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Gotham TV prod’n at record levels

More than 20 series have shot in NYC this season

On the set of “Gossip Girl” at Silvercup Studios in Long Island, Gotham mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Thursday that 2011 was New York City’s busiest year for television production on record.

“The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment is committed to working hard to make sure that the industry continues to grow and expand in 2012, bringing even more jobs for New Yorkers,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Katherine Oliver.

“Gossip Girl” is one of the 23 series that have been filmed in New York City during the 2011-12 TV season — a major uptick from the mere nine that shot in Gotham in 2002. The series spent $200 million on development locally and employed some 6,300 people, according to stats from the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Bloomberg has been omnipresent on New York City’s production scene for years. Tubthumping the city’s virtues ruffles some feathers in Albany (there’s some private grumbling that Bloomberg gives a 5% tax break on top of the state’s 30% and takes 100% of the credit), but his efforts on behalf of film and TV shoots have brought attention to local businesses in an economy hammered by the decline of charitable giving on Wall Street after the housing crisis.

The state’s work on tax credit issues has been important, as well. In 2010, the Empire State’s legislature voted to fully fund the credit for a period of four years, giving series producers some breathing room after a backlog of applications and a few intransigent politicians drove shows like “Fringe” out of the city in 2009.

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