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October 7, 2015

Burn Notice staying in Miami

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 2nd 2009 5:27PM
Michael Westen Burn NoticeYou see that palm tree beside Michael Westen? The blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the background? Well, you can count on seeing all that Miami Beach ambiance on Burn Notice from now on. You might think, "Wait a minute. Why would they even consider leaving South Florida?" Well, last week the Miami commissioners threatened to demolish the Burn Notice studios.

Burn Notice is the only Miami set TV show that actually is filmed in Miami. CSI: Miami and Dexter, for example, fake it with Los Angeles locations. When you see South Beach on Burn Notice, you're seeing the real thing, same with Coral Gables, Boca Raton and every other recognizable SoFla locale. So it's become an important element in the show.

The reason they're able to film there is simple: they were innovative and creative enough to take the abandoned Coconut Grove Expo Center and turn it into a studio. They built sets, hung lights, stocked prop and costume departments, and generally turned an empty building into a thriving production house. The feature Marley and Me used the facilities when Burn Notice was on hiatus. When I visited the set last year, I was floored by what they'd done with the building; I'd remembered when it was the site for weekly flea markets!

For the use of the site, Burn Notice has paid $20,000 a month rent. That was all well and good until the (greedy) Miami commissioners threatened to evict the show and demolish the building. They were seeing visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads from the sale of the waterfront property.

Of course the big fly in the ointment that the commishes should have seen was the South Florida real estate market. Miami real estate -- commercial and otherwise -- is beyond depressed. Tearing down the Expo center would have left a big empty lot, and the loss of the revenues Burn Notice and other productions would bring.

Well, it seem that the commissioners were probably bluffing because as quickly as the controversy was stirred, it was settled. Burn Notice is staying in Miami, in the Expo center, for a fourth year. The rent will continue, only now they're saying it will be going toward improving the waterfront in Coconut Grove.

William Talbert, president and chief executive of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, probably explained best why this is a win-win for both sides: ''Burn Notice is an infomercial for the city of Miami. It is telecast in 206 countries worldwide.''

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Clemence Langille

Yea! I hope that this is true - Miami, and Florida in general not known for truth. Politicians here, never known for truth-just evasive and corrupt. But that is business as usual in Florida. The good news is that "Burn Notice" will stay here for awhile! A truly great show, with engaging characters, and all set where we are living - the real deal! I am a super fan - so I hope some remote, minute ray of wisdom will let the decision to give eimployment, housing, food, etc., all the frivolities of real life remain as beneficiaries of "Burn Notice!"

July 28 2012 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yahoo! I wish more shows were filmed on location, 'cause you can never fully fake it.

June 06 2009 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it's awesome that BN films in miami. i love the aerial shots that they drop in between each scene, i wonder what kind of carnage Michael is going to bring to the city on Thursday night. So pumped it's back!

June 03 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ras Thavas

Remember, this is the same type of government buffonery that wants to bring you universal health care.

You would think that with so many shows being filmed in Canada they would be happy that the series is filmed in FL. Not only are they getting rent for the a building that was previously abandoned, but they are undoubtedly infusing cash into the surrounding community. All the people working on the series need places to live, shop, and eat.

June 03 2009 at 10:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ras Thavas's comment

Right, 'cause private companies have created a health-care nirvana. It would be a lot more accurate to say that this is the kind of government buffoonery that brought us the Iraqi reconstruction.

I'm glad they're staying in Miami, and that people are recognizing that the show is a weekly commercial for the city.

June 05 2009 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maytia Hernandez

Who said government was smart? If they used their brains we would not be in the bind we are. The same principal with Foreclosures, let then property crumble instead, who cares, right?

November 03 2011 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Burn Notice, filmed in Miami.
I love the Burn Notice novels, penned by Tod Goldberg. The novels are set in Miami, but are penned in California, because, well, Tod lives there.

I'm happy that Miami has at least one show that's filmed there; Texas needs to learn to attract film companies

June 02 2009 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nip/Tuck, when it was based in South FLA, was actually filmed in LA. I remember seeing the LA convention center used as an airport once and thought that was pretty laughable.

Oh well, that's good for the 30 mile TMZ and our economy.

June 02 2009 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Greed is a sin.

June 02 2009 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amazing that they actually managed to come to their senses. Usually it's towns here in Cali that are stupid enough to kick out the golden goose. That and the show is awesome, and I'd be disappointed to see it lose the edge of authenticity that it has.

June 02 2009 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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