Last month, HBO said it was “evaluating” whether Season 3 of Ballers would be shot in Florida, and now we know it won’t. The Dwayne Johnson-starring football comedy is officially relocating from the Sunshine State to the Golden State, the California Film Commission confirmed today in unveiling its latest list TV series tax credit recipients.
With the move, the series created by Stephen Levinson and executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg and Rob Weiss is now set to receive $8.3 million from the latest round of California’s TV tax incentive program. After incentives dried up in Florida and with Ballers having been renewed this summer, making the next 10 episodes in Cali is estimated to result in the employment of 135 cast members plus 209 base crew and 5,700 extras. To further stroke the bottom line, the commission says that could generate up to $33.5 million in paychecks to below-the-line workers and hiring in-state vendors.
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“Approximately $75 million in tax credits was available for the November TV application period to accommodate additional episodes or seasons for recurring series already in the program,” California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch told Deadline of the application period that ran November 14-29. “Once the film commission receives pick-up orders for recurring series, credits will be allocated. Any balance of credits not assigned will roll to the February TV application period – the final TV round for the fiscal year.”
With the state statute giving priority to previously approved TV projects, only relocating shows and recurring series were eligible this round (see the full chart below). Along with Season 2 of Westworld and others, the knee-capped Pure Genius is also on the tentative list even though CBS recently chose to not order additional episodes of the flat-lining medical drama beyond its original 13-episode pickup.
“The list of recurring TV series currently in the tax credit program includes projects in varying stages of production or post-production — Pure Genius is one such project,” Lemisch said of the show, which is set to cease production December 15 but has not been formally canceled.
Once topped out at $100 million a year when it was first introduced in 2009, Gov. Jerry Brown greatly expanded the incentive when he signed the now-five-year, $330 million-a-year tax credit program into law in September 2014. As part of the emphasis to bring jobs back to the home of Hollywood, the expanded program has laid particular weight on relocating series and projects. In the past year, as the CFC chart above somewhat makes clear, the likes of Veep, American Horror Story and Screen Queens have snared tax credits and packed up from other states for production in and around L.A.
The next application round for feature films runs January 2-13 with both indies and studio pics in the running. With new series and pilots as well as relocating series and recurring series in the mix, the fiscal year’s final TV round runs February 10-17.
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