Pilot Locations 2014: New York Production Rises, Los Angeles Plummets,Texas Hot

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 4:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

FilmLightingEquipmentLowerBroadwayNYC060709While California Gov. Jerry Brown is still “not committed” to expanding the state’s film and TV tax credit, Los Angeles is seeing another drop in broadcast pilot production to what appears to be an all-time low. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been doing photo ops with Disney and Marvel execs to celebrate their commitment to film some 60 episodes of Marvel’s four Netflix series and a miniseries in the Big Apple. And now New York, which also lured The Tonight Show franchise away from Los Angeles, has more reasons to celebrate after another very strong pilot performance, returning this year to the top as the most popular drama location and reinforcing its strong position in comedy.

Marvel New YorkA record 15 broadcast pilots will be filming in New York this year, including 10 — almost a third — of the 34 drama pilot/direct-to-series projects filming within the regular cycle that have set their locations (two remain TBD). That is up from 13 total and eight dramas last year and just shy of the city’s all-time drama record of 11 in 2012. (Keep in mind that the number of NY-based was zero just four years ago, before the state implemented its aggressive tax break program.) New York is chipping away at Los Angeles’ comedy dominance. LA used to own the comedy space, with virtually every pilot filming here. Just two years ago, it housed 100% of the broadcast comedy pilots. The percentage dropped to 89% last year and is at 85% (39 out of 46) this season. New York made a big move in the arena in 2013 after seven years of no major broadcast comedy pilot presence there. A whopping five broadcast half-hour pilots were filmed in the city last year, including straight-to-series The Michael J. Fox Show. Proving that that wasn’t a fluke, New York matched its comedy haul this year with another five pilots, including NBC’s straight-to-series Tooken. Like last year, all five are single-camera. What’s more, a hybrid comedy, How I Met Your Dad, which is filming the pilot in Los Angeles, will move to New York if it goes to pilot. In most cases, the NY location is talent-driven (Irreversible star David Schwimmer, Dead Boss‘ Jane Krakowski, How I Met Your Dad star Greta Gerwig, Lowell and Gaffigan are all based in NY). But studios wouldn’t have been as open to setting shop in New York had the tax incentives not been strong enough to rein in production costs on comedies, especially the expensive single-camera format, which are still higher than a Los Angeles-based half-hour pilot but not by much. One drawback of comedy series filming in New York has been the shortage of writing talent as broadcast shows have to compete with such cable comedies as Louie and Girls, but with New York-based comedy production appearing to be here to stay, more writing talent may relocate there to support them.

Related: Culver Studios To Shutter After Sale; Condos Next?

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National Magazine Awards Unveiled

By | Friday May 3, 2013 @ 9:10am PDT

New York was named Magazine of The Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors last night, while National Geographic took four Ellies, including a pair for digital media. Among the notables honored: The Mother Jones exclusive that featured the now-infamous “Romney 47 percent” video that helped define the 2012 presidential election won in the Video category, and The Atlantic won for Website. Stephen King won his second National Magazine Award, this one for the Harper’s Magazine fiction piece “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”. Here’s the full list of winners:


Magazine of the Year
New York
Adam Moss, Editor in Chief
Ben Williams, Online Editorial Director

May 28, October 22 and November 12 Print and iPad Editions
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NY Governor Touts ‘Spider-Man 2′ As State’s Biggest Film Production Ever

Hollywood studios rarely disclose lots of details about spending plans for their big-budget productions. But Sony is making an exception for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to help New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo build his case for the production tax incentives that he wants to extend for five years. The movie should generate 3,500 jobs, cast 11,000 extras and occupy the biggest stage footprint ever seen in New York, the state says today. That’s “great news for our local communities and fans of the franchise,” Cuomo says. Long Island will benefit most. Spider-Man 2 will require “massive sets” at two facilities in Long Island (Grumman Studios and Gold Coast Studios) and one in Brooklyn (the Marcy Armory). About a third of the new jobs and extras will come from Long Island. In addition, the production will tap several local businesses to handle food and equipment. For example, it will pay Mobile on Demand Storage of NY $279,000 for container rentals, Pride Equipment Corporation $130,000 for crane rentals, U.S. Coffee $32,000 for beverages, Quick Auto Parts $19,000 for auto parts, and Bagelboss $16,000 for food. The production will need 3,000 hotel room nights in Bethpage and Plainview, and another 3,000 in Rochester. Sony expects the shoot to last 150 days, with 50 in Bethpage and as many as 15 in Rochester. On Friday, the producers will look for specific locations in Rochester, including one for a car chase. Read More »

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Post Production Work In New York Rises From The State’s Higher Tax Breaks

By | Wednesday November 28, 2012 @ 11:45am PST

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development is taking a victory lap today, saying that tax breaks the administration supported resulted in a record 24 film and … Read More »

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Station Buy Give CBS Duopoly In NY Market

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 9:55am PST

CBS Television Stations said today that it has inked a deal to acquire independent New York station WLNY-TV, giving CBS two stations in the nation’s largest media market. When the deal is approved, it will mark the 10th duopoly in … Read More »

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New York Production Incentives Paying Off, According To Labor Statistics Cited By MPAA

By | Thursday December 1, 2011 @ 1:35am PST

The motion picture and TV production industry is responsible for more than 141,000 jobs in New York, according to an analysis of data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which covers the year 2010. The MPAA highlighted the analysis in an announcement Wednesday. Figures cited include direct production-related jobs as well as indirect jobs in businesses working with the production industry. Core production jobs covered in the 2010 jobs report of the New York State Comptroller are up to 43,000, an increase of 20% from the 2008 figure cited in that report (36,000), and an increase of 22% over 2009. Production slowed in 2009 due to uncertainty about the state tax incentive program. With additional production-related jobs not captured in the core data, the number of direct jobs reaches 48,690, up 13% (nearly 5,600 jobs) over 2009. Annual job growth between 2009 and 2010 in New York State was flat (0%) and nationwide was down 1%. Read More »

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UTA to Open New York Office, Nancy Gates First Agent To Move From LA To NY

By | Friday August 26, 2011 @ 5:29pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UTA is going bi-coastal. The talent agency is planning to open a New York office in November. The agency has signed a lease for office space in the 888 Seventh Avenue building near 57th street and is … Read More »

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NY Mayor Touts Big Apple’s TV Business

By | Monday August 22, 2011 @ 12:09pm PDT

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today visited the set of ABC’s period drama Pan Am at Steiner Studios, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to trumpet the record 23 TV series being filmed in New York City this season. “A … Read More »

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Man Threatens To Jump Off New York’s 30 Rock Before Surrendering

By | Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 7:19pm PDT

The usual bustle in the streets and sidewalks around New York’s famed Rockefeller Plaza was halted for about an hour this afternoon after an unidentified man scaled the glass wall of the building’s 66th-story observation deck and threatened to jump. Police and fire officials blocked off parts of 5th Avenue … Read More »

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New Series Locations Update: NY Has Stellar Year, But LA Gains With Post-Upfront Moves

By | Thursday June 9, 2011 @ 7:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: New York killed it this pilot season. Not only did the Big Apple go from zero drama pilots being filmed there last year to nine following the August 2010 vote to extend and expand the state’s Film Production Tax Credit Program, it also attracted some of the strongest pilots. Out of the nine hourlong pilots filmed in New York, eight — NBC’s Smash and Prime Suspect, CBS’ Person of Interest, Unforgettable (formerly Rememberer), A Gifted Man (formerly Untitled Susannah Grant), The 2-2 (formerly Rookies) and Ringer and ABC’s Pan Am — went to series, with Ringer moving to CW. Of the 11 shot in Los Angeles, only two, NBC’s Awake (formerly REM) and ABC’s Scandal, were picked up to series. However, when the dust settled after the upfronts, six newly picked up drama series moved production to Los Angeles, including Ringer and Prime Suspect, giving LA a 8-to-6 edge over New York.

While California’s TV tax credit does not apply to new broadcast series (it does to broadcast series filming elsewhere that want to move to LA, which triggered the upcoming relocation of ABC’s Body of Proof from Providence to LA), uncertainty over the future of such credits in other states, including Texas, probably played a part in some moves to LA, including that of ABC’s Good Christian Belles, whose pilot was shot in Dallas. In all, six new series will film in LA after shooting their pilots elsewhere: GCB, ABC’s Revenge and CW’s Hart of Dixie (both moving from North Carolina, where the pilots were filmed), Fox’s Bones spinoff The Finder (from Miami) and Prime Suspect and Ringer (from New York). The reasons for the moves vary from project to project. Both The Finder and Bones are created/exec produced and run by Hart Hanson. To avoid having Hanson shuttling cross-country between LA, where Bones is produced, and Miami, filming of The Finder was brought to Hollywood, giving Hanson better oversight of both shows. Still, because The Finder is set in Miami and the city’s look is an important part of the show, the series’ crew plans several trips to Florida a year, with one day of production on each episode slated to take place in Miami. Read More »

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Woody Allen To Shoot In Rome This Time

By | Monday March 7, 2011 @ 3:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

Last time we heard from Woody Allen, he complained that he could no longer afford to shoot films in New York, his former exclusive canvas. In an interview with his new hometown newspaper La Republicca, Allen divulged he’ll shoot … Read More »

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Woody Allen Can’t Afford To Shoot In New York But Gotham’s Okay Without Him

By | Tuesday August 24, 2010 @ 4:11pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Woody Allen has undoubtedly bruised some feelings in the New York film community by telling journalists in Madrid today that he shoots his films in Europe because New York’s too expensive for him.  But is has been his reality since … Read More »

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Frances McDormand Makes NY Stage Date

By | Wednesday July 7, 2010 @ 2:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

69199366_ph1Fargo star Frances McDormand has become the latest film star to make stage plans. She’s committed to star in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere production of Good People, a play written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Daniel Sullivan. The … Read More »

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Jeremy Irons Answers The ‘Margin Call’

Mike Fleming

jeremy-irons-20080715-436952Jeremy Irons is the final piece of an impressive cast for Margin Call, the indie film by director JC Chandor that is shooting in New York City. Irons is the chief executive of a financial firm in a 24-hour period during … Read More »

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New York Streets Ready To Fake Again (…On Universal’s Hollywood Backlot)

By | Friday May 28, 2010 @ 2:32am PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal Studios has unveiled the restored New York streetback-lot location that burned down in a fire in June 2008. The lot, which consists of 13 city blocks of buildings, has been a tourist attraction and frequent location for commercials and films from The Sting to Blues Brothers. Get a look … Read More »

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I’m Just Sayin’

By | Thursday May 20, 2010 @ 8:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

How is it that Big 3 network NBC held its presentation at a hotel ballroom and the CW, the smallest broadcast net, at Madison Square Garden. And how come CW was the only net at the upfronts to bring out a big music star, Katy Perry? Its big brother CBS … Read More »

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Docu On Jimmy Breslin & NYC Newspapers

By | Tuesday May 18, 2010 @ 2:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

breslinUPDATE: Former PR guy Dan Klores has spent the last decade making  documentaries on New York-centric subjects. So, natch, he’ll next focus his camera on Gotham’s Jimmy Breslin. Klores will begin work in September on Breslin: The Great One, which will simultaneously chronicle … Read More »

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Don’t You Just LOVE The Upfronts?

By | Monday May 17, 2010 @ 6:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There are so many things you can only see at the TV upfronts in New York. Like uber TV lit agents partying hearty together. See my snapshot below of CAA’s Adam Berkowitz with archenemy WME’s Ari Greenburg. Can you come up with a good caption?… Read More »

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TV Upfront Presentations & Party Schedule

By | Sunday May 16, 2010 @ 2:27pm PDT

Sunday, May 16
8 PM-11 PM: 20th Century FOX Television & Entertainment Weekly
Cooper Square Hotel, 25 Cooper Square

9 PM: UTA Upfronts Party
Stone Rose Lounge @Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle

Monday, May 17
11 AM: NBC presentation, New York Hilton Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas
Lunch to follow; 9

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