On-location shooting in Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions grew 4.2% year-over-year in 2011, permit coordinator FilmL.A. announced today. The bump came despite what the nonprofit organization called a “disconcerting trend” in TV production: a 2.7% annual drop in the normally reliable sector, including 10.6% during the fourth quarter, when the fall season began with 10 fewer one-hour dramas shooting around town. Most of those were new series headed for New York, where the city is hosting a record number of primetime series (23) owing to a big push to promote stronger state and city tax incentives. Officials knew the drop was coming: the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program doesn’t include incentives for new series, and eight of 10 new dramas that shot pilots in NY were picked up this season (though two of those, NBC’s now-canceled Prime Suspect and the CW’s Ringer, eventually moved to LA), compared with two out of 11 shot here. Overall in LA TV production in 2011, drama was down 11.5% and sitcoms fell 12.8%, though pilots were up 6.1% and reality TV was up a modest 1.8%.
On the feature side, LA production increased 5.7% compared with 2010, with projects that qualified for the tax credit accounting for 11.5% of that total. Big shoots like Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises and Oliver Stone’s Savages also helped the region overcome a 26.4% drop in fourth-quarter production days. Commercials shoots, meanwhile, were up 4.4% to a record 7,079 days.