By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
8:51 AM EDT, April 22, 2014
(UPDATE 2: Netflix exec thinks budget differences between Maryland and "House of Cards" are "over-comeable."
(UPDATE: HBO confirms "Veep" will be returning to Baltimore to film Season 4.)
HBO today announced that it is renewing "Veep" for a fourth season and will return to Baltimore to produce it.
The political satire starring Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer has filmed the last three seasons in Baltimore.
"HBO has had a long history of shooting long form projects in Baltimore dating back to 'The Corner,'" a spokeswoman for the show said earlier this month when asked about a return. "It's a fantastic place to realize 'Veep,' and we know the producers look forward to returning to Baltimore."
The confirmation that "Veep" will be back in Baltimore to film Season 4 is very good news given the uncertainty with "House of Cards," which damaged its image and relationship with Maryland's legislature through strongarm tactics on film incentives. The tactics failed, and the legislature authorized $3.5 million less that the producers wanted.
But even on this front there was optimism Monday with Deadline Hollywood reporting that Ted Sarados, chief content officer of Netflix, told Wall Street analysts that he thinks the differences between the State of Maryland and the producers are "over-comeable."
“I would anticipate that these are overcome-able issues,” Deadline quoted Sarandos as saying.
Two weeks ago I wrote that if Media Rights Capital, the company that makes "House of Cards," leaves Maryland now as it has been threatening to do, it would not have enough time to set up shop somewhere else and deliver episodes to Netflix in time for the Valentine's Day release.
This is Sarados telling Wall Street he is not going to let MRC do anything to hurt the price of Netflix stock -- like not deliver episodes on time to meet the demand Netflix has created, especially when it is seeking a hike in subscription fees.
My reading: This is the adult in the room telling MRC to settle its issues with Maryland and get back to work on Season 3 by early May. Netflix is, after all, the outfit that paid $100 million for the first two seasons, a price no one else in media would come near paying.
Last year, production started on April 28.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun