*(Via Urban Hollwood 411) – After nearly two decades of taping in Los Angeles, “Divorce Court” has left the Golden State for the Peach State.
The syndicated courtroom series launched in 1999. Now after taping 19 seasons in California, the show is in the process of building a new set in Atlanta and hiring new staff.
“Georgia has been so welcoming … the timing felt right this season with the show celebrating its 20th ‘platinum’ anniversary,” Executive Producer Monique Chenault told Anita Bennett’s Urban Hollywood 411.
“Divorce Court,” which is distributed by Twentieth Television, originally starred Judge Mablean Ephriam. Now the series features tough-talking former Cleveland municipal court judge, Lynn Toler.
Like so many other movies and television series that have opted to shoot outside California over the years, production costs were a factor in “Divorce Court’s” move.
“It was a relatively easy decision,” Chenault explained. “Georgia has offered some really attractive incentives to get people here.”
The series most recently taped in Glendale, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. Now it’s headquartered at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
According to an April report from Film L.A., the agency that coordinates filming permits, television production in greater Los Angeles dropped 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year. That’s despite California’s $330 million-a-year film and television tax credit program.
“Divorce Court’s” move wasn’t just about California’s higher production costs or Georgia rolling out the red carpet, the couples that appear on the series were also a factor.
“A lot of our litigants do come from the region,” Chenault explained.
“We also get a lot of interest in Dallas, Houston, Maryland and D.C.,” she added. “We get less and less couples in Los Angeles.”
The show, by the way, is now seeking audience members for taping from August through November of this year. You can sign up here via hyltoncasting.com/divorcecourtaudience/.
Also, if you think Toler could help you decide where your relationship should go, you can submit an application here.
But even with an abundance of litigants in Georgia willing to share their stories on television, the series still faces a big hurdle – finding qualified staff who can handle the show’s rapid-fire production schedule.
“The challenge of shooting in Atlanta is the producing and editing pool,” Chenault noted.
Find out what that’s all about AND get the rest of the story at Anita Bennett’s UrbanHollywood411.com.