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Since California launched its revamped $1.55 billion film tax incentives program in 2015, TV production has scooped up 60 percent of the funds allocated to it, with a whopping 31 series currently taking advantage of the program. In addition to shows born and raised in California during that period, like 13 Reasons Why, 13 others relocated from elsewhere in the U.S., and nine of those are still on the air: Veep, Ballers, American Horror Story, The Affair, Timeless, Legion, Sneaky Pete, Lucifer and The OA have spent more than $1.1 billion in the state, about $400 million of which went to below-the-line wages.
What’s more, series like Westworld increasingly are venturing outside the 30-mile zone (TMZ), the L.A. area that’s dense with studios and other facilities, and qualifying for a 5 percent bump in incentives when they do.
“With TV, they have their stages and do so much in a short period of time, it’s logistically difficult to go far,” says film commissioner Amy Lemisch, noting that it’s more common for features to shoot outside the TMZ. “Nonetheless, we’re seeing a large list of shows doing that.”
On May 5, Lemisch’s organization will partner with FLICS, the association of regional film liaisons, for its annual conference promoting California production. Ahead of the event, which will honor NCIS executive producer Mark Horowitz with the California Golden Slate Award and feature keynote speaker Courtney B. Vance, THR highlights seven hot regions outside the TMZ and the diverse shows they’ve hosted.
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