Without tax incentives from Utah, BYUtv moves ‘Dwight in Shining Armor’ production to Georgia

(Photo courtesy BYUtv) Joel McCrary stars as Baldric, Sloan Morgan Siegal stars as Dwight, and Caitlin Carmichael stars as Gretta in BYUtv's new show "Dwight in Shining Armor."

Filming is underway on 20 more episodes of BYUtv’s “Dwight in Shining Armor,” but the production has left Utah and moved to Georgia.

The first 20 episodes of the fantasy/comedy/adventure series were produced in West Valley City, but Utah’s limited tax incentives for film and television production prompted the decision to move the series to the Atlanta area.

Utah’s annual budget for tax incentives is about $9 million; in 2017, Georgia’s incentives — which range from 20% to 30% of production costs — exceeded $800 million. “Dwight” was unable to secure incentives for new episodes, and those incentives “dramatically offset” BYUtv’s “limited budgets,” according BYUtv managing director Michael Dunn, making them “critical for the longterm viability of a series.”

The move to Georgia comes at a time when a number of major Hollywood studios — including Netflix, Disney, Warner Media and CBS — are threatening to pull their productions out of Georgia if a state law that prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected goes into effect, as scheduled, in January 2020.

“Dwight in Shining Armor” follows the adventures of a teenager, Dwight (Sloane Morgan Siegel), whose life suddenly changes when he falls through a hole in the ground ... and lands lips-to-lips on a princess (Caitlin Carmichael) who’s been magically slumbering for 1,000 years. The kiss also triggers the awakening of a wizard and an assortment of villains — evil knights, ogres, dragons, witches, demons, etc. — who are all more than a bit out of place in 21st-century suburban America.

The first 20 episodes of “Dwight in Shining Armor” were split into two 10-episodes seasons; Season 1 aired March-May, and Season 2 will begin airing in the fall. There's not date yet for the third and fourth season, but it's expected they will follow the same pattern in 2020.

“Seasons three and four will delve even deeper into the magical mythology and family-friendly hijinks that are unique to the show,” Dunn said.