Snow-capped peaks of 'Blood & Oil' get panned by North Dakotans

Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:48pm EDT
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By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - North Dakotans, so annoyed that ABC's oilfield soap opera "Blood & Oil" features sweeping vistas of mountains that don't exist in their state, made a drinking game out of the geological farce during the show's Sunday night premier.

See the dusty peaks of the Rocky Mountains towering over pipelines? Take a drink.

The Rockies are 900 miles away from Williston, epicenter of North Dakota's oil industry and a city that inspired the "Blood & Oil" producers to craft a television show centered on a modern-day version of a gold rush.

All of the show's minor errors about life in the second-largest U.S. oil producing state could be forgiven, locals said, if "Blood & Oil" would only do something about those mountains, a jarring misrepresentation of a state where the highest point is less than a mile above sea level.

Despite referencing North Dakota at every turn, the show was filmed in Utah for "creative and logistical" reasons, Josh Pate, the show's co-creator, told Reuters.

At least "Dallas," the 1970s hit show that first brought the money and power of the oil business into America's living rooms, was shot where it was set: Texas.

"We looked into filming in North Dakota, but there are more resources in Utah," said Pate.

High-altitude Utah offers a 25 percent tax rebate for film crews; flat and windy North Dakota, meanwhile, offers nothing.   Continued...

A young couple played by Chase Crawford (L) and Rebecca Rittenhouse appear in a scene from ABC's "Blood and Oil" in this undated handout picture courtesy of ABC Television Network. REUTERS/ABC/Fred Hayes/Handout via Reuters