back on CBS.

A network spokeswoman said she had no definitive word on the fate of the show, which was being considered as a midseason replacement in 1995-96. But Mr. Carter said it's dead.

"They've sold and auctioned off all the clothes and they're in the process of tearing down the sets," he said. "The show is canceled. It's no longer on CBS and I don't have any real prospect for it ever being on CBS.

"And that is very sad for all of us and for the many people in Seattle who worked on the show."

A man who answered the phone at the local production office said, "We'll be out of here in a week."

"Under One Roof," a critically praised drama starring James Earl Jones, Joe Morton and Vanessa Bell Calloway, premiered for an eight-episode run in March. It was the last of the three Seattle-based TV series to get the ax. In May, CBS canceled "Northern Exposure" after five seasons and Fox canceled "Medicine Ball" after a brief spring tryout.

Leslie Lytel, project coordinator for the state film and video office, said the recent change of entertainment presidents at CBS probably sealed the fate of "Under One Roof" because the new boss will want to install his own shows, not revive his predecessor's holdovers.

Ms. Lytel said there are no prospects for another Seattle-based TV series in the near future.

She said a show currently located in Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted to move to this country and considered Seattle but couldn't find a way to beat the economic advantage of the Canadian dollar.

And "The Sentinel," a proposed Paramount series about a detective with heightened sensory abilities, had a pilot script written for Seattle locations. But Ms. Lytel said a production office was open here for only about two weeks before it was ordered closed for economic reasons without any actual shooting completed.

Ms. Lytel said the temporary sound stage for "Under One Roof," situated in South Seattle, was not an adequate site and the show would have needed to move to a better spot if it had been picked up for another season.

The Redmond sound stage where much of "Northern Exposure" was shot also will be dismantled, she said, and the industrial-park building probably will be leased to another business soon.

Much of "Medicine Ball" was shot in a sound stage at Sand Point, a Seattle neighborhood where the state hopes to create a permanent facility for TV and movie productions.

The only other Northwest-based TV series is "Under Suspicion," the Portland-shot detective show that CBS also put on a bubble for possible pickup as a midseason replacement.

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