Los Angeles Dominates in TV Pilot Production With 45% Share

Los Angeles has maintained its dominance in pilot production a time of fierce competition from other states, according to a report released by the FilmL.A. permitting agency.

FilmL.A.’s official count shows that 202 broadcast, cable and digital pilots — 111 dramas and 91 comedies — were produced during the 2014-15 development cycle. That’s just one fewer than the prior year, which was the most productive on record.

Out of those 202 pilots, 91 projects (21 dramas and 70 comedies) were filmed in the Los Angeles area — giving the region a 45% share of total pilot production, but only 19% for drama pilots.

New York was the second most-active location with 25 pilots, followed by Vancouver with 16 pilots, Atlanta and Toronto with nine each and Louisiana with eight.

The Los Angeles share number was up slightly from last year’s 44% share but off significantly from 52% for the  2012-13 season and 61% in 2011-12. The total of 91 was the fourth-highest on record but 10 fewer than the all-time high set during the 2004-05 season.

Notable pilots that have been shot in Los Angeles in recent years include “American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Ray Donovan.”

Sitcoms have been key in keeping Los Angeles as a leader in pilot production with a 77% share, edging up from last year’s 76% share.

The report is being issued at a time when California is in the process of expanding its tax credit program to keep production in the state. Under the revised program, TV pilots are now able to qualify for the credits.

The FilmL.A. report, released Tuesday, was touted as the first to include a specific count of digital pilot projects in production, with 26 produced for digital networks in 2014-15. Amazon led with 13 pilots, followed by Netflix with 10, Hulu with two and and PlayStation Network with one.

“The television business has changed dramatically over the last 10 years,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “What hasn’t changed is the ongoing need to bring new pilots and series to California and Greater L.A.”

FilmL.A. reported a 3% gain in the overall spending on pilot production in Los Angeles during the 2014-15 pilot season to $298 million.

UPDATE, 1:10 p.m. PDT — FilmL.A. revised the original percentage share number for the Los Angeles region from 43% to 45%.

More TV

  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

    'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Will No Longer Attend Comic-Con Panel

    “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with some beloved “Thrones” actors, have canceled their scheduled appearances at San Diego International Comic-Con. Actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), director Miguel Sapochnik, and dual writer-producers Benioff and Weiss are no longer attending, HBO revealed in a revised panel lineup [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops

    TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops Season 4 Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases a trailer for the final season of “Mr. Robot,” Apple plans a “Snoopy in Space” series and Variety has an exclusive clip from Season 3 of Netflix’s “The Epic Tale of Captain Underpants.” CASTING Golden Globe-winner Ian McShane will guest star in the season premiere of “Law & Order: SVU.” [...]

  • Elisabeth Moss Handmaid's Tale

    Why Elisabeth Moss Deserves More than 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Column)

    Elisabeth Moss has a long talk with a somewhat less-than-present conversation partner, to which Moss herself brings a certain wired tension. Her physical posture, upright even as her voice frays with exhaustion, indicates as much as do her words a new resolve to do better than she’s done as a caretaker. Having run out of [...]

  • jeffrey hirsch Starz

    Listen: Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch Spots an Opening in the Global Streaming Market

    Streaming content is about as competitive as a business gets these days, but don’t tell that to Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch. He’s aggressively moving to establish the Lionsgate-owned premium programmer around the world while the time is right for his company to stake its claim. “Other than Netflix, we’re probably be the second or third [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    USA Network Gives Series Order to 'Cannonball' Competition Show

    USA Network has given a series greenlight to a competition reality series “Cannonball,” from ITV Entertainment. The show revolves around 16 contestants who compete in a series of physical challenges. One contender will be eliminated in each episode. USA has ordered 10 episodes. The series is expected to bow next year. ” ‘Cannonball’ is pure [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content