PBS selected Virginia as the filming location for a new Civil War television series that is a blend of hospital drama and family saga.  The series was created by Lisa Q. Wolfinger and David Zabel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker.

According to a release, the series is inspired by the memoirs and letters of actual doctors and female nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, a luxury hotel in Alexandria that was transformed into a Union Army hospital during the Civil War.  The six-episode first season will film in the Richmond and Petersburg areas in the late spring and is scheduled to premiere in the winter of 2016. The title of the series and cast will be announced at a future date.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “We are proud to be hosting this series because it is a Virginia story and an American story of people who struggled to endure and prevail during one of the most divisive eras our nation has ever known. I enthusiastically welcome PBS and everyone involved in this important series to the Commonwealth. This new project from PBS will be an important contributor to the new Virginia economy, providing good jobs and increased revenue for state and local taxes.”

The series will be eligible for incentive funding.  The exact amount will be based on expenditures in Virginia and certain deliverables to promote tourism in the Commonwealth.  In 2013, Virginia’s film industry had an economic impact of $382.5 million, and it provided $19.4 million in state and local tax revenue for the Commonwealth.

“Virginia has become a premiere destination for film and television production, particularly for important projects based on historic themes,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  “Season one of TURN: Washington’s Spies provided $19 million in wages and $58 million in economic impact for the Commonwealth. Season two is currently filming in Central Virginia and is providing more impact and employing more Virginians.”

Based on true events, the show follows two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the Civil War.  Mary Phinney is a staunch New England abolitionist while Emma Green is a willful young Confederate belle.  As the boundaries of medicine are being explored and expanded, the role of women is also broadening. Here, amongst the collision of a wartime medical drama and a family saga of conflicted loyalties and moral dilemmas, the series plays out a story of the highest stakes. To ensure historical accuracy, a prominent group of historians and medical experts consulted on the development of the project including James Barger, a historian and curator at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery who received an MA in history from Virginia Tech.  He is a lifelong Alexandrian and author of Alexandria in the Civil War. He is also a historical consultant and editor of several notable Civil War publications.


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