It’s a case of good news, bad news for the cast and crew of USA Network’s sophomore drama series Colony. Ahead of the Season 2 finale this Thursday, the sci-fi series has been renewed for a 13-episode third season to air in 2018. But after two seasons in Los Angeles, the show, from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal, is moving production to Vancouver after not landing a California tax credit.
While the California Film Commission is focusing on bringing out-of-state series to Los Angeles, most recently relocating Lucifer, The OA, Legion and The Affair to Hollywood in the latest round of tax intensives, it overlooks some series that are filming in Los Angeles, which are forced to leave.
Supergirl made the move from to Vancouver last summer, after filming its first season in Los Angeles with no tax credit. And just before the Film Commission revamped its tax credit program, ABC’s Mistresses too left for Vancouver in 2014 after filming in Los Angeles for the first two seasons. Relocation is hard, especially for people with young families, and both series lost a key actor in the move. Mistresses star Alyssa Milano triggered a clause in her original contract that allowed her to depart should the series move filming away from Los Angeles. And original Supergirl co-star Calista Flockhart also departed after wrapping her role in the first two episodes filmed in Vancouver. After a year in Vancouver, Mistresses returned to Los Angeles for Season 4 after receiving a relocation tax credit by the California Film Commission.
The cast of Colony, led by Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies, is expected to stay put in the move to Vancouver. Tory Kittles, Peter Jacobson, Amanda Righetti, Jacob Buster, Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, Alex Neustaedter, Adrian Pasdar and Tony Plana co-star in the sci-fi drama, produced by Legendary TV and Universal Cable Prods.
While promoting the series in 2015, star Josh Holloway noted that Los Angeles “has become an exotic location” for TV series. “No one shoots here anymore.” He stressed how happy he was to be able to come home at night to his wife, his then-6-year-old daughter and year-old son.
Colony’s storyline has been building toward a potential location move. In Season 2, alien intelligence is still in control of a near-future Los Angeles. With their secrets exposed, Will (Josh Holloway) and Katie Bowman (Callies) are forced to flee from their home. Hunted at every turn, they must take dangerous measures to keep their family together while trying to escape the Los Angeles bloc.
Throughout its season 2 run, Colony has been the #1 cable scripted series on Thursday nights in total viewers.
“Colony continues to fire on all cylinders creatively, with Carlton, Ryan and our incredible cast and crew striking a deep chord around the themes of humanity, survival and family,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Added Jeff Wachtel, President, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, “When Carlton and Ryan first pitched Colony, they described it as ‘the Nazi occupation of France, with aliens.’ In a world increasingly filled with uncertainty about authoritarian regimes, Season 3 will forge an even deeper connection with our audience. It’s a quality show that we know will stand the test of time.”
Colony marked the first scripted TV series order for Legendary TV. “Legendary Television is so proud, and so appreciative, of the wonderful work that Carlton, Ryan, and our superb cast and crew have done on the first two seasons of this astoundingly timely show,” said the company’s president of scripted television Lauren Whitney.