"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.
A master plan calls for the demolition of the center and the creation of a park. This is not a new issue and over the years, as the TV series was renewed on a yearly basis, the city granted another lease.
"There is a master plan that is putting pressure on the city, and we have to comply with that master plan," Mayor Tomas Regalado told NBC 6.
Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff have indicated they want to go ahead with the park 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 came to support the show at City Hall Thursday with other staff members.
During the show's first five years of production, Fox has spent more than $100 million in South Florida, including nearly $63 million in wages, according to Miamitodaynews.com.
Sarnoff feels that in the long run a park will attract long-term investment to the area. "A park is forever, a TV series runs year-to-year," Sarnoff said.
"Is it a best use and the highest, smartest way to put your movie studio directly on the waterfront, or are you better suited to have a park?" he later asked.
Crew members say the show may relocate to Broward County or out of state.
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