TV production in Los Angeles skyrocketed in the third quarter, led by a nearly 50 percent spike in reality show filming.
On-location TV shoots surged a whopping 31 percent over the same period last year, according to third-quarter figures released Tuesday by FilmLA, the region’s permitting agency. This makes the second consecutive quarter that the sector has seen a major rebound, on the heels of a 33 percent second-quarter spike.
Reality led the way, rising by 49.2 percent over last year, but the gains were nearly across the board. TV dramas – the most desirable because they tend to be high-end, hour-long productions and long-term – also rose by 43.2 percent. TV pilot production was up nearly 41 percent and Web-based TV shoots increased over the year-ago period by 12.3 percent. The only category to drop was sitcom production, which makes up a small part of the overall TV production landscape.
“Seasonally agnostic start-ups” had a lot to do with it, said Philip Sokoloski, FilmLA’s vice-president for integrated communications.
TV production at one time rose and fell in line with the networks’ schedule, which had most shows debuting in the fall. But with web-based projects like Amazon’s “Bosch” beginning to film, and cable and the networks shifting to a more year-round schedule, formerly slow periods are becoming boom times.
The CBS Halle Berry drama “Extant,” which was recently renewed for a second season, was among the shows premiering in summer that contributed to the rise.
“This is a very hopeful sign and gives us some momentum going into the future, when we’ll have the new tax credit program working overtime, ” said Sokoloski. He was referencing the landmark five-year TV and film production plan signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this spring, which provides more than $330 million annually in incentives. It takes effect next July.
Several shows receiving credits under the current plan contributed to the TV gains, including “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Major Crimes,” “Perception” and “Legends.” All relocated from other states to receive the tax breaks.
Less encouraging, feature film production dropped by four percent in the third quarter.
Here’s the chart listing the number of permitted production days in three TV sectors: