LA's share of TV pilot production drops to a historic low

Los Angeles, once the king of TV pilots, is rapidly losing its domain to New York and other rivals. The LA region's share of pilot production dropped to a historic low in the most recent pilot season, as producers took their business to the Big Apple and other cities offering stronger tax breaks and rebates, according to a new report.

Among 203 pilots produced in the 12 months ended in May, only 44% (90 pilots) were filmed in the LA region, down from 52% the previous season and 82% from the 2006-07 pilot season. The rest mainly filmed in New York, Atlanta, and the Canadian cities Vancouver and Toronto, an annual survey released by FilmLA concluded. The decline has been especially sharp in the category of TV dramas -- New York surpassed Los Angeles for the first time in filming one-hour TV drama pilots.

The Big Apple drew 24 TV drama pilots versus 19 in LA. The decline in the number of TV drama pilots is especially significant because dramas are considered the most economically valuable type of TV production, employing large crews and often over a period of several years. A TV drama pilot costs about $6 million to $8 million to produce.


LA's share of TV pilot production drops to a historic low