Utah-filmed program attracts WB viewers

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    By Elizabeth McIff

    Utah is the backdrop for the new WB television series, “Everwood.”

    Everwood is a story about a doctor and his family who move from New York City to the small town of Everwood, Colo. in search of a new start after the death of his wife.

    Mickey Liddell, executive producer of “Everwood,” said when looking for a production location, Utah was their No. 1 choice.

    “We wanted a place that looks like Colorado,” Liddell said. “The location had to have the mountains, skiing, beautiful lakes, and all other outdoor necessities.”

    However, Liddell said Colorado was not an option. Not many shows had been filmed in Colorado, so there were no crews to hire.

    “We filmed some preliminary scenes in Canada,” Liddell said. “But it was too far away and it just didn”t have the small town look we were going for.”

    Liddell said the benefit of Utah is that it has been used for film before, but not too much. In addition, all the locations and scenery were exactly what the production company was seeking.

    The writer of Everwood, Greg Berlanti, made up this small town of Everwood, Colo. over a year and a half ago Liddell said.

    “To him, it seemed like Colorado was a place you would go to if you were looking to start your life over again,” Liddell said. “Once that is set, it doesn”t matter whether you shoot in Colorado or Utah. It”s just about the look you are trying to portray. I think the beauty of Utah does just that.”

    The majority of the filming of “Everwood” takes place in Ogden and it requires patience from the community.

    “At first the residents were skeptical about the filming,” Liddell said. “But once the show aired and they were able to watch it, they began to love it.”

    Store owners like Glen Smith of Smith Brothers Market in Pleasant Grove, are being approached by the Everwood location directors for the use of their facilities.

    Smith spoke highly of his experience with the Everwood crew.

    “They needed a grocery store that would blend in with their small town theme,” Smith said. “My store has been here since 1947 and had the look they wanted.”

    The film crew came to Smith”s store and changed all the lights and turned off any machinery that would cause background noise.

    “They were very meticulous about the set, but very accommodating to me and my customers,” Smith said. “The Everwood crew still let anyone who wanted to shop come in and one customer even stayed for two hours because he was so interested.”

    Smith”s store has been filmed before and he found the Everwood crew to be professional.

    “I don”t mind having them film here at all,” Smith said. “They are a business and I am a business. When both parties leave happy, it has been a good deal.”

    Viewers of the show find themselves wrapped in the story after only one episode. BYU student Candice Woodward, 24, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, majoring in marketing, watches the show every Monday night with her sister.

    “I have to watch it every week because Ephram and Amy are getting closer to kissing!” Woodward said about two of the show”s characters. “I also just think ”Everwood” is great because it is such a wholesome show, and it is fun to see parts of Utah I recognize.”

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