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California Leads Industry in 2018 Television Production

California claimed the leading share of television production in scripted series and pilots, a new report released on Wednesday from FilmLA showed.

The agency’s 2018 television report revealed that California was home to 176 of the 467 series that were produced in 2017-18 for an industry-leading 38% share. FilmLA estimated that the economic value of this activity to California totaled more than $6.8 billion per year.

The report showed that TV series were produced in 57 different jurisdictions in 2017-18, spanning 21 U.S. states and 33 countries.

The report also said the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program, which allocates $330 million in credits annually, sustains more than 10,000 cast and crew jobs in TV series.

FilmLA’s report showed that in 2017-18, California was home to 65 of the 159 new TV projects, with 21 hourlong and 44 half-hour series. California’s top competitors include the state of New York (with 21 projects), and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia (with 17 projects) and Ontario (with 10 projects).

The report noted that competing jurisdictions are more likely to attract projects that are one-hour rather than a half-hour. Streaming series now comprise nearly one-fifth of all new TV projects tracked by FilmLA.

“This report highlights the incredible economic value that television production creates, and helps explain why California’s many competitors are eager to win this business,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley.

In July, then-California Governor 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.

In December, the commission announced that CBS’ new “Star Trek” series, with Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, would shoot in California and receive a $15.6 million production tax credit. Eight other TV series were selected for the latest tax credit allocations totaling $90 million, including “Flowers of Helvetica” with a $12 million allocation and CBS’ “Why Women Kill” with an $8.5 million credit.

The commission announced in July that NBC’s sitcom “Good Girls” and “You” were relocating to California for their upcoming seasons and have been conditionally approved to receive a combined $15.4 million in tax credits.

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

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