'American Horror Story' and 'Veep' Among TV Series to Nab California Tax Credits

Frank Ockenfels/FX
'American Horror Story'

The California Film Commission has selected 11 projects to receive tax credits under its newly expanded program.

American Horror Story, Secrets and Lies and Veep are among the TV series relocating to California to take advantage of the state’s newly expanded film and TV credit program.

The California Film Commission on Tuesday announced the list of 11 projects selected to receive tax credits under the first allocation of the state’s new tax credit program, which expands program funding from $100 million to $330 million annually. The first application period, held May 11-17, covered new TV series, pilots and relocating TV series scheduled to begin production on or after July 1. A total of $55.2 million in credits was made available for new TV series, miniseries, movies of the week and pilots, and an additional $27.6 million for series relocating to California from out of state. These allocations combine for a total of $82.8 million out of the first fiscal year's $230 million in funding.

The 11 approved projects were chosen from 37 TV projects that applied during the new program's first application period. Unlike the previous system, which utilized a lottery, the projects were selected based on their jobs ratio score, which ranks each project by wages to below-the-line workers, qualified spending (such as vendor payments and equipment), and other criteria. Based on data provided with each application, the 11 approved projects will generate an estimated $544 million in direct in-state spending. The full list can be found here.

"We are thrilled with the results of the program's first application period," California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch said. "California crews and support businesses will begin to feel the impact immediately as these first 11 projects begin preproduction. The number of projects planning to relocate to California confirms that our expanded incentive program is already working.'

The four TV series relocating to California, which also include the series Hindsight, which airs on VH1, are moving from Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland and North Carolina. "The newly expanded California Film Tax Credit is encouraging new TV production in the state and is bringing several projects from other states," noted Mike Rossi, senior advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Under the new program, the application period for feature films and indie movies runs July 13-25. $48.3 million has been allocated for feature films, and $6.9 million for indie projects. The results will be announced in August. 

As part of today's announcement, the Film Commission also announced a list of projects that have been approved conditionally for the final round of the state's previous tax credit program, which held its final, abbreviated lottery on April 1. That abbreviated lottery was open only to indie projects, and a total of 16 films were selected to receive credits, out of a total of 246 applications that were received prior to the lottery. Those not among the 16 were placed on a waiting list to receive credits in the event some of the approved projects don't ultimately qualify. The full list can be found here.

Under both the old and the new programs, the California Film Commission awards tax credits only after each selected project completes postproduction, verifies that in-state jobs were created and submits required documentation.

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