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HBO’s The Deuce got creative filming in New York

The Deuce

HBO’s drama The Deuce got creative using multiple locations across New York City to create story settings in and around the iconic Times Square.

The eight-part show tells the story of the legalisation and growth of New York’s porn industry in the 1970s, which centred on a couple of blocks around Times Square nicknamed ‘The Deuce’.

Filming was mostly on location, according to media outlet Crain’s New York Business, but with the real Times Square being such a major tourist attraction the production team used locations across the city.

While much of the drama takes place in side streets and rundown movie theatres, the biggest challenge was finding a part of the city that could stand in for Times Square itself, as it looked in the 1970s.    

Hamilton Heights was eventually chosen, a neighbourhood on the north of Manhattan Island that still bears a resemblance to the 1970s period. The crew spent a fortnight prepping the area for filming.

Producers considered building a Times Square set at one of New York’s Long Island film studios, but in the end decided to keep the series location-focused with just three days of studio work in each two-week episode shoot.

New York City is one of the top production hubs in the US but the iconic metropolis is so busy that film and TV shoots are increasingly using other parts of the country as a stand-in, depending on their specific story requirements and historical settings.

Period architecture in Cincinnati, Ohio, means that the city is often used for stories set in mid-20th century New York. Elsewhere in Ohio, Cleveland is a frequent New York stand-in for action scenes and stunt work, which is much more challenging to film in Manhattan.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in New York.

Images: Paul Schiraldi/HBO