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TV pilot to film in downtown Covington

COVINGTON -- The filming of a television series pilot will take place in downtown Covington this weekend.

"The Returned," a pilot being shot for ABC Studios, will be filmed between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday. Exterior and interior shots will be filmed at the Newton County Historic Courthouse. Filming will also take place inside the Newton County Judicial Center and at Old Church in Oxford.

Parts of Hays and Hunter streets will be closed and parking spaces along the Square will be blocked. There will also be intermittent traffic control along the Square and on Floyd Street.

"All of these will be very short closings and they are going to work to do it when it will least impact church traffic," said Covington Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon.

Weather permitting, all filming will be completed on Sunday, with a rain date on Monday.

"The Returned" is a supernatural drama with the tagline: "What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day's gone by?"

The story centers on a 9-year-old boy who returns to a midwestern town 30 years after he drowned, according to Angie Dean Morrison, key assistant location manager. If the series is picked up by ABC, additional filming could be done in Newton County, she said. Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, is attached to the project.

The show's stars include Omar Epps, who played Dr. Eric Foreman on the TV show "House;" Kurtwood Smith, who played Reginald "Red" Forman on "That '70s Show;" and Francis Fisher, perhaps best known for her role as Ruth Dewitt Bukater, Rose's mother, in "Titanic."

Morrison previously worked on "The Vampire Diaries," also shot in Covington, and lived in Covington while working on that show. "I love Covington and I love bringing people here," she said.

She added that the town is very "picturesque."

"It's a beautiful Square. It's the perfect size, not too big, not too small. Anywhere you put the camera at any angle it still looks authentic all the way around," she said.