L.A. TV Pilot Production Drops To Seven-Year Low
A new study released Wednesday by FilmLA, the nonprofit that oversees TV and film production in the Greater Los Angeles Area, shows that TV pilot production hit a seven-year low in 2016-17. Nevertheless, L.A. continued to boast the majority of pilot productions nationwide, because you can't keep Hollywood down.
The report says that 173 broadcast, cable and digital pilots were produced across the country in the 2016-17 development cycle, with 68 of those projects filmed on stages and locations in the Los Angeles region, representing a 14% drop since last year. Still, the Los Angeles area hung on to the same 39% share of overall pilot productions it held in 2015-16, bringing in an estimated $303 million in production spending for the area.
L.A. is facing increased competition from New York and Vancouver as popular, affordable production locations, but the City of Angels continues to holds the lion's share of pilot productions even as numbers dip overall. "This report demonstrates that L.A. is still the place to shoot, whether you're producing pilots or series," L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said in a statement on Wednesday, adding, "As a former actress, I am well aware of how many jobs each and every one of those episodes generates." (Fun fact: before her political career, Supervisor Kuehl was a child star, appearing in 1960s sitcoms from My Little Margie to The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. The more you know.)
The FilmLA report also details how much money different series spent to film in Los Angeles, with the unlikely winner, 13 Reasons Why 2, bringing in $80,966,000 for the City of Angels. Unsurprisingly, Ryan Murphy productions are a major cash cow for the city, with Season 7 of American Horror Story and the upcoming American Crime Story: Versace and Katrina totaling almost $200 million in production costs. Hey, terrifying opulence doesn't come cheap.