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‘Teen Wolf’ Takes $11.5 Million as Top California Production Tax Credit

The fifth season of MTV’s “Teen Wolf” will receive $11.5 million in tax credits, the highest of the 26 new allocations from California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

With $77.6 million, “Teen Wolf” and 11 other continuing series took the lion’s share of the $100 million in allocations.

“Teen Wolf,” which relocated from Georgia in 2012, will receive a credit for nearly 25% of its $46.3 million in qualified costs. Most projects receive 20% allocations, but TV series that filmed all previous episodes outside California are eligible for a 25% credit.

“Teen Wolf” topped a pair of Horizon series — “Rizzoli & Isles” with $8.9 million and “Pretty Little Liars” with $8.4 million — followed by  Warner Bros.’ “Major Crimes” with $7.9 million.

The California Film Commission, which administers the five-year-old program, disclosed the allocations Tuesday. It had made the initial lottery selections from 497 applications on June 2, but held off for a month in order to verify eligibility.

The new round of tax credits will not be released to the producers until after production is completed and an audit has established that the production funds were spent in California. Producers must start production by the end of 2014 or the funds will be allocated to other projects on a waiting list.

Fox’s “All Summer Long – A Beach Boys Musical” received the highest allocation among movie projects with a $7.7 million allocation with John Stamos, Neal Meron and Craig Zadan exec producing. The studio acquired rights to the project — based on the band’s songs — in a 2010 bidding war.

Universal’s reboot of “Scarface” received the sixth largest credit with $6.6 million, followed by five more continuing TV series: Sony TV’s “Justified” with $6.5 million, FTP’s “Perception” with $5.9 million, Film Syndicate’s “Hit the Floor” with $5.9 million, Prodco’s “Switched at Birth” with $5.8 million and Turner North’s “Murder in the First” with $5.6 million.

BET Networks’ “Being Mary Jane” was qualified for a $5.2 million allocation on $21.1 million, or 25% because it would re-locate from Georgia for its third season. Lucia Gervino, senior VP of physical production, said a final decision on relocating the series, which employs 80 to 120 people, had not yet been made.

“This is a good spot for us to be in, winning the lottery like this,” she added.

Previously relocated TV series still participating in the program include MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” which received a $1.5 million allocation for its fifth season. Other TV series that relocated to California for the credits, but are no longer in production, include ABC’s “Body of Proof” from Rhode Island and BBC’s “Torchwood” from the U.K.

Gia Coppola’s “Mainstream” — her second directing gig following “Palo Alto” — received a $2.3 million credit for $9.3 million in costs for American Zoetrope. “Had we not gotten the credit, we would have definitely shot it outside California in an incentive state,” producer Michael Zakin told Variety.

American Zoetrope also received California tax credits in previous years for “The Bling Ring” and “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.”

All told, the 26 allocations were split among 13 TV series, 11 feature films and two TV movies. The California Film Commission estimated that the projects will generate $802 million in direct spending in California, including $230 million in wages for the below-the-line crew members.

The commission also said the new projects will increase the total numbers for California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program to $5.39 billion in direct in-state spending, including $1.7 billion in below-the-line wages.

“Now in its sixth year, California’s tax credit program has proven to be our most effective economic development tool for retaining and attracting production jobs, spending and tax revenues,” said Amy Lemisch, exec director of the commission. “The projects that receive our tax credit incentive will have a broad impact across the state’s economy as they create jobs and support thousands of small businesses.”

California’s incentive program is funded through the 2015-16 fiscal years. It lags those in New York, which offers $420 million per year in incentives, along with Georgia and Louisiana.

A bill to augment the California program over a five-year period has cleared the Assembly and got through its first State Senate committee on June 25 but still needs approval from the full Senate and Gov. Jerry Brown. Backers have not yet specified how much the new bill would provide.

There were 63 projects tapped to receive allocations from the state program’s just-concluded fiscal year, led by “Major Crimes” with $9.1 million, followed by “Rizzoli & Isles” with $8.55 million, Paramount’s reboot of “Baywatch” with $8.4 million and “Pretty Little Liars” with $8.04 million.

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