Friday, January 9, 2015

SyFy Forecloses on 'Town of the Living Dead'

Syfy has closed the coffin on "Town of the Living Dead."

After one short season, the cable channel has decided not to renew the reality series filmed in Jasper. 

"Town of the Living Dead," billed as a "comedic docuseries," focused on a group of amateur moviemakers and their efforts to create a zombie flick in small-town Alabama. 

The show, produced by True Entertainment, made its debut on Oct. 7 and ran through Nov. 11. Twelve half-hour episodes aired during that time period, followed by a late-night screening of the completed horror movie, "Thr33 Days Dead."

Tina Teeter, one of the main characters on "Town of the Living Dead" and the producer for "Thr33 Days Dead," announced the bad news via social media, posting on her personal Twitter feed and the movie's Facebook page. 

Teeter, Ware and a handful of determined colleagues had worked on the zombie project for about six years before Syfy and True Entertainment came calling. They endured stops and starts, cast changes and budget problems, run-ins with local officials and special-effects snafus. However, the team managed to persevere in spite of daunting obstacles. 

Filming a reality show allowed the group of underdogs, known as RLS Pictures, to kickstart its languishing production and obtain what Teeter calls "finishing funds." But "Town of the Living Dead" never found a firm foothold in the Syfy lineup and apparently suffered in the ratings.

Ted A'Zary, a senior executive at Syfy, issued an encouraging tweet or two after the first episode aired. Still,"Town of the Living Dead" was bumped to a later time slot after just three weeks, moving from 9 p.m. CST to 11 p.m. CST. Also, repeats of the episodes were curtailed. 

As the series neared the end of its run, Teeter and her friends simply crossed their fingers and hoped for the best, expressing gratitude to Syfy for the opportunity. 

"I'm just thankful to be here," Teeter said. "It's like I'm on a train; I'm just glad to be going somewhere. We'll just have to wait and see."

In her Facebook post this week, Teeter chided folks in her hometown for not supporting the movie and TV series wholeheartedly. (She called the low-budget film "a thorn in Jasper.") Teeter also issued a puppy-upper message to her comrades at RLS Pictures.

"Now for the cast and crew that stuck with me and let me be your guide. Thank you guys," she wrote. "I know you all are sad tonight over this news ... But hold your heads high and know that you are all winners and know that we did an impossible task. We made a movie, guys."

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