Twentieth Century Fox Television’s new series “Pitch” has taken advantage of the California Film Commission’s expanded $65 million tax credit program, but it’s also giving back to the local industry. The show’s team is building out an expanded soundstage at Paramount Studios in Hollywood to create the world of Ginny Baker, the first woman to play Major League Baseball – in the drama series, anyway.
From co-creators-executive producers Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer, “Pitch” is the first television series to work in conjunction with Major League Baseball. Former “Under the Dome” actress Kylie Bunbury stars as Baker.
“We wouldn’t have done the show without the MLB,” said Fogelman. “Their one request was to make it look authentic.”
While the storyline for “Pitch” is based in fiction, it is grounded in real life. Bunbury’s character plays for the San Diego Padres and wears the team’s actual uniform. The actress was trained by former big-league pitcher Gregg Olson, who serves as a consultant on the show. The exec producers also noted that the league provides notes on scripts for the show to ensure every scene hits all the right notes.
“I think there’s still an audience for a network family TV show. It should make you feel something,” said Fogelman. “If there’s a compelling premise, I think there’s still room for that.”
Upon approval from the Film Commission in June, “Pitch” became one of 11 series participating in the new program generating an estimated $464 million in direct in-state spending, including $171 million in wages to below-the-line crew members. Filming for the pilot largely took place at Petco Park in San Diego. Future interior scenes will be filmed on the Paramount soundstage.
The series, which also stars Ali Larter (“Heroes”) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“Franklin & Bash”) will premiere on Fox on Sept. 22.
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