Los Angeles, once the film and television production capital of the world, continues to oversee an alarming trend of productions leaving California in order to save money in other states and countries via tax credits. And according to a new report from Film L.A. Inc., the big winner in the mass Los Angeles exodus is a city that only a couple of years ago was a relative ghost town when it came to television production: New York.
Film L.A. Inc.’s report showed that during the 2013-2014 television development cycle, more TV drama pilots were shot in New York than in Los Angeles for the first time ever. While 19 pilots were shot in Los Angeles, an impressive 24 pilots were shot in New York. Additionally, Los Angeles saw its overall pilot share for 2013-2014 drop to 44 percent, the first time Los Angeles has ever seen its share of pilots drop below 50 percent, and down from last year’s 52 percent.
While the numbers still favor Los Angeles in a big way, considering that the remainder of pilots are spread out between New York, Vancouver, Atlanta, Toronto, and several other cities, you only have to look back several years to see how far and how fast Los Angeles has fallen out of favor for production. During the 2006-2007 television development cycle, for example, Los Angeles accounted for a whopping 82 percent of all television pilots.
But if you’ve been following the film and television industry over the past several years, the numbers shouldn’t be at all surprising. Film production has been moving steadily away from Los Angeles for years now as producers chase tax incentives that make a huge impact on a film’s bottom line. In fact, last year saw Louisiana of all places become the top film production capital of the world, with 18 of the 108 major-studio productions having been substantially shot in the state; California and Canada tied for second place, with 15. Still, it appeared that television production might be somewhat insulated from the shift due to Los Angeles’ longtime ties with the TV industry, but it appears that won’t be the case.