UPDATED: New York killed it this pilot season. Not only did the Big Apple go from zero drama pilots being filmed there last year to nine following the August 2010 vote to extend and expand the state’s Film Production Tax Credit Program, it also attracted some of the strongest pilots. Out of the nine hourlong pilots filmed in New York, eight — NBC’s Smash and Prime Suspect, CBS’ Person of Interest, Unforgettable (formerly Rememberer), A Gifted Man (formerly Untitled Susannah Grant), The 2-2 (formerly Rookies) and Ringer and ABC’s Pan Am — went to series, with Ringer moving to CW. Of the 11 shot in Los Angeles, only two, NBC’s Awake (formerly REM) and ABC’s Scandal, were picked up to series. However, when the dust settled after the upfronts, six newly picked up drama series moved production to Los Angeles, including Ringer and Prime Suspect, giving LA a 8-to-6 edge over New York.
While California’s TV tax credit does not apply to new broadcast series (it does to broadcast series filming elsewhere that want to move to LA, which triggered the upcoming relocation of ABC’s Body of Proof from Providence to LA), uncertainty over the future of such credits in other states, including Texas, probably played a part in some moves to LA, including that of ABC’s Good Christian Belles, whose pilot was shot in Dallas. In all, six new series will film in LA after shooting their pilots elsewhere: GCB, ABC’s Revenge and CW’s Hart of Dixie (both moving from North Carolina, where the pilots were filmed), Fox’s Bones spinoff The Finder (from Miami) and Prime Suspect and Ringer (from New York). The reasons for the moves vary from project to project. Both The Finder and Bones are created/exec produced and run by Hart Hanson. To avoid having Hanson shuttling cross-country between LA, where Bones is produced, and Miami, filming of The Finder was brought to Hollywood, giving Hanson better oversight of both shows. Still, because The Finder is set in Miami and the city’s look is an important part of the show, the series’ crew plans several trips to Florida a year, with one day of production on each episode slated to take place in Miami. The relocation of the CW’s Hart of Dixie from North Carolina to LA prevents a similar location-hopping dilemma for executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who already have two other series filming in two different cities on two coasts: Chuck (LA) and Gossip Girl (NY). As for Ringer and Prime Suspect, both are starring vehicles whose big-name stars, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Maria Bello, respectively, live in Los Angeles with their families/young kids. Even before Ringer went to production on the pilot, production on the potential series was set for LA. Another interesting location switch, which had been pre-determined early in the pilot process — ABC/ABC Studios’ new horror drama The River, whose pilot was shot in Puerto Rico shortly after the territory implemented a filming tax incentive program, moves to Hawaii, where ABC Studios plans to use some of the production infrastructure and facilities built for the studio’s long-running drama Lost.
With the post-upfront switcheroos, the diversity of filming locations for thew new broadcast series this year is much less than previous years, with production concentrated in LA, NY and Vancouver (three series), with only three other cities — Chicago (The Playboy Club), Miami (Charlie’s Angels) and O’ahu (The River) — hosting a new show. Here is a list of the new broadcast drama series for next season by location. Not included are comedy series, as all of them will film in LA after all but one of the half-hour broadcast pilots this year were shot there.
Title Length Network Location
Charlie’s Angels 1 hour ABC Miami
Good Christian Belles 1 hour ABC Los Angeles (pilot in Dallas)
Once Upon A Time 1 hour ABC Vancouver
Pan Am 1 hour ABC New York
Revenge 1 hour ABC Los Angeles (pilot in North Carolina)
Scandal 1 hour ABC Los Angeles
The River 1 hour ABC Hawaii (pilot in Puerto Rico)
A Gifted Man 1 hour CBS New York
Person of Interest 1 hour CBS New York
The 2-2 1 hour CBS New York
Unforgettable 1 hour CBS New York
Hart of Dixie 1 hour CW Los Angeles (pilot in North Carolina)
The Secret Circle 1 hour CW Vancouver
Ringer 1 hour CW Los Angeles (pilot in New York)
Alcatraz 1 hour FOX Vancouver (pilot in SF/Vancouver)
The Finder 1 hour FOX Los Angeles (pilot in Miami)
Grimm 1 hour NBC Portland
Smash 1 hour NBC New York
The Playboy Club 1 hour NBC Chicago
Prime Suspect 1 hour NBC Los Angeles (pilot in New York)
Awake 1 hour NBC Los Angeles
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