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Waco TV drama to film New Mexico as Texas

New MexicoA TV drama based on the infamous standoff between authorities and a religious sect in Waco, Texas, in 1993, will film on location in and around Santa Fe in New Mexico.

The series will tell the story of the weeks-long impasses that followed an attempt by federal authorities to raid the sect’s compound on suspicion of weapons violations. Dozens died in a fire that engulfed the compound during a final assault on the sect.

Filming on the TV drama is scheduled to start in the coming weeks from a production base at Santa Fe Studios, north of Albuquerque. New Mexico will double for central Texas.

New Mexico’s filming incentive support programme has turned it into one of the most popular parts of the US for desert locations.

Producers tend to favour New Mexico as a suitable location double, with the Oscar-nominated modern western Hell or High Water being one high-profile recent example. 

Santa Fe is also set to host a new series of the mid-western-set crime drama Longmire, while Albuquerque will be home to contemporary TV pilot Mission Control looking at the lives and relationships of NASA scientists. 

Texas does offer a filming incentive worth up to 20% of local expenditure for films and TV shows, but while per-production support is not capped, the programme’s total annual fund is relatively low at around $30m. 

The state in fact currently faces the prospect of having its incentive support cut altogether due to a lack of political enthusiasm, so the regional film and TV sector has very serious long-term challenges.

For more on filming in New Mexico see our production guide.