New York made a big return to the top of the list of broadcast drama pilot locations this season, tying its record of 11 hourlong projects including one that has been ordered straight-to-series, Dick Wolf’s CBS drama F.B.I. That is up from seven broadcast drama pilots that filmed in the Big Apple last year and matches the previous high mark set in 2012.

Manhattan Skyline
REX/Shutterstock

With New York state’s film production tax credit program extended last year, America’s largest city continues to attract strong pilot business. Overall, 12 broadcast pilots/straight-to-series projects will shoot in New York this spring, including CBS’ Murphy Brown revival, up from eight last year.

New York and Chicago, whose drama pilot count went up from one last year to four, were the main beneficiaries of the larger volume of broadcast drama pilots this year — 43, up from 38 last year — followed by Los Angeles and Toronto, which went up by one. Meanwhile, Vancouver slipped a notch and Atlanta, a red-hot pilot destination last year with seven dramas (tying Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver for No. 1), attracted only two hourlong projects this season.

The retreat was driven largely by the CW, which last year marked the first time not producing a single pilot in Canada. Five of its six 2017 pilots filmed in Atlanta where the network’s long-running drama The Vampire Diaries had been based.

This year, the CW is returning to Canada where five of its eight stand-alone pilots will shoot — three in Vancouver and two in Toronto. With its filming tax incentives program recently extended, Georgia remains a major TV production hub with such high-profile series as Netflix’s Stranger Things and FX’s Atlanta filming there.

Chicago’s pilot production volume increase came largely from Fox/20th TV, who are filming three drama pilots there. The studio and the network have Empire based in the city that also houses NBC’s Chicago franchise.

Los Angeles remains the dominant comedy pilot location. Only one half-hour hour project, CBS’ straight-to-series Murphy Brown, is filming outside of California; the revival is shooting in New York to accommodate star Candice Bergen.

Despite expanding its tax credit program to include (mostly drama) pilots, California is not seeing a boom in hourlong pilot production, going from 11 drama pilots in 2016 to seven in 2017 and eight this year. Four broadcast drama pilots were approved for a tax credit in the 2015-2016 development season including three that went to series: NBC’s This Is Us, Fox’s The Pitch and CBS’ Pure Genius. Last season, three broadcast drama pilots made the cut, one of which, CBS’ S.W.A.T., went to series. We have yet to see how many benefit from the program this year.

Here is a breakdown of the 2018 broadcast drama pilots by location:

NEW YORK, 11 Dramas + 1 Comedy
(including 2 straight-to-series)

  1. Get Christie Love (ABC)
  2. Holmes Sisters (ABC)
  3. The Rookie (ABC, straight-to-series)
  4. God Friended Me (CBS)
  5. Murder (CBS)
  6. F.B.I. (CBS)
  7. The Code (CBS)
  8. Main Justice (CBS)
  9. Manifest (NBC)
  10. Untitled David Schulner (NBC)
  11. The Village (NBC)
  12. Murphy Brown (CBS, comedy, straight-to-series)

LOS ANGELES – 8
(including one straight-to-series)

  1. The Fix (ABC)
  2. The Rookie (ABC, straight-to-series)
  3. Cagney & Lacey (CBS)
  4. LA Confidential (CBS)
  5. Mixtape (Fox)
  6. Untitled Gabrielle Union (NBC)
  7. The Enemy Within (NBC)
  8. Untitled April Blair  (The CW)

VANCOUVER – 6

  1. A Million Little Things (ABC)
  2. The Mission (ABC)
  3. In Between Lives (NBC)
  4. Dead Inside (The CW)
  5. The End of the World as We Know It (The CW)
  6. Charmed (the CW)

CHICAGO – 4

  1. Red Line (CBS)
  2. Untitled Robert Levine (Fox)
  3. Untitled David Elliot (Fox)
  4. Untitled Ilene Chaiken (Fox)

ATLANTA – 2

  1. The Passage (Fox)
  2. Chiefs (CBS)

LOUISIANA – 2 

  1. For Love (ABC)
  2. Skinny Dip (the CW)

TORONTO – 2

  1. In the Dark (the CW)
  2. Playing Dead (the CW)

OTHERS – 8

Honolulu (Magnum P.I, CBS)

Miami (Grand Hotel, ABC)

Charleston (Salvage, ABC)

Portland (Staties, ABC)

Dallas (False Profits, ABC)

Boston (Suspicion, NBC)

New Mexico  (Roswell, the CW)

Prague, Czech Republic (Whiskey Cavalier, ABC)