Ridley Scott’s new series “Strange Angel,” the fourth season of Dwayne Johnson’s “Ballers,” and nine other TV projects have been selected for a total of $69 million in California production tax credits.
The projects were announced Monday by the state film commission in the latest round of its Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0. The 11 projects are expected to spend an estimated $339 million in qualified expenditures (defined as wages paid to below-the-line workers and payments to in-state vendors) and will employ nearly 1,500 cast members and more than 2,200 crew.
The new TV series include Scott’s “Strange Angel” (CBS Studios), “The Rookie” (Touchstone Television Productions), “Untitled Peacock Project” (Hop Skip & Jump Productions), and Mark Burnett’s “Untitled Old Story Pictures Project” (Old Story Pictures).
“Television drives much of the industry’s long-term employment and economic activity, so we’re gratified to see the tax credit program help keep so much TV production here at home,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “Tens of thousands of cast and crew members, as well as support service vendors, are working in California on TV projects thanks to the expanded tax credit program.”
Lemisch also pointed to data released Nov. 30 by FilmL.A., which showed that soundstages in its jurisdiction have an average occupancy rate of 96% with nearly 75% of utilization attributed to scripted TV series. Other conditionally approved projects in the current TV allocation round include three pilots (“Euphoria,” “Harmony,” and “Less Than Zero”), and three other recurring series (“S.W.A.T.,” “Shooter,” and “The Orville”) that are already in the tax credit program and have been renewed for another season of in-state production.
The commission said Monday that a total of 52 TV projects have been accepted into Program 2.0 since it launched in 2015. The 2015-16 fiscal year marked a major expansion for the tax credit program, aimed at halting the erosion of California-based production to states with bigger incentives, such as Georgia and New York. The annual allocation rose from $100 million to $330 million, and applications are ranked on how many jobs they will produce, rather than being selected by lottery.
The program expansion, enacted in 2014 by California lawmakers, covers five years and $1.55 billion in tax credits. The credit is set at 20%, but producers are eligible for an additional 5% “uplift” if they shoot outside the L.A. zone, commit to music scoring or music track recording in the state, or to do visual effects in California.
NBC’s drama “Timeless” announced in June that it was shifting production for its second season from Vancouver to California — the 12th TV series to relocate to California in order to receive the state’s production tax credit. “Timeless” joined three other TV series (“Lucifer,” “Legion,” and “Mistresses”) to relocate from Canada to California under the commission’s Program 2.0.
The expansion of the program also included a provision for big-budget studio movies to apply for the credit. Disney’s “Wrinkle in Time” was the first title to receive the allocation. The California Film Commission, which administers the program, selected “Call of the Wild” and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Charles Manson movie as recipients of the state’s production tax credit on Nov. 20. They join other big-budget projects for California, including “Captain Marvel,” “Island Plaza,” “Midway,” “Ad Astra,” and “Bumblebee.”