Welcome to Charleston: charming on the surface, but simmering with secrets, scandals and seduction underneath.


What: The legal drama stars Anna Wood and Cam Gigandet as dueling attorneys who stumble upon a scandal. The show is set in and was filmed in Charleston.

When: Premieres at 9 p.m. tonight.

Where: CBS

more info: www.cbs.com/shows/reckless/

At least, that's the Charleston you'll encounter in "Reckless."

The filming of 'Reckless' by the numbers

$6.5 million

Wages paid to South Carolina residents during filming

$9.7 million

Purchases made from South Carolina vendors


Lodging nights by cast and crew in South Carolina


South Carolina residents hired for a six-month period


Single-day South Carolina hires (actors, extras, police, fire department, medics, etc.)

The legal drama set and filmed in Charleston premieres at 9 p.m. today on CBS, four months after "Southern Charm" gave Charleston its most recent close-up on national television. If the trailers are any indication, this show will be as steamy as a summer evening in the Lowcountry.

Anna Wood stars as a Chicago litigator who comes to Charleston to represent a client suing the police department. She squares up against the Charleston city attorney, played by Cam Gigandet. The two fight their mutual attraction as they stumble upon a scandal that could shake the city.

Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, has seen the first episode, and he said that while it doesn't always show the Charleston Police Department in the best light, viewers should remember that it's fiction.

"I don't think people judge New York by watching 'Law & Order' or Hawaii by 'Hawaii Five-0', so I don't think they'll judge Charleston by watching 'Reckless,' " he said. "And you have scenes in all of those that portray them as a place you want to go."

Scott Watson, director of the city of Charleston's Office of Cultural Affairs, said he'll be interested to see how "Reckless" portrays Charleston. He remembered seeing some rumblings on Twitter while the show was filming last summer about cast members on The Battery wearing Italian suits instead of seersucker or khakis. But, he said, the fact that the show's producers chose the Holy City over other Southern locales speaks for itself.

"Obviously, Charleston already has publicity through intentional work that the city and the CVB (Convention & Visitor Bureau) undertake, but this is a reflection of Charleston's popularity," said Watson. "Now comes the interesting part where we get to see what a fictionalized Charleston looks like on television and how it contributes to people's impressions."

Charleston residents and others are also curious about the show.

"I'm looking forward to seeing 'Reckless,' " said Elaine Mellis, a Post and Courier Facebook reader. "The trailers looked good, it's filmed in our beautiful city and there's nothing else on TV Sunday nights to get excited about."

Another Post and Courier Facebook reader, Kim Little, said she'll tune in because she's a fan of the "city in the background."

What's certain is that local viewers will recognize their city.

A building on Fountain Walk became the fictional Charleston Police Department headquarters. City Hall's council chambers feature prominently in the pilot episode, said Watson, and houses on Society and South Battery streets were recurring locations for filming.

"The houses were kind of becoming characters in the show, to use their language," said Watson.

Parrish said the "Reckless" crew also took sweeping, high-definition footage of the peninsula and harbor by helicopter.

"There are some beautiful scenes of Charleston just in the pilot," he said. "There's a tourism value in it beyond the storyline."

That value adds to an already impressive economic impact: The drama's filming and production brought in $29 million to the state, including $6.5 million in wages to South Carolina residents, Parrish said.

But to some, the more important question is this: How will "Reckless" compare to "Southern Charm"?

"The biggest difference is fiction versus reality, and I think most people realize that," Parrish said. "There are stereotypes in both shows that are played out."