Governor Kim Reynolds is confident production of the “Field of Dreams” TV show will move forward after last week’s announcement that the Peacock Network had dumped the show.
Reynolds had awarded $6 million to Universal Television through the Destination Iowa program for development of the series, which is expected to be filmed in Iowa. The governor says Universal Television is shopping the series to other networks.
“Nothing has been allocated. It’s always on a reimbursement basis, so we’re not out anything,” Reynolds says. “Our hope is that they can find somebody else to do it and it looked like they were still working on the field. It would be great for the next generation of Iowans and Americans to help drive the story and to continue to make Iowa a destination spot for that. We’ll follow it, and I know they are looking, and we’re hoping that they’ll find somebody else to pick it up.”
Producers had announced plans to film in Polk, Boone, Mahaska and Clinton Counties and construction had already started on a ball field and refurbishing of a farmhouse near Polk City.
“It was huge,” Reynolds says, “and they were using all local (contractors) and just the construction, so it was a really positive thing.”
If the series finds a home at a different network, Reynolds says it could spur more tourists to visit the state.
“It would kind of be the next generation,” Reynolds says, “that we could remind them about the Field of Dreams, and ‘build it and they will come’ and ‘is this heaven? No it’s Iowa,’ so it’s the same kind of narrative that we want to keep pushing.”
The series was to be a prequel based on the 1989 movie that was shot in part in Dyersville, where the baseball field surrounded by a corn field remains a tourist attraction. Due to scheduling conflicts with Major League Baseball’s use of the Dyersville site, no filming was expected to take place there.
Reynolds is using $100 million in federal pandemic relief for the new “Destination Iowa” program to boost tourism and quality of life projects. The $6 million grant to Universal Television was among the first batch of awards announced.
(By Bob Fisher, KLSS, Mason City)