New ‘Star Wars,’ Shonda Rhimes and Robert Downey Jr. TV Shows Qualify for Combined $90 Million in California Tax Credits

Of the five new series and two relocating shows, it’s the first time new shows were selected for the program since 2019

Arizona Film Tax Credit FilmLA
Arizona is poised to begin competing with California, Georgia, New Mexico, and Florida for Hollywood productions. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Five different new series and two different shows relocating their productions for their second seasons have qualified for a combined $90.8 million in tax credit allocation from California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program.

Among those shows are a new “Star Wars” series for Disney+ called “Skeleton Crew” with Jude Law, a Shonda Rhimes series for Netflix called “The Residence” and HBO’s “The Sympathizer” with Robert Downey Jr. The remaining two new series are both for Warner Bros. Discovery, including “My Glory” and David E. Kelley’s “Presumed Innocent.”

The second seasons of “Killing It” for Universal Television and “Rap Sh!t” for HBO will also qualify for tax credits after the series relocated their productions to California. Those shows will relocate their productions from Louisiana and Florida, respectively.

Thanks to the passage of Senate Bill 144 and a budget agreement that increased funding for the tax credit program over a two-year period, this current round of tax credits was able to expand and offer credits to new shows for the first time since 2019. Previously the Film Commission could only accept applications for returning and relocating projects, a large number of which were already in the program.

California’s tax credit program has to date managed to attract 27 different series to relocate from other states and nations.

16 other recurring or legacy series, all of which are in various stages of production, have also been accepted during the previous allocation rounds in addition to the seven new shows announced Monday.

“Increased investment in our tax credit program strengthens California’s ability to compete and continue building on our status as the world’s media production capital,” California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell said in a statement. “We are, once again, welcoming new TV series into the program, which creates jobs and economic opportunity here in the Golden State.”

“Killing It” co-showrunners, writers and executive producers Luke Del Tredici and Dan Goor affirmed the tax credit program’s impact on their decision to relocate production from New Orleans.

“‘Killing It’ is a show about dreams coming true, so it’s only fitting we would pack up our bags and move to Hollywood,” the series’ co-showrunner Luke Del Tredici said.

Co-showrunner Dan Goor added, “We are thrilled to be making season two in California, which not only has amazing crews and the best facilities but is also where our children are located.”

The seven new and relocating shows will spend a total of $713 million in California during their next season and will generate a combined $468.2 million in “qualified” spending for below-the-line workers’ wages and payments to in-state vendors. Another $245 million in spending will not be incentivized.

By far, the project with the largest qualified spend is Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew,” which is on track for nearly $136 million in qualified expenditures during its first season. The new series coming to Disney+ in 2023, is about a group of kids lost in the ‘Star Wars’ galaxy who try to find their way home. It stars Jude Law, with executive producers Jon Watts, Chris Ford, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan and Colin Wilson.

Together, the seven new and relocating series announced today will employ an estimated 1,953 crew, 545 cast and 21,691 background actors/stand-ins (the latter measured in “man-days”) during their next season of production. They will spend an estimated 559 filming days in California, including 20 shoot days planned outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone. They will also generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for California VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers, musicians, and other workers/vendors.

The California Film Commission received a total of 18 applications during the June 13-15 application period for TV projects. The list of conditionally approved projects is subject to change, as applicants may withdraw from the tax credit program and their reservation of credits reassigned to one or more projects on the waitlist.

The next application period for TV projects will be held September 19-21. The next application period for feature films will be held July 18-20.

For the record: A previous version of this story misspelled Luke Del Tridici’s name.