Where is Kid Nation?
With the third episode coming tonight, the young citizens of "Kid Nation" are settling in, killing chickens like pros and having a good ol' time yelling at each other in the desert. (Where exactly? We managed to track down Bonanza City.) And, as if we'd expect anything different, the early success of the show has producers ready to expand the series.
But there's that little hang-up about the child labor laws in New Mexico. As in, is it legal to have these kids on set all day? Rather than figure it out, says TMZ.com, the minds behind Kid Nation are scouting international locations for their next production. CBS says they haven't made any final decisions yet, but wouldn't it be great to see the kids on a sunny tropical island instead of a dusty old ranch?
We may get the chance: CBS is already taking applications for season 2. If you're ready to sell out your kid, your sibling or that brat down the block, make sure they have a good answer for question 37: "List 3 items you would take with you to a deserted island."
While lawyers for the stars and production company behind CBS's Kid Nation wait with lawsuit-filing breath for the public's reaction to the September 19th debut of the show, New Mexico Tourism is already looking at this as a win-win.
Kid Nation was filmed at the dusty old Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe New Mexico. The ranch was briefly made famous back in 1980 when "Legend of the Lone Ranger" shot there. The terrain is full of hills, prairies, ponds, culverts, corrals, and a wide variety of props that can be rented. Off and on over the years, there have been various movies, videos, commercials, and catalog shoots at the ranch, but nothing like the buzz Kid Nation is creating.
New Mexico tourism is hoping their recent reality TV experience, and the subsequent media attention, may draw in a new lot of curious location scouts from Hollywood.
Film Office's director, Lisa Strout talking to the LA Times about the situation:
''This was our first experience with reality TV,'' said Strout, who said it was ''questionable'' whether the production complied with applicable state laws. ''There's not any precedent to rely on. ... It's a breed unto itself that the whole industry is really looking at.''
Kid Nation may have become the subject of several official investigations, but, hey, maybe New Mexico will get a bit of a film location boost -- and filming locations beget tourism boosts, right?
· Bonanza Creek Ranch [Official Site]
· New Mexico Film [New Mexico Film]
· 'Kid Nation' puts Hollywood labor tension into sharp focus [LA Times]