A day after FX series Tyrant made the decision to permanently relocate production of its freshman season from Israel to Turkey, USA Network limited series DIG too is officially pulling out of the country torn by the violence in Gaza. “Given the current situation and after careful consideration, we are relocating the production of Dig partly to Albuquerque and are continuing to explore other locations,” USA said in a statement. “Our experience filming in Israel was very positive and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to capture such an authentic landscape that will be threaded throughout the series.”
When the Gaza attack started a week ago, DIG extended its planned hiatus by week while the network and producers were exploring alternatives and holding conversation with the project’s insurance company. The series, starring Jason Isaacs as an FBI agent investigating a troubling murder of a young woman archeologist in Jerusalem, took a break after filming the first episode of its six-episode order. The pilot episode was shot throughout Israel, including Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. The decision comes as FAA this morning banned all flights to Israel for the next 24 hours following reports of a Palestinian rocket strike landing close to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. And yesterday, the US Department of State warned Americans against traveling to Israel and the Gaza Strip.
In September, the Showtime series Homeland, from Tyrant producer Fox 21, moved third-season scenes that were planned to be shot in Israel to Morocco over concerns about the situation in Syria. (DIG, Homeland and Tyrant all share a co-creator, Israeli writer-producer Gideon Raff). CBS’ biblical miniseries The Dovekeepers also originally eyed shooting there before deciding to go elsewhere, ultimately settling on Malta. So far, about 565 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 25 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the Gaza battle.