Asbury students begin work on television pilot, with help from Hollywood

WILMORE, Ky. (WTVQ) — More than 30 students from Asbury are enjoying the opportunity to work with Hollywood director Anson Williams, actors Doug Jones and Nancy Stafford, and others on a pilot episode of a television show. Being filmed over a two-week period on the Asbury campus and surrounding area, the pilot of the show “Nazareth” will then be shopped to various networks for financial backing with hopes it will be picked up.

The students will be working 10-plus hour days, running sound and working cameras as the pilot is created.  Three Asbury faculty worked on the script with veteren screenwriter Dean Batali (“That 70s Show” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Other Asbury faculty will be leading production teams and several Asbury students will be filling roles, as the show’s storyline is structured around a small-town college in Nazareth, N.C. The Wilmore community will be involved, as well, as the need for “extras” arises.

“This project gives Asbury students an unprecedented opportunity to work with acclaimed professionals who have worked decades in the television and film industry,” said Jim Owens, dean of Asbury’s School of Communication Arts. “Anson Williams is bringing his incredible experience of acting and directing to Asbury to give students an opportunity to work in a professional-level production.”

Director Anson Williams, who had directed episodes of  “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Lizzie McGuire,” “L.A. Law,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Charmed” and many others — is best known for his role as Potsie Weber on the television series “Happy Days.”

Doug Jones has acted in more than 25 films and has more than 100 Hollywood credits, but may be best known for his role of Abe Sapien in “Hellboy” or the Silver Surfer in the movie “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Jones recently visited Asbury as a judge for the annual Highbridge Film Festival held on the Asbury campus.

Nancy Stafford has also starred in many TV shows — “Remington Steele,” “Who’s the Boss,” “Magnum, P.I.” just to name a few — but is probably best known for her roles with Andy Griffith on “Matlock.” She was Ben Matlock’s law partner, Michelle, on that show.

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