Tentative "Burn Notice" Deal Would Extend Miami Lease, Demolish Building at Season's End

Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said he and executive producer Terry Miller reached the agreement Thursday

By Edward B. Colby
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 9:58 PM EDT
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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.

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The popular cable TV show “Burn Notice” could stay in Coconut Grove after its executive producer and Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff reached a tentative agreement Thursday, Sarnoff said.

Under the deal, the show would extend its lease at the Coconut Grove Expo Center for another year. If the show’s production company TVM Productions Inc. approves, it would substantially cover the cost of demolishing the old convention center next to Miami City Hall once filming of the upcoming season is complete, Sarnoff said in a statement.

TVM Productions has been paying $240,000 a year in rent on its current lease, which is due to expire by the end of October.

The Miami Herald reported that under the new arrangement, “Burn Notice” can stay at the convention center rent-free through October 2013 – if it pays to demolish the building, which will cost about $500,000, and take away the trash.

The production company has used the convention center as a production studio, soundstage and storage facility since 2006. But a master plan calls for the center to be torn down and a waterfront park to be created in its place, and Sarnoff and Mayor Tomas Regalado indicated they wanted to go ahead with the plan.

"Burn Notice" Facing Eviction in Miami

Sarnoff met with executive producer Terry Miller on Thursday.

“The concessions were well received, and they balanced our stated desire to keep ‘Burn Notice’ filming in Miami while also advancing the plans to build the park that has long been promised to the citizens of Miami,” Sarnoff said.

Miami commissioners must also approve of the agreement.

Bob Lemchen, the head of production for Fox Television Studios, said earlier this week that if the show’s lease wasn’t renewed, it would move out of Miami.

“Burn Notice” has aired for six seasons on the USA Network, which, like NBC 6 South Florida, is owned by NBCUniversal.

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