With shows like the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Say Yes to The Dress Atlanta drawing in viewers from all around the world, it is without a doubt that the City of Atlanta has become highly attractive to TV producers. In recent years, the film industry has flourished in what is now known as the new Hollywood of the South. However, producers aren’t the only ones captivated by all that the city has to offer.
Most reality TV shows based in Atlanta are showing the city in its best light by depicting the lives of prominent locals, like Kandi Burruss, as they make their way to the top. Even fictional television series, such as the Atlanta show on FX, portray the city in its most authentic form. From urban to suburban, viewers are loving what they see on TV. In fact, tourists from all around the world want a taste of the city’s culinary scene and diverse culture as seen on the small screen.
Atlanta Locations as Seen on the Small Screen
If you are a reality TV fanatic and love the Real Housewives of Atlanta, you must visit some of the cast member’s favorite spots in the city. Some of the most iconic scenes are shot in various spots in Atlanta. In RHOA’S episode five of season five, Kim Zolciak stormed out of Fritti and the show for good. However, it wasn’t the restaurant’s delicious and authentic Neapolitan pizza that drove her away. It was after she was put in the hot seat for bailing on an upcoming couple’s trip. This wasn’t the only location where the RHOA cast argued or spilled tea over cocktails. There are many other Atlanta hot spots where the ladies are seen living their extravagant lifestyles.
In episode 19 of season five, Nene Leakes and Cynthia Bailey discussed their love lives over a wine tasting at Murphy’s Restaurant, Bakery and Wine Shop. Around for over 35 years, this restaurant is ranked among the city’s best restaurants and is very popular for its brunch. In season 8, Porsha Williams and her best pal at the time, Phaedra Parks have some fun playing dress up at the Junkman’s Daughter Alternative Department Store. Located in Little Five Points, this quirky shop has bizarre clothing and cool items that are perfect for a costume party. Much like the housewives, the ladies on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta can’t seem to keep it prim and proper while getting pampered. At Sierra Gate’s Glam Shop, Lovely Mimi is asked to leave for getting too loud.
For those who watch these shows religiously, you must know that they not only follows the ladies’ personal lives, but their professional lives, too. Most of these women are entrepreneurs in the restaurant and retail industry. Kandi Burruss has opened several Old Lady Gang restaurants in the city, offering delicious and authentic southern cuisine. Rasheeda Frost, a member of the Love and Hip Hop cast, owns Pressed Boutique in Atlanta, offering clothing and accessories for fly, fashionable men and women.
The Hollywood of the South
You may be wondering why Atlanta has become such a hot spot for numerous films, television series and reality TV shows, such as the RHOA. This is primarily due to a tax advantage established by the state government for film and TV productions to film in Georgia. Productions of $500,000 or more can receive up to 30 percent in tax credit. Since this tax incentive, the film industry has made immense contribution to the state’s economy. Through job opportunities and tourism, it is estimated that the film industry contributed 7 billion to the state’s economy in 2016. In 2010, this number was just $1.4 billion. This is due to the major success of award-winning shows, such as the Atlanta FX show, Stranger Things and The Walking Dead.
Even classic films, like Driving Miss Daisy and The Hunger Games, were shot in Atlanta, not to mention high-rating reality TV shows, such as Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. It’s no surprise that the local government has taken notice to this tremendous economic growth, making continuous efforts to incite the film industry’s interest in the city. In 2015, the City of Atlanta Entertainment Program was launched to train local men and women for below-the-line careers in film. This includes jobs in costume design, visual effects and cinematography. All these initiatives have help make Atlanta the new Hollywood of the South.
The Rise of Reality TV in Atlanta
However, this tax advantage still doesn’t explain why reality TV is taking over airwaves or why some of the top-rated shows are filmed in Atlanta. For a reality show to draw ratings, TV productions must create a world that cultivates drama and keeps viewers on their toes. Most successful reality shows accomplish this. Reality shows based in Atlanta, such as the Housewives of Atlanta and Married to Medicine Atlanta, have a unique edge. They hire a diverse cast of characters, such as the love and hip hop cast, to attract an underserved audience that shows out in ratings.
In fact, shows like Love and Hip Hop Atlanta are proven to do better than those filmed in other cities. It appears reality audiences are drawn to the city’s approachable and charismatic Southern charm coupled with its exciting and hip cultural scene. Additionally, TV producers are lured in by the large variety of filming locations. From natural backdrops at Piedmont Park to trendy looking restaurants found in urban neighborhoods, production crews never have an issue finding a prime location to film. This is because business owners are excited to have their businesses on the small screen.