×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Foreign TV Shoots Boost Ontario’s Economy

Features drop but network series rep $943 million in local spending

TORONTO — U.S. series including NBCUniversal’s “Hannibal” and “Defiance” and Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” are among skeins that helped boost Ontario’s revenue from film and TV production to C$1.28 billion ($1.25 billion) in 2012, up from $1.22 billion in 2011.

Despite a dip in foreign and domestic film spending, the TV sector made up the difference, with domestic and foreign series representing 76% ($943 million) of Ontario’s 2012 total driven by an uptick in foreign, primarily U.S., series — up almost 80% from $146 million in 2011 to $263 million in 2012.

According to the Ontario Media Development Corp., 18 foreign skeins shot in Ontario last year.

In Toronto, the province’s production hub, local industryites have noted a higher level of client retention the past two years, reversing the previous trend of series shooting one season in town then moving on.

“These 2012 production levels are a testament to the heavy lifting that we and other stakeholders have committed to in order to create a positive and productive environment for film and television in Ontario,” said Jim Mirkopoulos, VP of operations at Cinespace studios, where the fifth season of NBCU’s “Warehouse 13” and Paul W.S. Anderson’s sword-and-sandals pic “Pompeii” will lense this year.

“Lost Girl,” “Rookie Blue” and “Beauty and the Beast” were among 140 Canadian series that spent $679 million in Ontario in 2012, up from 2011’s $609 million.

Foreign feature spending fell to $103.5 million from 2011’s record $266 million. That total included Sony’s “Total Recall” and Legendary Pictures’ “Pacific Rim,” two of the biggest foreign features ever shot in Ontario. Both lensed at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

Domestic features spent $120 million in 2012, a drop from 2011’s $161 million. Though there were more projects — 39 vs. the previous year’s 28 — budgets were lower.

As of Feb. 22, Ontario had 21 productions shooting or in prep, including season two of BBC America’s “Copper” and Malcolm Lee’s “Best Man II” (Universal).

The OMDC stats do not include commercials, corporate or music videos or broadcaster inhouse production.

More TV

  • Jimmy Fallon and Hasan Minhaj in

    Jimmy Fallon and Hasan Minhaj on When to Get Political in Late-Night

    Jimmy Fallon and Hasan Minhaj were like magnets when Variety brought them together in New York for a joint Q&A about late-night TV in the age of Trump. The two host very different shows — Fallon fronts NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” while Minhaj recently picked up a Peabody Award for his work on Netflix’s “Patriot [...]

  • NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates for

    NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates for 'This Is Us,' 'The Good Place' Final Season

    NBC is only adding three new shows to its schedule this fall, and the network has announced that all three are set to premiere the week of September 23. On Mondays, the Jimmy Smits-led courtroom drama “Bluff City Law” will follow “The Voice,” while on Thursdays, Bradley Whitford starrer “Perfect Harmony” and Kal Penn comedy [...]

  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Documentary

    Amy Sedaris, Fred Armisen on the Art of Creating Short-Term Characters

    Few disciplines are as tough to shine in as sketch comedy. Often, being funny isn’t often enough. What makes a sketch resonate comes down to the characters. But while sitcoms build arcs over seasons, short skits require viewers to buy into new characters constantly. It’s a tricky art. For decades, “Saturday Night Live” has blended [...]

  • Desus and Mero Samantha Bee

    How Late-Night Talk Shows Avoid Political Burnout

    It may feel like late-night talk shows often overwhelmingly consist of a barrage of recounts of the most recent, or most polarizing, political headlines or tweets. It’s a subject matter that can’t, and perhaps shouldn’t, be avoided, given the changing state of local laws when it comes to health care, that families are literally being [...]

  • CBS to Launch DABL Digital Lifestyle

    CBS to Launch DABL Digital Lifestyle Channel in September

    CBS is moving into the lifestyle channel arena with the launch of DABL, a digital multicast network set to launch in September through its CBS Television Distribution unit. CBS has acquired a raft of programming from the vaults of Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse to help fill out the channel devoted to what it described [...]

  • Variety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival Los

    Tyra Banks to Star in, Executive Produce Quibi Docuseries 'Beauty'

    Tyra Banks is the latest name to join the Quibi content push. The actress and model will both star in and executive produce a new documentary series titled “Beauty,” a multi-part show which “celebrates being beautiful.” The aim of the series is to “break down barriers and challenge traditional notions” of beauty and question the societal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content