John Singleton’s Snowfall, inspired by the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, is yet to get a premiere date, with Season 1 expected to launch this summer. The network has not made an official Season 2 renewal decision yet but the massive tax credit — the biggest for a California-based new or returning series — certainly makes that likely.
FX has been bullish on the project from the start, applying for a series tax credit in the fall of 2015 when it was still in the pilot stage. In December 2015, just as the pilot, written by Singelton and Ed Amadio, was being delivered to the network, Snowfall was approved for a $4.9 million tax credit toward its first season.
The pilot was met with mixed reaction but the FX brass stuck with the project, ordering a new pilot. There was a major overhaul, with Dave Andron brought in as executive producer/showrunner, co-wroting a new script with Singleton and Amadio. There were new directors, the Belgian directing team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, with veteran Thomas Schlamme joining as executive producer. There were also significant casting changes, with new actors brought in alongside returning leads Damson Idris and Sergio Peris-Mencheta.
In the end, in late September 2016, more than nine months after the Season 1 tax credit had been approved, the project received a series order.
The fact is that FX followed through with a Season 1 pickup on the project after filing a tax credit application for it. If the network had applied for a Season 2 credit, it clearly has intention to renew the show. Landing $8.833 million, almost twice the size of the incentive it received for Season 1, should help firm up that intention.
FX was a big winner at the California Film Commission today, landing two of the three biggest TV credits, including $11.031 million for freshman Marvel drama Legion, which will relocate to Los Angeles in Season 2. (Topping the list are two series that are being lured to move to California, Fox/WBTV’s Lucifer, $16.811 million; and FX/FX Prods’s Legion; followed by the LA-based Snowfall, FX/FX Prods.)
Legion had been a modest linear ratings performer for FX, but has gotten strong reviews from critics, it’s drawing younger viewers and is expected to be a solid multi-platform performer. With that and a big tax incentive in consideration, FX announced a Season 2 renewal for Legion two days ago, after winners of the Film Commission’s program had been notified.
Additionally, FX/FX Prods.’ Mayans MC, Kurt Sutter’s spinoff from his hit Sons Of Anarchy, was one of four pilots to receive a tax credit today, $1.539 million. It is considered a lock for a series pickup.
Snowfall is executive produced by Dave Andron, Thomas Schlamme, John Singleton, Eric Amadio, Michael London, and Trevor Engelson. Evan Silverberg is producer.