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‘Mean Moms,’ ‘Paternity Leave’ Score California Film Credits (EXCLUSIVE)

A pair of New Line comedies — “Paternity Leave” and Jennifer Aniston’s “Mean Moms” — have been selected to receive production tax credits worth nearly $14 million from the state of California.

The two films are among the dozen projects to be added on to the California Film Tax Credit program  for the 2014-15 fiscal year after moving off the waiting list. To receive the credit, production must start in California within 180 days of notification from the state.

“Paternity Leave,” a buddy comedy that’s been in development since 2006, received the largest allocation with $7.22 million out of a $36 million budget. Andrew Panay and Peter Abrams are producing the script from David Diamond and David Weissman.

This is the second year in a row that “Mean Moms” has been eligible for the credit. New Line announced in May it had pulled the comedy from its 2015 release date — and opted to forego a $6.7 million production tax credit for a $33 million budget.

Other newly selected projects include the Weinstein Co.’s Richard Pryor biopic with a $3.9 million allocation for a $19.6 million budget, Pantheon Entertainment’s Janis Joplin biopic “Get It While You Can” with a $2.5 million allocation, and Gulfstream Pictures’ “The Greatest Escape” with a $2.5 million allocation.

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Matthew Modine’s directorial debut with rock-band drama “The Rocking Horsemen,” set in the summer of 1962, was allocated $818,598 via his Cinco Dedos Productions.

“We really couldn’t shoot anywhere but California,” he told Variety.

The “Scream” TV pilot received a $2.5 million allocation along with a trio of indie features: “Caterpillar” from So and So Prods. with $1.5 million; “Cocksman and Cuckold” from Cocksman with $830,522; and “Mr. Lively” from Sam Story with $959,066.

Variety had reported in August that the state had selected the second season of BET’s “The Start Up” for a $2.87 million credit — on the condition that it re-locate from Atlanta to California — along with TV movie “Secret Summer” for a $385,801 credit.

The state used a lottery in June to select 26 projects to the program out of a total of 497 applications. “Teen Wolf” led the list with an $11.5 million credit; 11 other continuing series took the lion’s share of another $66 million in allocations.

In the revised allocations, five TV series were not included on the list: “Franklin & Bash,” “Legends,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Major Crimes” and “Rizzoli and Isles.” Their absence may indicate that producers will start shooting the (potential) upcoming seasons during the 2015-16 fiscal year.

It’s not uncommon for waiting-list projects to wind up with the credit. Last year’s cancellation of “Bunheads” freed up credits for seven other California projects, including “Sam and the White Tiger,” “Perfect Heist,” “Xoxo” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

There are currently 32 projects with allocations.

The state’s program will be expanded greatly next year, thanks to the recent passage of Assmbly Bill 1819, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law three weeks ago.

The legislation will increase the annual allocation of state tax credits to $330 million per year, more than triple the current amount, starting with fiscal year 2015-16 and lasting for five years. It will expand the eligibility to include big budget feature films and new one-hour drama series.

The legislation also will rework the way that the money is awarded to producers. A scoring system in which will be determined based on applicants’ abilities to employ a significant number of workers will replace the present lottery — where credits were awarded by chance.

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