×

Los Angeles Sees 34% Decline in TV Drama Production since 2007

Los Angeles is in grave danger of losing even more TV drama series because of the limits of the state’s production tax incentive program, a new report asserts.

FilmL.A. disclosed Wednesday that Hollywood has seen a 34% decline in TV dramas shot in Los Angeles since 2006-07 from 73 to 48 currently. Additionally, 13 of those 48 one-hour shows are receiving the state’s production tax credit — which did not exist in 2007.

“In fact, were it not for the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, 2013/14 would have been the worst year on record since 2006 for total television dramas produced in the state,” the report said. “Since 2006/07, production has fallen more than 52 percent to just 35 drama series this year.”

Adding to the report’s gloomy outlook is the fact that since 2012, 29 one-hour dramas based in California have completed their series runs, including “90210,” “Bunheads,” “Southland,” “True Blood,” “Dexter,” “Mad Men,” “Glee,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “Parenthood.”

“The economic impact of these 29 dramas is/was enormous, and when not replaced by
other locally‐made shows, the sting of their disappearance is keenly felt,” the report said.
“Since the average cost per‐episode for a typical one‐hour drama can range from $2.2‐$5.5 million (or more) for a season that consists of 10‐22 episodes, FilmL.A. estimates that the loss of these series is worth as much as $1.2 billion annually in direct production spending.”

The report noted that six of the series — “Bunheads,” “Torchwood,” “Jane by Design,” “The Wedding Band,” two seasons of “Body of Proof” and five seasons of “Justified” — had received the incentive and generated $398 million in spending in California with 1,198 cast members, 1,058 crew and 24,419 extras.

“Unfortunately, California has been unable to replace these completed dramas with new series fast enough to fill the void,” the report said.

FilmL.A. issued the report as a follow-up to its second-quarter statistics showing a 33% jump in TV production due to a shift in sceheduling with more early summer premieres. The agency reported in June that Los Angeles had lost its leadership in one-hour drama pilot production for the 2013-14 development cycle, which saw New York retain 24 drama projects — a convincing lead over the 19 drama projects retained in Los Angeles.

Legislation to expand California’s production incentive program has been approved by the State Assembly and the State Senate’s governance and finance committee. California’s current program is smaller — at $100 million in tax credits annually — and narrower than those in competing jurisdictions.

The report was issued in conjunction with Variety’s TV Summit at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City, which included a panel led by FilmL.A. president Paul Audley with a pair of prominent showrunners — Scott Rosenbaum of “Gang Related” and Erica Messer of “Criminal Minds.” The duo touted the multiple benefits of shooting in Los Angeles, even without incentives.

“You have people who are just good at what they do,” Rosenbaum said.

“If you need a crane in an hour in L.A., there are four places you can go,” Messer said. “The infrastructure in L.A. is built for this.”

Messer added that the strength of the infrastructure in Los Angeles makes filming here more cost-effective. “It makes for a happy cast and crew,” she said.

(Pictured: Scott Rosenbaum, Erica Messer)

More TV

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • NETFLIX ZERO SHOWRUNNER

    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content