Los Angeles Dominates in TV Pilot Production With 45% Share

Los Angeles has maintained its dominance in pilot production a time of fierce competition from other states, according to a report released by the FilmL.A. permitting agency.

FilmL.A.’s official count shows that 202 broadcast, cable and digital pilots — 111 dramas and 91 comedies — were produced during the 2014-15 development cycle. That’s just one fewer than the prior year, which was the most productive on record.

Out of those 202 pilots, 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.

New York was the second most-active location with 25 pilots, followed by Vancouver with 16 pilots, Atlanta and Toronto with nine each and Louisiana with eight.

The Los Angeles share number was up slightly from last year’s 44% share but off significantly from 52% for the  2012-13 season and 61% in 2011-12. The total of 91 was the fourth-highest on record but 10 fewer than the all-time high set during the 2004-05 season.

Notable pilots that have been shot in Los Angeles in recent years include “American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Ray Donovan.”

Sitcoms have been key in keeping Los Angeles as a leader in pilot production with a 77% share, edging up from last year’s 76% share.

The report is being issued at a time when California is in the process of expanding its tax credit program to keep production in the state. Under the revised program, TV pilots are now able to qualify for the credits.

The FilmL.A. report, released Tuesday, was touted as the first to include a specific count of digital pilot projects in production, with 26 produced for digital networks in 2014-15. Amazon led with 13 pilots, followed by Netflix with 10, Hulu with two and and PlayStation Network with one.

“The television business has changed dramatically over the last 10 years,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “What hasn’t changed is the ongoing need to bring new pilots and series to California and Greater L.A.”

FilmL.A. reported a 3% gain in the overall spending on pilot production in Los Angeles during the 2014-15 pilot season to $298 million.

UPDATE, 1:10 p.m. PDT — FilmL.A. revised the original percentage share number for the Los Angeles region from 43% to 45%.

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