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New ‘Star Trek’ Series to Shoot in California, Selected for Tax Credit

CBS’s new “Star Trek” series, with Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, will shoot in California and receive a $15.6 million production tax credit.

The California Film Commission announced Monday that the untitled “Star Trek” series and eight other TV series have been selected for the latest tax credit allocations totaling $90 million under the state’s expanded Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0.

The other eight projects include two new series — Cooler Waters Prods.’ “Flowers of Helvetica” with a $12 million allocation and CBS’s “Why Women Kill” with an $8.5 million credit. The latter comes from Marc Cherry of “Desperate Housewives” and is described as a darkly comedic drama focused on the lives of three women living in three different decades.

Six recurring series already in the tax credit program and picked up for another season of in-state production have also been set for allocations — Fox’s third season of “The Orville” with $15.8 million, CBS’s second season of “Strange Angel” with $10 million, Fox’s ninth season of “American Horror Story” ($8.9 million),  and the second seasons of “Mayans MC” ($7.6 million), “Good Trouble” ($6.6 million) and “The Rookie” ($4.5 million).

The commission said the nine projects are on track to spend nearly $456 million in qualified expenditures (defined as wages paid to below-the-line workers and payments to in-state vendors). They will employ an estimated 1,820 cast members, 2,140 crew, and 25,000 extras/stand-ins over a combined 916 shoot days.

CBS announced in August that Stewart would star in the “Star Trek” series. The commission noted Monday that California-based production of the new “Star Trek” represents a homecoming for the TV franchise, which has focused recent production in Toronto.

“Our TV tax credits are in high demand, so we’re pleased to have ample credits available now to bring these three large-scale series to California,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “So many producers tell us that California is their first choice because no other locale can match what we have to offer, including the ability leave the set and go home each night.”

In addition to the nine TV series announced Monday, the commission said there are 21 recurring TV series in various stages of production currently in the program and eligible for tax credits. Since the launch of the expanded tax credit in 2015, a total of 61 television projects — including new TV series, pilots, MOWs, miniseries and relocating TV series — have been selected for tax credits.

The commission reported on Nov. 2 that California’s expanded production tax incentive program has resulted in nearly $6 billion in in-state spending over the past three years, generated from $815 million in tax credits. California’s credit covers up to 25% of in-state production costs, which is not as lucrative as other locations, but is aimed at putting the brakes on runaway production and luring projects to the Golden State.

In July, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an extension of California’s production tax credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration with $1.6 billion in credits. The program was more than tripled in size in 2014 to $330 million annually to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia. The program is overseen by the state’s film commission, which selects the TV and movie projects to qualify partly based on the number of jobs created.

The commission announced in July that NBC’s sitcom “Good Girls” and Horizon Scripted Television’s “You” were relocating to California for their upcoming seasons and have been conditionally approved to receive a combined $15.4 million in tax credits. A total of 15 series have relocated to the Golden State, thanks to the incentive, including Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete,” FX’s “Legion,” and HBO’s “Ballers.”

Feature films covered under the program include Disney’s upcoming “Captain Marvel,” Paramount’s “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee” and Warner Bros. “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny.

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