California’s new $330 million-a-year tax credit, which was expanded to TV pilots, is paying dividends as the number of broadcast drama pilots filmed in Los Angeles has risen for a second consecutive year. Following the dismal all-time low of five broadcast pilots in 2014, L.A.’s tally went up to seven last year. This year, there are 10 broadcast drama pilots shot in LA, plus one in San Diego (Fox’s baseball-themed Pitch, which is being produced with the cooperation of the Padres). That brings the total of California-made broadcast pilots to 11, inching closer to the 2013 level of 13.
Two of the 2016 pilots already have been approved for a tax credit — Pitch and NBC’s untitled Dan Fogelman dramedy — as their producer 20th TV had applied last year in anticipation of pickups for the projects. They will likely be joined by other pilots in the current round of tax credits whose application period ended Monday.
Pilot production in New York had been booming after the state’s August 2010 expansion of production tax credits. After reaching an all-time high of 15 broadcast pilots (10 drama and five comedy) in 2014, pilot production in the Big Apple has been slipping — to eight (including one comedy) last year and now six (including two comedies) this year. The decline on the pilot side has been offset by the deal with Disney for the Marvel TV series on Netflix, dubbed as the largest film or television production project commitment in New York State.
Canada continues to be popular, with Vancouver and Toronto’s combined tally at 12 pilots, on par with last year. Giving the total extra weight is the fact that it includes three straight-to-series dramas, which is significant in the low-batting-average broadcast pilot business.
Vancouver’s count actually slipped from eight to seven broadcast pilots, likely because the city is already bustling with film and TV production activity. Fueled by an advantageous currency exchange rate and local tax incentives, Vancouver just reported a record-breaking 2015. There are so many movies and ongoing series filming there it has been hard to find crews and production facilities available for pilots.
Canada is setting a record for most comedy pilots filmed there, four (all single-camera), doubling the number of comedy pilots shot north of the border last year when the country broke ground with its first broadcast comedy pilots. 2016 also is setting a high mark for several half-hour pilots shot outside of Los Angeles — six — edging the previous record of five. The majority of the broadcast comedy pilots, 33, are still being filmed in L.A., but the portion of those shot elsewhere has more than doubled compared with 2015, from 6% (3 of 43) to 15% (6 of 39).
Following Louisiana’s move last summer to cap its film and TV tax credit, there are no pilots being shot in the state this year vs. two last year.
Here is the list of the broadcast drama pilots by location as well as the six comedy pilots filming outside California:
- Lethal Weapon (Fox, WBTV)
- Training Day (CBS, WBTV)
- Bunker Hill (CBS, Uni/CBS)
- Four Stars (CBS, CBS)
- Presence (ABC, ABCS)
- Marvel’s Most Wanted (ABC, ABCS)
- 24: Legacy (Fox, 20th)
- Untitled Dan Fogelman (NBC, 20th)
- Cruel Intentions (NBC, Sony)
- No Tomorrow (CW, CBS)
- Frequency (The CW, WBTV)
- Riverdale (The CW, WBTV)
- Prison Break (Fox, straight-to-series, 20th)
- Miranda’s Rights (NBC, Uni)
- Time (NBC, Sony)
- Goldberg/Guarrascio (ABC, half-hour, Sony/ABC)
- Powerless (NBC, half-hour, WBTV)
- Time After Time (ABC, WBTV)
- Model Woman (ABC, TriStar/ABC)
- Bull (CBS, CBS)
- Drew (CBS, CBS)
- Untitled Kevin James (CBS, half-hour, straight to series, Sony/CBS)
- Untitled Tracey Wigfield (NBC, half-hour, Uni)
- Untitled Kevin Williamson Paranormal Project (The CW, WBTV)
- Notorious (ABC, Sony/ABC)
- The Jury (ABC, Sony/ABC)
- Star (Fox, 20th)
- Hail Mary (ABC, half-hour, Sony/ABC)
- Making History (Fox, half-hour, 20th)
- Designated Survivor (ABC, straight-to-series, MGC/ABC)
- Taken (NBC, straight-to-series, EuropaCorp/Uni)
- Recon (Fox, WBTV)
- Conviction (ABC, MGC/ABC)
- Transylvania (the CW, CBS)
- A.P.B. (Fox, 20th)
- The Exorcist (FOX, 20th)
- Zoobiquity (Fox, 20th)
- Chicago Law (NBC, backdoor pilot, Uni)
- Midnight, Texas (NBC, Uni)
- Untitled Mars Project (the CW, CBS)
- Still Star-Crossed (ABC, ABC) – Spain
- Spark (ABC, ABC) – Prague, Czech Republic
- Pitch (Fox, 20th) – San Diego, CA
- The Death Of Eva Sofia Valdez (ABC, ABC) – South Carolina
- Shots Fired (Fox, series, 20th)– Charlotte, North Carolina
- MacGyver (CBS, CBS) – Portland, OR
- Sensory (CBS, CBS/TriStar) – Pittsburgh, PA
- Untitled Meaghan Oppenheimer (ABC, ABC) – Dallas, TX