Every week an estimated 14 million people tune in to the new CBS crime drama "Unforgettable", and are treated to a steady dose of references to Syracuse, New York.
The show stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It's not just that she doesn't forget anything - she can't.
The show's main characters play police detectives who met years ago when they worked together for the Syracuse Police Department. Now they work in New York City, and make nearly constant references to Central New York. It is not uncommon for Syracuse to be mentioned several times an episode, or for other references like Erie Boulevard, Salt Spring and Utica to creep into the dialogue.
As a viewer of the show from Central New York it raises the question: Why Syracuse? For answers CBS 5 Anchor and Managing Editor Michael Benny turned to the men who write the show.
Executive Producers Ed Redlich and John Bellucci grew up in New York City. "We've always sort of romanticized Upstate New York and Syracuse just seemed like a good fit for the show," Redlich and Belluci said. "We try to say Syracuse at least once every seven minutes on the show."
In a way, Syracuse has become another character on Unforgettable. The producers take the references very seriously, and do a good amount of research to make sure that what the characters are saying about Central New York is authentic.
"We look at the terrain a lot, we love Google Earth," the producers said.
"And when we need to be talking about a restaurant or some neighborhood, we make sure that it is accurate and plausible," Redlich added.
There may come a time when the show adds some true authenticity to the production, although neither producer is willing to commit to brining a crew to Syracuse to film, they are hoping to do that in the future.
Syracuse is where the main character's sister was murdered. The case is unsolved and as the show works through that storyline, it is possible we could see Unforgettable's production team here.