Production shifts after tax credits increased
New York may actually star as New York on “Ugly Betty” next season.ABC Studios is close to moving the show to Gotham next season, in order to take advantage of tax breaks enacted last month by new state Gov. David Paterson. Under the expansion, the percentage of qualified film production costs eligible for a tax credit tripled, from 10% to 30%. The program was also extended, from its original 2011 expiration to 2013. New York City chips in an additional 5% tax break. The strengthened tax credit was meant to bring in new productions to New York — and in the case of “Ugly Betty,” already appears to be working. As the nets and studios look to more aggressively control costs on primetime fare, such a move would help, insiders said. But the move would put more than 100 Los Angeles-based “Betty” crew members out of work. “Betty” staffers were informed of the potential move on Tuesday — and some are crying foul. The show’s writing staff, led by showrunner Silvio Horta, would likely remain in Los Angeles. Such a divide is common; “Lost,” for example, is written in L.A. but filmed in Hawaii. Although it takes place in New York, “Betty’s” first two seasons were shot in Los Angeles. ABC Studios declined to confirm the potential move.