Eight years ago, ABC Studios made headlines when it moved its ABC series Ugly Betty from Los Angeles to New York after its second season. The dramedy was the first show to take advantage of New York’s dramatic filming tax credits increase signed just three weeks prior. Now ABC Studios is moving another existing hourlong series, drama Quantico starring Priyanka Chopra, to the Big Apple. Quantico, which is set partially in New York, featuring such city landmarks as Grand Central, shot its pilot in Atlanta before heading to Montreal where the first season was filmed. (Quantico already has been renewed for a second season). The Quebec city is losing two American series to New York, as I hear TNT’s straight-to-series The Alienist also recently decided to relocate.
ABC Studios and New York already are in business on the blockbuster Marvel series package for Netflix. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Disney chief Bob Iger made the splashy announcement in 2014, with Disney committing to spend at least $200 million in the state on its Marvel streaming TV series. (That estimate is growing as the series are getting renewed.)
The 22-episode Season 2 of Quantico is expected to generate an estimated $68 million in New York State spending, creating at least 300 full-time local jobs while getting a tax credit on almost 30% of its production costs. ABC Studios is not only moving the filming location — all aspects of production, including the writing team, will be based in New York. Filming is set to begin in July, and post-production will continue through May 2017. (Post-production for Quantico’s first season was done in New York, and added over $5 million to the local economy.)
“ABC Studios values the strong partnership that has developed with Empire State Development and we look forward to collaborating with the team to create an excellent television show as well as expanded job opportunities for New Yorkers,” said Patrick Moran, EVP, ABC Studios.
Added Quantico executive producer Mark Gordon, “Ever since my film school days at NYU I have wanted to shoot a series in New York. I am so excited to be working with the most talented film and television professionals in the world. I love New York.”
With Los Angeles finally stepping up its tax incentives and the Canadian currency exchange rate as advantageous as ever, New York has been losing broadcast TV business. After reaching an all-time high of 15 broadcast pilots (10 drama and five comedy) in 2014 the year New York implemented the big tax credit expansion, pilot production in the Big Apple has been slipping — to eight (including one comedy) last year and now six (including two comedies) this year.