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LONDON – The British government quietly trumpeted the fact that ABC Studios has chosen the U.K. to shoot the pilot for the musical comedy fairy tale Galavant, citing its freshly introduced high-end television tax relief system as being a draw.
With production planned for early 2014, the ABC project will be the first pilot program produced by an American company in the U.K. since the tax relief was introduced in April 2013.
A statement by the government finance department noted that the Disney-owned network plans to recruit “roughly 150 cast and crew from the U.K. to work on the program.”
Written, created and executive produced by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, Cars and Tangled), the production will take place in a number of locations in the U.K., with Alan Menken writing the music and Glenn Slater writing the lyrics.
The half-hour is centered on handsome Prince Galavant and his quest for revenge against the king who stole his one true love.
The trio recently collaborated on a musical episode of ABC’s The Neighbors, earning the program its first Emmy nomination for the series.
Galavant marks the first project from Fogelman’s new deal with ABC Studios. He has brought on former Industry Entertainment manager Jess Rosenthal to run the new company, titled Rhode Island Ave. Productions.
U.K. finance minister chancellor George Osborne said: “I want our creative industries to be the best in the world and to showcase the talent that we have here in Britain. That’s why I’m pleased ABC has decided to bring this production to the U.K.; it is a clear demonstration of the value placed on British expertise.”
Osborne continued: “I want more global companies like ABC to look to the U.K. as a highly skilled, innovative and creative industry when choosing a location for their television programming.
Supporting the creative industries, and the cultural contribution they make to the U.K., the government has built on the existing film tax relief and introduced reliefs for high-end television and animation.”
To qualify for the high-end television tax relief, programs must be longer than 30 minutes and have a ‘per program hour’ budget of $1.6 million (£1 million) or more.
At least 25 percent of the total production costs must “relate to activities in the U.K. And they will also be required to pass a cultural test, which is certified by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).”
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