New network, premium cable and Internet TV shows and pilots have turned out in force to take advantage of California’s beefed-up TV and movie production tax credits.
A total of 37 TV projects applied for allocations between May 11-17, and the majority were eligible for the first time, thanks to the bill signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown which raises the funding available from $100 million to $330 million annually.
The application period was open only to TV projects scheduled to begin production on or after July 1. Established network and cable shows are eligible for the first time under the new law, which also expands to cover not only smaller films but also major studio productions that cost as much as $100 million.
“Our new credit is making Hollywood competitive again with 37 applications — including 6 TV productions that want to relocate from outside California — all of which will employ hundreds of artisans,” said Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, a major proponent of the expanded incentives.
“Hollywood wants to come home and now we have the tools in place to make it possible,” he said.
A total of $55.2 million was made available for new TV series, miniseries, movies of the week and pilots. Another $27.6 million reserved specifically for series relocating production to California from out-of-state like “Teen Wolf,” which relocated from Georgia.
The TV projects that applied included 16 series, three miniseries, four movies of the week, eight pilots and six relocating series.
Under the new program, tax credits are allocated in “buckets” for different categories of production, including TV projects (new series, miniseries, movies of the week and pilots), relocating TV series, independent films and non-independent films. This enables applicants to compete for credits directly against comparable projects.
Also, the lottery system used under the old system to make final selection has been replaced by a “jobs ratio” that ranks projects based on job creation and other criteria.
The next application period for the new program is scheduled July 13-25, and targets feature films and independent projects. The funding allocation is set at $48.3 million for feature films and $6.9 million for independent projects.
More detailed information can be found at the California Film Commission web site.