Originally created 08/05/98

Heat chases 'Walker' from Texas



The brutal heat wave that has tortured Texas for the past month has forced CBS' Walker, Texas Ranger to vacate the Lone Star State for a time.

Starting next month, the series, based in the Dallas area, will move to Park City, Utah, to film two episodes.

Production on Walker's seventh season began a few weeks ago, and the oppressive heat -- it has been above 100 degrees for more than a month -- has taken a toll on the crew.

Producers have had a paramedic on the set throughout the heat wave, and they've added a second catering person to make sure the actors and crew members are drinking extra water.

"I'm so proud of this crew," said executive producer Aaron Norris, whose brother Chuck stars in the show.

"I see them get in a position like this and they don't complain, but I know they're having a tough time."

Roughly 85 percent of each Walker episode is shot outdoors, Aaron Norris said.

The show will resume production in Park City on Aug. 17 and remain there until Sept. 3.

Shooting in Utah will add about 10 percent to the budget, Mr. Norris said.

No production days will be lost, though one of the episodes has been rewritten to take advantage of the new production site.

Moving the location of an hour-long drama is no easy feat. Producers had to find enough hotels and other facilities for more than 200 people and coordinate nearby locations, among other things.

"We've worked up there before, the people are great," Mr. Norris said.

While in Utah, the Walker crew won't be very far from other CBS shows. The network's Touched By An Angel and Promised Land shoot in Salt Lake City.