Tax Credit Prompts Two More TV Series To Relocate To California
Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission
  • HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
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Thanks to its Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0, California has gotten two more TV series to relocate from other states. Additionally, California will serve as home to four new series.

According to the California Film Commission, the Universal Television series Dream will relocate to California from Texas, while Horizon Scripted Television’s Special will relocate here from New Jersey--both for their second season of production. With the latest round of tax credits, California has lured a total of 18 relocating TV series from other states and nations over the years (among these shows are American Horror Story, Ballers, Timeless, The Affair and Veep). 

“When already successful TV series relocate to California, they bring long-term jobs and significant in-state spending,” said Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission. “The decision by so many projects to pack up and move production here affirms that our tax credit program is working and that California can still provide unsurpassed value.”

The California Film Commission also selected four new TV series to receive tax credits--The Dropout (Searchlight TV), Grease (Paramount), Nine Perfect Strangers (Endeavor Content) and Untitled Showtime Lakers Project (HBO). “Adam [McKay] and I are thrilled to be able to participate in the California Film Commission tax credit program for our HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Kevin Messick, producer of Untitled Showtime Lakers Project. “We couldn’t imagine filming this show anywhere else, and we’re happy that HBO has the additional support from the state to help ensure this show stays local.”

In addition, the latest round of credits includes 10 recurring TV series already in Program 2.0 and picked up for another season of in-state production. Those 10 recurring shows are American Crime Story (Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group) Euphoria (Cooler Waters Productions), Good Girls (Universal Television), Good Trouble (Hop Skip & Jump Productions), Lucifer (WB Studio Enterprises), Mayans MC (Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group), Star Trek Picard (CBS Studios), The Rookie (Touchstone Television Productions), Why Women Kill (CBS Studios) and You (Horizon Scripted Television).

$152M in tax credits
A total of $152 million in tax credits is reserved for the 16 relocating, new and recurring projects. They are on track to generate an estimated $782 million in qualified spending, which is defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors. Overall in-state spending by these projects will be significantly greater with the inclusion of above-the-line payments and other expenditures that do not qualify for tax credits under Program 2.0. The 16 projects will employ an estimated 2,900 cast members, 3,500 crew and 62,000 extras/stand-ins (the latter measured in “man days”) over a combined 1,450 in-state shoot days for the season. 

Applications for the latest round of TV tax credits were accepted November 4-8, 2019. To date, a total of 142 television projects, including new TV series, recurring, relocating TV series, pilots, MOWs and miniseries have been accepted into Program 2.0 since it was launched in July 2015. 

The list of Program 2.0 projects that are actively in production and eligible for tax credits is subject to change, as projects may withdraw and their reservation of tax credits is reassigned or rolled over into the pool of funds for the next TV allocation period.

The next application period for TV project tax credits (the final for Program 2.0 as Program 3.0 launches next year) is scheduled for February 3-7, 2020. The next application period for feature film projects (also the final for Program 2.0) is scheduled for March 9–13, 2020.


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