The streets of Syracuse don't look like Los Angeles or Manhattan but that's what veteran Hollywood writer and Central New York native Tom Seeley likes about them.
Seeley, who wrote for "Cheers" and "Newhart" during his twenty years in L.A., says his new comedy pilot "Upstate" will be about a family dealing with old plants closing and new high tech job opportunities. Seeley says it's a storyline the whole country can relate to.
" It's a lot like 'Roseanne' or 'All in the Family' where they take tough issues with the economy and people's lives. Hopefully we'll like the characters, hopefully we'll learn to care about the characters, we'll want to see how they want to handle the adversity and how they move forward," said Seeley.
"Upstate" has big goals. Investors have put up money for a professional crew to shoot a pilot episode in Syracuse over the next two months. A New York talent agency will start casting the lead roles next week.
Seeley says the setting for the show is inspired by the Eastwood neighborhood in Syracuse. "Upstate" will be shot on real locations in Syracuse and around Central New York."
" We know how to do this and we'll do it right. This is not amateur hour, this is not a college production - this is a very professional production," said Keeley.
Eastwood neighbors hoped the show would be a hit and the Syracuse-based sitcom would get some national attention
" The people here are great, it's a beautiful city - why not have one here? I think it's great," said Syracuse resident Bruce Pierce.
Executive Producer Steve Kimatian says some networks have already shown interest in the idea.
" At least half a dozen cable channels have said we are looking for original scripted comedy and one reason is - comedy makes money," said Kimatian.
The producers hope to start shopping the "Upstate" pilot episode to networks next spring.
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