Economic Development, Film, and Government

'Breaking Bad' creator focuses on 'Battle Creek' for CBS

September 26, 2013
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'Breaking Bad' creator focuses on 'Battle Creek' for CBS
The CBS drama “Battle Creek” portrays Battle Creek police officers on the small screen. Photo via battlecreekmi.gov

The man who created the hit Emmy-winning TV show “Breaking Bad” is setting his sights on Battle Creek.

Sony Pictures Television

AMC’s “Breaking Bad” is wrapping up its critically acclaimed five-season run with its series finale on Sunday night.

Vince Gilligan — the creator and executive producer of “Breaking Bad” who’s under contract with Sony — is moving on to his next project, a police drama set in Battle Creek and aptly titled “Battle Creek,” a spokesperson for Sony Pictures Television told the Business Journal on Thursday, who declined to be named.

Although no casting has been announced yet, the show follows two Michigan detectives with polar-opposite attitudes on enforcing law and order in the Cereal City.

Picked up by CBS

Gilligan is writing the script for a 13-epsiode season that will air on CBS’s prime-time schedule in fall 2014, the spokesperson said.

Gilligan is partnering with David Shore, who helped produce the popular TV shows “House M.D.” and “Law & Order,” to develop the show.

Willing city

Ken Tsuchiyama, Battle Creek city manager, said the city learned about the show on Facebook.

“I saw somebody had posted it on Facebook, and then I had a staff member send a message to me,” Tsuchiyama said. “There was a link to The New York Times article, so I pulled that up. I was watching the Tigers game, and I went, ‘Huh?’ I had to re-read it.”

Tsuchiyama called the show “exciting and intriguing” for the city.

Although no representatives of either Gilligan or CBS have contacted the city, Tsuchiyama expects that if the show is given the green light, the city would work closely with producers and researchers.

Battle Creek PD on the small screen

Battle Creek Chief of Police Jackie Hampton said local law enforcement would try to cooperate as much as possible with any television production representing his officers on screen.

In the past, television producers have contacted the station, asking for pictures and availability to check out certain locations, Hampton said, but a television show about Battle Creek police officers surprised him.

“We don’t have a lot of information about it,” Hampton said. “I can remember being contacted over the last several years about a movie, but . . . last time we heard about it was three years ago.”

Hampton also said that his office received a request today asking that local traffic be blocked off for a “significant period of time” for filming in early October.

Preparing for Hollywood

Battle Creek city officials plan to hold discussions with each other and the public about what the city’s next steps should be in offering film incentives for filmmakers.

If the show’s creators did want to cast locally, Tsuchiyama said that his son has already offered to fill his dad’s shoes and play the role of city manager.

“We certainly would welcome the opportunity to have them film at least some things here,” Tsuchiyama said. “I think that would be great for the community. This idea was apparently hatched 10 years ago, and nothing was done with it. Now, it’s off somebody’s shelf.

“I don’t know how much effort will be made to have things in the series reflect the way Battle Creek is,” added Tsuchiyama. 

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