By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jul 17, 2007 at 7:00 AM

Last week, we broke the story about a new television pilot episode that's set in and being filmed in our fine city.  

Sure, it's only a pilot, but, if NBC picks it up it could be a huge coup for Milwaukee.  Then again, if the show sucks, it could be another "Laverne and Shirley."  Regardless, exposure is exposure and local officials are giddy about the opportunity.  And, frankly, I believe it's time to move beyond "Laverne and Shirley," so no matter how edgy, weird, good or bad this script is (I hear it's about a neighborhood watch group gone wild), it's only good for Milwaukee.  

Chances of the show tanking are slim since Charles McDougall is the director of the pilot.  He won an Emmy for directing the pilot of "Desperate Housewives," and according to Dave Fantle, vice president of public relations for VISIT Milwaukee, the Liverpool native was "here for three days earlier this month soaking up the city and the suburbs. He fell in love with Milwaukee. He is a total class act, just a great guy."  

McDougall's love of Milwaukee led him to plead his case to the executives at Sony studios to film the entire episode in Milwaukee. However, since the new statewide film incentives were delayed and do not begin until Jan. 1, 2008 Sony determined that it would cost more to shoot the show in Milwaukee versus Los Angeles.  So, as of now, only select scenes will be shot in Milwaukee.  As we first reported, producers are looking at the Historic Third Ward and other areas.  

According to Fantle, "If they had done the entire shoot here, we were looking at more than $3 million for our local economy and about 1,750 room nights. In addition, it would have meant jobs for local crews and actors."

Meanwhile, Sony is busy recreating Milwaukee on an L.A. set.  McDougall has requested many items from Milwaukee including stuff from Usinger's and Lakefront Brewery.  I also hear that a Paul Molitor bobble head could find its way into the episode.  

McDougall and his crew will be in town in "a few weeks" to shot the Milwaukee scenes.  I've requested an interview with him, so keep reading for more updates on "The Watch."

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.