Set in Houston, Filmed in Dallas?

You may have seen a promotional ad for NBC’s newest cop show called “Chase.” What you may not know is that the show is supposed to take place in Houston. And what may surprise you even further is that that the show is filmed in Dallas. Why? Bill Stamps did some investigating.

If you’re going to make a movie that takes place in Houston, why shoot it in Dallas when Houston is just a few hours away? LA or New York would be understandable since that’s where the studios are…but Dallas?

“There have been previous hour format television series that have been shot in Dallas, that sort of has a built in infrastructure.”

Rick Ferguson is with the Houston Film Commission. He says many times it’s just easier for production companies to return to the same locations to shoot different shows. He also says its normal for a movie or TV show to be filmed in a different city than where the story takes place.

“An example being some of the CSI Series; even though the story line takes place in Miami or Las Vegas, it’s a limited amount that’s shot in those locations. Most of the projects are shot in Los Angeles.”

(Clip from TV show “Chase”).

The new NBC drama “Chase” is about a group of U.S Marshalls that track down fugitives in Texas. Of course the most famous show to be shot in Texas was the 80’s tv show “Dallas.” But you’d be surprised to hear the list of movies that have been shot right here in Houston. That includes films like “Pearl Harbor,” “Armegeddon,” “Ali” and Academy Award winner “Terms of Endearment.”

(Clip from Terms of Endearment)

Ferguson says these days Houston gets more business from TV than films, especially reality TV.

“Oh you name it, ‘SuperNanny,’ and ‘Extreme Makeover,’ all of the home improvement shows have shot here at least once and some of them multiple times.”

With all the heat and humidity we have some might ask who would want to shoot in Houston, but Ferguson says the weather actually presents an advantage. During winter months when the foliage has turned brown in other cities, much of Houston is still green. So shows looking for a spring or summer look can film in Houston and still get what they’re looking for. But we still have one little problem: anything that can be shot in Houston during the winter can probably be shot in Dallas. And in many cases it is.