California Remains Top TV Filming Destination According to FilmLA Report

The Golden State's main competition is New York, British Columbia and Georgia.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new FilmLA report is offering a snapshot of the current landscape for television production in Los Angeles.

According to the report, California continues to dominate as the leading destination for new projects on broadcast, cable and digital platforms. For the 2018-19 cycle, 205 of the 465 total tracked series were produced in California, yielding a 44 percent market share for the period. 

The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program continues to support local production. According to data shared by the state’s film commission, the current crop of incentivized TV series in production sustains thousands of cast and crew jobs and tens of thousands of opportunities for extras.

Overall, new project production is up 23 percent from the 2017-18 season. California remains competitive when it comes to attracting new projects. FilmLA’s report reveals that during the 2018-19 cycle, 196 new projects were produced (67 broadcast, 53 cable and 76 streaming projects). Of those, 72 — or 37 percent — of all new projects counted filmed in the Golden State (28 one-hour and 44 half-hour). 

From an annual count, an increase of 11 percent in new project production took place between the 2017-18 (65 new projects) to 2018-19 cycles. California’s top competitors remain New York (with 29 projects), British Columbia (24 projects) and Georgia (20 projects). 

“After years of runaway production, more television is being shot in California than anywhere else in North America,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program is ensuring that these jobs stay in our state — and while this report shows progress, we must double down on our efforts to make California the best place in the world to film." 

In addition, the impact that digital streaming services are having on television production continues to rise. This category has experienced the most rapid growth in television content for both new projects and live-action scripted series. The number of digitally distributed original series in production increased 2,300 percent from the 2010-11 season.

As the number of digital series in production climbs, the number of straight-to-series orders is also on the rise. In 2018-19, a total of 100 new shows were ordered straight to series, including four broadcast, 26 cable and 70 digital projects. A total of 51 percent of new projects ordered went straight to series in the 2018-19 cycle, compared to 36 percent in 2017-18.

“This report finally allows us to uncover where digital production makes the most economic impact,” said FilmLA president Paul Audley. “Any jurisdiction fortunate enough to serve as a backdrop to these projects is positioned to do well.”