HBO’s LA Lakers Series, Nicole Kidman’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Selected for California Tax Credit

Nicole Kidman Variety Cover Story 3
Nino Muñoz for Variety

The California Film Commission has chosen four new shows to receive tax credits through the Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0.

Those shows are “The Dropout” (Searchlight TV), “Grease” (Paramount), “Nine Perfect Strangers” (Endeavor Content) starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman, and “Untitled Showtime Lakers Project” (HBO) from executive producer Adam McKay. In addition, two shows that are relocating to California will also receive tax credits. The Universal Television series “Dream” will relocate from New Jersey, while the Horizon Scipted Television series “Special” will relocate from Texas. Both shows will now film their second seasons in California.

A total of $152 million in tax credits is reserved for the 16 relocating, new and recurring projects, the full list of which can be found below. According to the commission, they are on track to generate an estimated $782 million in qualified spending, which is defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors. The 16 projects will employ an estimated 2,900 cast members, 3,500 crew and 62,000 extras/stand-ins over a combined 1,450 in-state shoot days for the season. 

“When already successful TV series relocate to California, they bring long-term jobs and significant in-state spending,” said California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell. “The decision by so many projects to pack up and move production here affirms that our tax credit program is working and that California can still provide unsurpassed value.”

Applications for the latest round of TV tax credits were accepted November 4 – 8, 2019. To date, a total of 142 television projects, including new TV series, recurring, relocating TV series, pilots, MOWs and miniseries have been accepted into Program 2.0 since it was launched in July 2015. 

“Adam [McKay] and I are thrilled to be able to participate in the California Film Commission tax credit program for our HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Kevin Messick, producer of the Lakers series. “We couldn’t imagine filming this show anywhere else, and we’re happy that HBO has the additional support from the state to help ensure this show stays local.”


The list of Program 2.0 projects that are actively in production and eligible for tax credits is subject to change, as projects may withdraw and their reservation of tax credits is reassigned or rolled over into the pool of funds for the next TV allocation period.