Reality TV turns to South Bronx auto shop

With shows like ‘The Jersey Shore’ and ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ filling up the airwaves, a local production company is looking to bring some south Bronx flavor to the party.

Harrington Talents, a City Island video and film production company run by Frank Mosca, Stephen Franciosa Jr. and John Morena, recently completed a pilot episode of “Til Death Do Us Parts.”

The reality show depicts the stressful life of Joe Ferrer as he runs his BS&F Auto Parts business located on Bronx River Avenue.

The 15-minute pilot, known in the film industry as a “sizzle reel,” recently took home the award for best non-scripted or alternative pilot from the New York Television Festival, and Mosca said the company is now shopping the show around for a major network.

“We’d like to work with whomever will try to stay as true to the pilot that we created as possible,” Mosca said. “We believe in the project and really want to give it exposure.”

The show focuses on Ferrer as he runs the business, which literally drove his father to an early grave. According to the show, Ferrer’s father passed away last year from a heart attack while on the job.

Ferrer’s father founded the business decades ago, and grew it into an empire serving auto businesses and private consumers in the south Bronx.

Today the business has 35 employees, half of which are high school drop-outs and ex-convicts. Audiences get to watch tensions and tempers explode as Ferrer tries to manage his business and his life.

As Ferrer says in the pilot, “On one hand, me; on the other hand, my business.”

According to Mosca, the idea for the show came about while he was filming a commercial for the business.

“I really appreciate people who hustle, so I asked a lot of questions and the more I learned about Joe and the people who work there, the more I realized that there was a show here,” he said.

The crews shot footage for about a week and editing took several months to complete, but even before filming wrapped, Mosca knew the company had a winning concept.

“When we started shooting, on the days I wasn’t there I was still wondering what was going to happen at the shop,” he said. “That’s when I knew it would be a good pilot.”

According to Mosca, Ferrer is a natural on screen.

“I’m not camera shy,” said Ferrer, who appears in all his radio and TV commercials. “I actually liked having them there. It was sort of like a venting process.” While it is the second time the film company has won the unscripted pilot category, Mosca said this win was extra special because the show was a collaborative effort with his partners, Franciosa and Morena. “It’s always good to win when you work really hard on something,” he said. “It’s not every job that we get to really collaborate, and it felt especially good that we could all get this together.”

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