The Amazon series “Sneaky Pete” is relocating production for its third season from New York to California, and has been approved conditionally to receive a $9.2 million tax credit from the Golden State.
The California Film Commission made the announcement on Monday, noting that “Sneaky Pete” will employ nearly 250 cast, 220 crew, and 2,510 extras. The series plans to spend more than $53 million in qualified expenditures — defined as the portion of total expenditures allocated for wages to below-the-line workers and payments to in-state vendors.
The relocation makes “Sneaky Pete” the 13th TV series to relocate to California under its three-year-old expanded tax credit program. It’s also the third show to come to California from New York following Showtime’s “The Affair” and Netflix’s “The OA.”
“Our success with these relocating projects shows how the tax credit is working to affirm California’s status as the preferred choice for TV production,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “From the earliest days of TV, shows set in other locales have been filmed in California. We’re excited to welcome another series from New York that will generate long-term employment and economic activity here at home.”
“Sneaky Pete” was co-created by Bryan Cranston and stars Giovanni Ribisi. Its first two seasons were set in upstate New York, with much of the action also in and around New York City.
The commission noted Monday that many TV series set in New York have been filmed in California, including “2 Broke Girls” (CBS), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox), “CSI: NY” (CBS), “Castle” (ABC), “Gossip Girl” (The CW), “Good Girls Revolt” (Amazon), “Mad Men” (AMC), “The Mindy Project” (Fox/Hulu), “The Newsroom” (HBO), and “Will & Grace” (NBC).
“One of the many advantages to filming in California is our unique ability to match the look of just about any other locale — from New York City to other planets,” Lemisch added. “No other production center has our diversity of locations, as well as weather, talent, and infrastructure.”
The 2015-16 fiscal year marked a major expansion of the eight-year-old 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 credit is set at 20%, but producers are eligible for an additional 5% “uplift” if they relocate a TV series from another state, shoot outside the L.A. zone, commit to music scoring or music track recording in the state, or do visual effects in California.
Other series that have relocated to California include Dwayne Johnson’s HBO series “Ballers” from Florida; “Mistresses” (which returned to California from Vancouver); “Scream Queens” and “American Horror Story” (which moved from Louisiana); “Veep” (from Maryland); “Secrets and Lies” (from North Carolina); and ABC’s “American Crime” (from Texas).
The commission said Monday that a total of 67 television projects — including new TV series, relocating TV series, pilots, movies of the week, and miniseries — have been accepted into its Program 2.0 since it launched in July of 2015. It explained that due to its ongoing success drawing long-term TV projects, the latest TV application period (held Feb. 12 to Feb. 16) was open only to relocating series and recurring series already accepted into the tax credit program, including 31 recurring TV series in various stages of production.
The 31 programs were unveiled on Monday with the caveat that the list is subject to change, as series may withdraw and their reservation of tax credits would roll over into the pool of funds for the next TV allocation period. In addition to “Sneaky Pete,” the list includes Showtime’s “The Affair,” Fox’s “American Horror Story,” A&E’s “American Princess,” Horizon’s “Animal Kingdon,” HBO’s “Ballers,” ABC’s “Code Black,” CBS’ “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Horizon’s “Famous in Love,” Viacom’s “Heathers,” Weirdo’s “Here and Now,” and Showtime’s “I’m Dying up Here.”
Also on the list — Universal’s “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” Minim’s “Legion,” WB’s “Lucifer,” Fox21’s “Mayans MC,” Lunar Mining’s “The OA,” Fox’s “The Orville,” BET’s “Rebel,” ABC’s “The Rookie,” Sony’s “S.W.A.T,” HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” Paramount’s “Shooter,” Fox’s “Snowfall,” CBS’ “Strange Angel,” Fox’s “This Is Us,” Sony’s “Timeless,” Disney’s “Untitled Peacock Project,” Second in Command’s “Veep,” and HBO’s “Westworld.”