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Good News for Oakland's Film Office

on the set of Parenthood

on the set of Parenthood

Good News for the Oakland Film Office: the NBC drama "Parenthood" is doing well in the ratings and a second season is predicted.

The past several years have seen declining film and television production in the Bay Area. As studios and ad agencies trimmed costs, local technicians and crew saw their work days shrink. Several local rental houses folded and freelancers turned to other careers.

Recently, however, things have been looking up. As the economy improves, more car companies are increasing budgets for commercials - which often include iconic views of Bay Area scenery. Also, several TV shows have been coming into the East Bay in search of new vistas and storylines. 'Trauma' (an adrenaline charged ER knockoff, also from NBC) completed an episode in San Francisco last year and was spotted shooting at a West Oakland firestation last month.

One of the best opportunities to grow Oakland's film/tv base has been the TV series 'Parenthood'. Oakland Film Office staff, including Amy Zinn, worked tirelessly to support the cast and crew as they moved the production from Philadelphia (where the show was originally set and to be lensed). Not only has this show shot several scenes in Oakland, but they've featured some of the best local fixtures including Fairyland. 

Although some have criticized the show for missing the mark on what Bay Area residents are really like - the show is accurate in at least one respect. It is turning out to be one of the more diverse shows on television right now. In a recent episode, a White character Crosby (actor Dax Shephard) proudly shows off his biracial/Black son to his startled family.

This past week, Parenthood won the advertisers favorite demographic: 18-49 year olds. Although it got less viewers overall, winning this portion of the audience is a big deal. Overall, ratings for the show have been increasing and it has done particularly well with women. If these numbers continue to rise, rumors of a second season should turn into reality.

Parenthood airs on NBC Tuesday nights at 10pm.

Past episodes are also available for free on the network's streaming website.

CB Smith-Dahl (aka Ms. Smitty B) is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and educator who has always put the community at the center of her work. In 1997, she founded Community Bridge Video. As Oakland Local's Community Media Manager, she creates new media content for the site. Her work with Oakland Local Academy teaches and engages youth and community members and organizations in useful media skills.

ps - if you like the film crew shooting/working in Oakland and supporting our local economy, let them know. Email NBC from the show's web site and tell them authenticity counts.