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It's a story straight out of a classic country potboiler. Olivia Hill, a painter and costume designer, moved to Nashville from California for romantic reasons, but when the relationship failed, she was jobless and broke.

Hill was living in her car and preparing to hock some belongings to finance a trip back to California when she was offered some work on the ABC show "Nashville."

In the nearly two years that followed, Hill turned that opportunity into a full-time job as a costumer on the production. Hill found love too, and she recently bought an East Nashville house with her fiance, who also happens to work for the show as a grip.

Hill is one of at least 500 full-time workers anxiously waiting news about whether "Nashville" will be picked up for a third season and, if that happens, whether the production will continue to be centered in Music City.

The show's supporters say it has brought an array of new jobs, rooted creative professionals like Hill in Nashville and laid the framework for the film, television and music video industry to grow here.

"I've been on full-time for a year and a half," Hill said. "It pays better than I've ever been paid. I bought a house. Nashville is my home now."

Lobbyists for the show are pushing state and Metro officials for another round of economic incentives to keep the production in Nashville, where the music-driven drama takes place. "Nashville" executives, meanwhile, have explored moving the production to Texas or Georgia in recent weeks if the show is approved for a third season.

The lobbyists' central argument for new incentives has been a study released earlier this year by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. demonstrating how the show has grown leisure tourism.

But, Peter Kurland, business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 492, said "Nashville" has had a more direct effect on the local economy. According to the union, 244 IATSE members have found regular work on the show, with a payroll of about $7 mllion for season two.

Whereas only 50 percent of the production staff was cultivated from local workers on season one, that number grew to 90 percent in season two, Kurland said.

The production requires a wide variety of jobs to meet its filming schedule, which requires about 200 days a year. Everyone from construction workers creating the set, to makeup artists, technical light, film and sound workers, many of them hired from local colleges like Columbia State, have found jobs on the show.

Evan Hurst, Hill's fiance, carved out a burgeoning career as a grip on local film and music video productions. But Hurst was forced to consider moving to North Carolina, Louisiana or another nearby state where there is more film work before he landed his gig on "Nashville."

The show also requires hiring a regular catering company, local lumber and other vendors to provide materials. For season one, equipment costs were estimated at $5.9 million from local vendors, according to Local 492.

Lisa Van Wye was living with her family in Kentucky before she was hired on as the show's medic full-time. She has since moved to Nashville.

"I would not be living here if it wasn't for this job," she said.

Because "Nashville" has been a magnet for film and television professionals, Kurland said the framework is now in place to attract more productions. Kurland said he has fielded calls from executives inquiring about a commercial or television show shoot in Nashville.

"We've proven we can handle the load even when the show is shooting," he said.

But for now, the workers who have settled down here are left in limbo. Hurst said it was "very nerve wracking" waiting for word as to whether a third season will happen.

The show's production team of ABC, Lionsgate and Ryman Entertainment has been in talks with the Tennessee Economic and Community Development and Metro about a new incentives package.

There's little question that a potential package will be less lucrative than last year's $13.25 million deal, of which $12.5 million came from the state. But Kurland is skeptical the show would leave town. States like Texas and Georgia offer more favorable film incentive deals and executives have kicked the tires on moving the production to those states, though they prefer it to stay. Early indications are that a third season will happen.

"It's been a massive benefit to the local tourism business," he said. "It would be expensive to leave town, possibly to the tune of millions of dollars to pack up the sets and move them.

"The numbers tell one side of the story, but there's the human angle. People have moved here, started families here, bought houses here."

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