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"Burn Notice," the popular cable TV show, is on short notice in the City of Miami. The show's production company for some years has used the old convention center next to the Miami City hall for a production studio, sound stage and storage facility. The city charges $240,000 a year in rent for the popular show and gives Miami and South Florida some great scenic exposure. But now the city wants them out. Series star Gabrielle Anwar said she believes the community would benefit more from a film production.
Producers for the hit show "Burn Notice" say if their lease to use the Coconut Grove Convention Center isn't renewed, they'll stop shooting the show in Miami.
"If we don’t have the Coconut Grove Expo Center, we will not be filming Burn Notice in the city of Miami," Bob Lemchen, the head of production for Fox Television Studios, told the Miami Herald. "It’s just not an option for us."
The show's production company has called the spot home since 2006, but a master plan calls for the demolition of the center and the creation of the park.
Lemchen said much of the show is filmed at unique Coconut Grove spots, including local attractions, landmarks and restaurants, making the convention center an important spot.
Over the years, as the TV series was renewed on a yearly basis, the city granted another lease to the show, charging $240,000 a year in rent. Lemchen said the show is willing to pay a larger rent, if it's picked up for another year.
He said it would cost $1 million to move to another studio.
“We will continue looking at Miami,” Lemchen said. “But we’ve had more success looking at Broward, and other states remain a possibility.”
"Burn Notice" producer Terry Miller said they've looked at other Miami locations but none were suitable for the show.
At a meeting at City Hall last week, Mayor Tomas Regalado said the city has to comply with the master plan. He and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff indicated they want to go ahead with the plan.
But "Burn Notice" producers, actors, technicians and support staffers say the city move would have a severe economic impact on local workers and surrounding vendors.
“We are sandwiched between two parks as it is, so I am all for the trees but I think that the community might benefit more from the resources from a film production or television production here,” said series star Gabrielle Anwar, who was at City Hall to support the show with other staff members.
Lemchen said kicking out the show could send a bad message to Hollywood about filming in Miami. Sarnoff has agreed to meet with the show's producers.