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Revolution Ends

NBC cancels Revolution, delivering a heavy blow to Austin film industry

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Revolution TV show on NBC
After filming the second season near Austin, NBC canceled Revolution. Photo courtesy of NBC
actor Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and Revolution talking at Austin Wizard World Comic Con
Giancarlo Esposito, the star of Revolution, was often spotted around Austin and made appearances at last year's Wizard World Comic Con. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Revolution TV show on NBC
actor Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and Revolution talking at Austin Wizard World Comic Con

Last year, Austin made a major coup when it scooped up NBC’s sci-fi drama series Revolution. Filmed near Wilmington, North Carolina for its fist season, Revolution began production of its second season in Austin last summer. Based on its first season, it was estimated that each year of filming could bring $50 million to $55 million to the Austin economy. 

Unfortunately, this particular cash cow won’t be providing any more economic incentives.

Over the weekend, NBC announced its decision to cancel Revolution after two seasons. Premiering in October 2012, the show reached a respectable average of 9.8 million viewers for its first three episodes, but its second season faltered. After moving from a Monday night slot to a Wednesday night slot, viewership fell to 5 million per episode.

It's estimated that the show employed approximately 200 locals on its crew, plus a host of local actors as extras.  

One of NBC’s most ambitious projects, Revolution told the story of people trying to navigate and survive a post-apocalyptic world 15 years after a mysterious, worldwide power outage. While no exact numbers were given, it was also estimated to be one of NBC’s most expensive shows, likely adding to its chances of being canceled.

Producers stated that the major reason for relocating to Austin was Central Texas' broad range of filming locations near a major city with veteran filmmaking talent. It's estimated that the show employed approximately 200 locals on its crew, plus a host of Austin-based actors as extras. Most of the filming took place in and around the towns of Barlett and Granger in Williamson County.

There were 22 episodes filmed in Austin, and according to the Austin Chronicle, each episode was expected to result in $1 million spent in the local economy. "We were thrilled to have Revolution in the Austin area for the past year while they filmed their second season," says Shilpa Bakre, senior communications manager for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Like Friday Night Lights before it, Revolution showcased Austin locations to millions of people around the world every week. The program, the jobs it created for our local crew and its economic impact will definitely be missed."

The final episode of Revolution will air on NBC on Wednesday, May 21 at 7 pm

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