HBO wanted to film on the University of Iowa campus for its popular series “Girls,” but administrators denied the network’s requests, said UI spokesman Tom Moore Thursday.
The show’s plot, which follows a group of young adults living in New York City, turned to Iowa City during its season three finale on Sunday when main character, Hannah Horvath, got accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
One of the show’s staff writers, Sarah Heyward, is an alumnus of the UI’s MFA in English program, which is esteemed nationally and internationally for producing Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poets Laureate, and National Book Award winners.
Workshop director and fiction writer Lan Samantha Chang has said in media reports that she had an inkling the “Girls” plot might include the UI Writers’ Workshop at some point. But she didn’t know it would happen this soon – the series has been renewed for a fourth season in 2015.
And it doesn’t appear the “Girls” film crew will get to spend any time shooting on the actual Iowa City campus for the upcoming season.
“While we are pleased that the Iowa Writers’ Workshop is receiving national attention and that our graduate is doing well in her career, our general practice is to not allow filming, due to potential disruption to campus,” Moore said in an emailed statement.
UI officials did not answer questions about when HBO reached out to the university, when they wanted to shoot and for how long.