'Waterfront' Picked Up For Midseason By CBS
Filming Scheduled To Start Aug. 1
Photo: Eric Liebowitz/Warner Bros
©2006 Warner Bros Television. All Rights Reserved.
Photos: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Steven Feinberg, Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, proudly confirms that the Warner Brothers television pilot, WATERFRONT, has been picked up for series as a mid-season replacement by the CBS Television Network as announced by CBS President-CEO Leslie Moonves this afternoon.   The one hour-drama series will be filmed entirely in Rhode Island, with production beginning on or about August 1, 2006.

The series is created by Jack Orman who also serves as the Executive Producer along with Joe Pantoliano.   In the series, Mr. Pantoliano stars as the fictitious Mayor of Providence, Jimmy Centrella. William Baldwin plays the Attorney General of Rhode Island.   Larenz Tate (CRASH) and Mary Stuart Masterson also star.

Director Feinberg said, "I am extremely pleased that the creative team of Jack Orman, Joe Pantoliano, Billy Baldwin, Warner Brothers and CBS are returning to our beautiful Ocean State to further develop what was already a top-notch pilot.   The combination of great storytelling, Rhode Island's amazing landscape, our professional crew and the phenomenal support of our state and city officials have truly made this collaboration a success!"

Working with the Rhode Island Film & Television Office last year, the General Assembly, under the leadership of House Speaker William J. Murphy and Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano, passed aggressive motion picture and television tax incentive legislation to bring more movie and TV productions to Rhode Island.

Last month, Governor Donald L. Carcieri signed that legislation into law.   

"CBS' decision to pick up WATERFRONT for airing next year is wonderful news for Rhode Island," Governor Carcieri said.   "At a minimum, this new television series will bring $30 million into the state's economy.   It will also help showcase Rhode Island's natural beauty and vibrant culture to television viewers across America.   Finally, this series will demonstrate to other networks that filming television shows in Rhode Island makes good business sense.   This news marks yet another success in our efforts to grow Rhode Island's economy and to create jobs.   I want to thank the show's producers for selecting the Ocean State as their filming location."

Film and TV Office Director Feinberg believes that "this production will provide about two hundred full-time jobs for local crew members with countless more opportunities for local talent.   For example, a motion picture currently filming in town is planning to utilize over 3,000 extras for that one production alone.   This series, especially if it gets picked up for multiple seasons, will be much larger in scope and the impact will be significant."

House Speaker William J. Murphy (D - Dist. 26, West Warwick, Warwick, Coventry) responded to the positive news, "This is a direct result of the General Assembly having the intestinal fortitude to pass the film and television tax legislation regardless of what the naysayers said.   This is a positive boost for the State of Rhode Island's economy and it also helps the State's tourism industry by showcasing our Ocean State to a national audience."

"When we first passed tax credits for the film and television industry, we had hoped to make the state a mecca for large and small productions, a sort of Hollywood East," said President of the Senate Joseph A. Montalbano (D - Dist. 17, Lincoln, North Providence, Pawtucket). "The initiative has been a tremendous success, and that is great news for Rhode Island. With today's news that the series WATERFRONT has been picked up, we have another production that will be filming in Rhode Island on a regular and indefinite basis, bringing with it direct and indirect jobs, and exposure for the state that will in turn lead to more film projects and more tourism."

Joe Pantoliano and William Baldwin both expressed their appreciation from the city and state officials who provided a tremendous amount of access.   They spent countless hours with both the Providence Mayor and Rhode Island Attorney General, who responded to the WATERFRONT series being picked up by CBS.   

"This is thrilling news, and I congratulate the cast and crew of WATERFRONT, including all of the Providence city employees and residents who contributed to the great success of the pilot. This proves that Providence-based productions can succeed in one of the industry's most competitive environments, and we look forward to shooting the next episodes in the coming months," said Mayor David N. Cicilline.   "WATERFRONT's great story lets us have it both ways by depicting the colorful side of old-time, bare-knuckle urban politics, but confined to the harmless realm of fiction."

Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch said, "WATERFRONT, in addition to boosting the economic vitality of Rhode Island, puts our state and - in particular - our Renaissance City, front and center on the national scene.   Great teamwork was involved in bringing this production to Rhode Island.   I have enjoyed working with Jack Orman, Joe Pantoliano, and Billy Baldwin and look forward not only to their return, but to helping to promote the show.   I also want to acknowledge Steven Feinberg for his ongoing efforts to heighten our state's profile with the television and film industries."

In the merely two years since Mr. Feinberg took office as the Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office in April, 2004, motion picture and television production in the Ocean State has increased dramatically with a variety of projects including, the BROTHERHOOD pilot and the subsequent 12 episode series, HARD LUCK starring Wesley Snipes, Walt Disney/Spyglass Entertainment's live action 2007 summer release UNDERDOG, the Warner Brothers/CBS pilot WATERFRONT and now the new WATERFRONT television series.  

Several other productions are also primed to film in Rhode Island this summer.   More details will be available in the near future.