March 20th, 2019
A TV series that once planned to film in Pittsburgh and then went to Atlanta for its first season is set to film its second season in Pittsburgh.
But it may be some time before Pittsburghers get a chance to see it.
Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer confirmed on Wednesday that “Manhunt” opened a production office in town this week.
In July 2016, Discovery Channel announced plans to shoot the first season of “Manifesto,” an FBI profiler drama, in Pittsburgh. However, Lionsgate Television producers had trouble finding a suitable male lead, and by the time they landed actors Paul Bettany and Sam Worthington, the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit funds producers anticipated getting had been allocated elsewhere. Production relocated to Atlanta.
The series aired on Discovery in summer 2017 as “Manhunt: UNABOMBER.” Discovery, moving away from a brief flirtation with scripted programming, didn’t renew “Manhunt,” but in July 2018, Hollywood trade publications reported the anthology series, following a different FBI case each season, was coming back to life after it was sold to Charter Communications. Charter has several series in the works for its Spectrum Originals channel including “L.A.’s Finest,” a cop drama spinoff of the “Bad Boys” movies, and a limited series revival of the former NBC sitcom “Mad About You.”There’s just one catch for Pittsburghers interested in seeing the filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Manhunt”: It won’t be possible to watch it, at least not initially. Charter has no cable systems in Western Pennsylvania. (Spectrum Originals is to Charter as Audience Network is to DirecTV; you only get the channel if you subscribe to the service.)
Odds are “Manhunt” will at some point have a secondary window of distribution — possibly on DVD — so Pittsburghers will have the opportunity to see it then.
While season one of “Manhunt” offered a deep dive into the case of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Deadline.com reported last year that season two will be about the true story of security guard Richard Jewell who was first lauded and then accused of a bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; Eric Rudolph eventually was convicted of that crime.
A spokeswoman for Lionsgate would not confirm the plot of season two.
TV writer Rob Owen: [email protected] or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.