Hollywood-Based Drama Series Production Surges 12.3%

True Detective TV Production Los Angeles
Courtesy of HBO

With California expanding its incentive program, TV dramas shot in Los Angeles rose 12.9% in the second quarter to 1,003 shooting days, FilmL.A. has reported.

The dramas included “Agent X,” “Rizzoli and Isles,” the second season of “True Detective,” “Stitchers,” “Masters of Sex” and “Teen Wolf.”

FilmL.A., which expedites the permitting process, disclosed the rise in TV dramas as part of a report showing that on-location film production in Greater Los Angeles slipped 1.9% to 9,396 shoot days. Dramas are a key component since they typically shoot a season’s worth of episodes and employ hundreds.

Overall TV shooting rose 2.8% to 4,033 days, with sitcoms nearly doubling to 505 days. Reality fell 13.7% to 1,420 days while Web-based TV increased 34% to 437 days.

“This is a mixed report, but things are certainly looking brighter for television in Los Angeles,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “The year-round production of scripted series, plus the support of the California Film & Television Tax Credit, invites an optimistic outlook for this segment.”

FilmL.A.’s Pilot Production Report, released last week, showed that the 22 dramas approved for California’s film incentive annually spend about $1.2 billion. California is home to 53 one-hour drama series in total, the most in a single year since 2010.

Local on-location feature production rose marginally by seven days to 1,193 shooting days, while commercial production slipped 7.3% to 1,248 days. Both categories are tracking down for the year-to-date and against their five-year averages.

“Today’s report further proves the critical importance of our new California Film Tax Credit, which will keep production where it belongs — in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I look forward to seeing accelerated growth in L.A.’s film production as the next round of film tax credits takes effect. The new application period opened yesterday, July 13, and specifically targets feature films and independent projects.”

“This city is ready for the next great American film to be shot on L.A. soil,” Garcetti added. “I will continue to fight back against runaway production that pulls jobs away, and focus on putting Angelenos back to work.”

Last week’s pilot report showed that out of 202 pilots in the recent season, 91 projects (21 dramas and 70 comedies) were filmed in the Los Angeles area — giving the region a 45% share of total pilot production, but only 19% for drama pilots.

The state’s incentive program, aimed at retaining production, includes pilots for the first time and has more than tripled the amount of tax credits available annually to $330 million.

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