This isn’t the first time Burn Notice has asked Miami for a lease extension.
Miami Commission Chairman Francis Suarez called the city’s negotiations with the show “a yearly drama.”
The drama was high during a commission meeting last week, in which scores of Burn Notice actors and crew members packed City Hall to show support for the series. They weren’t allowed to address the commission, but they made their opinions known outside City Hall when the meeting recessed.
Ellen Jacoby, the show’s casting director, pointed out that Burn Notice provides a revenue stream for the city.
Chimed in Katrina Morris, a Coconut Grove actress: “It brings jobs. It puts people to work. And on an artistic level, it does something that hasn’t been done since Miami Vice.”
The proposed park also has its share of supporters.
Gene Meehan, a Grove resident and owner of the Downtown Athletic Club, believes the city should jump on the opportunity to open up the waterfront.
“If the city should be in any business, it’s the park business, not the film business,” he said.
The decision will ultimately rest in the hands of the city commission.
Suarez says he would be reluctant to lose a television production that showcases Miami.
Commissioner Willy Gort agrees. “But I also know the residents of Coconut Grove have been waiting for a change in that park for a long time,” he said.
Sarnoff has agreed to meet with the producers, but said the city is subsidizing the television series by charging them a low rent on waterfront property.
“We got them to syndication,” Sarnoff said. “And that means, with all due respect, that they are going to make a lot of money.”
Should Burn Notice get the boot, Lemchen said, the action could affect Miami’s image in Hollywood.
“It would send a bad message to the film industry,” he said.