The California Film Commission has awarded a $2.87 million tax credit to the BET series “The Start Up” for $11.5 million in production costs — if it moves to the Golden State from Atlanta for its second season.
“The Start Up,” which has not yet aired, was unveiled by the network in April as a sitcom with Diggy Simmons starring as founder of an entertainment and lifestyle blog. Also starring are Teyana Taylor, Bria Murphy, Allen Maldonado, Chris Brew, and Stephanie Charles.
The series was on a waitlist along with nine other out-of-state series from the lottery in June. The current program supplies $1o0 million in tax credits to productions shot in California but with most of the allocations going to returning TV series, only 26 of the 497 applications were selected in the lottery.
However, that number will grow as the selected projects drop out by either failing to qualify or deciding against going ahead with production.
That’s what happened in the aftermath of the lottery for “The Start Up” along with TV movie “Secret Summer,” which was also taken off the wait list and allocated a $380,000 credit for production costs of $1.9 million.
BET did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The network has already moved two series to California from Altanta — “Being Mary Jane,” which was qualified for a $5.2 million allocation on $21.1 million spending and is expected to move to Los Angeles for its second season; and “Let’s Stay Together,” which is in line for a $1.5 million on $6.3 million spending for its fifth season.
Executive producers on “Start Up” are Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil (“Being May Jane”) and Kenya Barris (“Soul Food”).
TV series that filmed all previous episodes outside California are eligible for a 25% credit. Besides “Being Mary Jane” and “Let’s Stay Togheter,” series that have relocated to California and received the credit include “Important Things with Demetri Martin” (from New York), “Torchwood” (from U.K.), “Body of Proof” (from Rhode Island) and “Teen Wolf” (from Georgia).
A recent report from the commission noted that “Teen Wolf” has generated $162 million in spending in California during its three seasons in the Golden State with a total of $70 million in wages and 150 cast and crew jobs each season.