'Scream Queens' and 'American Horror Story' chosen to receive California tax credits

The Fox series "Scream Queens" is moving production to California as one of nine television projects selected to receive state tax credits.

In the final round of tax credits allocated for this fiscal year, the California Film Commission on Wednesday said 21 TV projects had applied for $37.6 million in tax breaks. The tax credits allow producers to offset qualified production costs by as much as much 25%.

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"Scream Queens," which shot its first season in New Orleans, brings the total number of ongoing series that have relocated to California under the expanded tax credit program to five. The others are "American Horror Story" (Season 5), "Mistresses" (Season 4), "Secrets and Lies" (Season 2) and "Veep" (Season 5). "Scream Queens," the Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuk slasher satire, starts production on its second season in July.

"Our success in helping five existing TV series relocate to Califronia in less than a year illustrates the success we're achieving with the expanded tax credit program," California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch said in a statement. "Every new TV series we attract or retain brings long-term, high-wage jobs that would otherwise go elsewhere."

"Scream Queens" wasn't the only Murphy-Falchuk project to take advantage of the tax credit in the final round. FX's "American Horror Story" is a returning recipient of the program and was among the projects announced Wednesday.

Also selected was HBO's "Westworld."

The titles announced Wednesday also included three new series: Amazon's "Good Girls Revolt," USA's "Shooter" and Showtime's "I'm Dying Up Here." "Good Girls Revolt" and "Shooter" were both picked up from pilots that were shot out of state. The pilot for "Good Girls Revolt" was shot in New York, where the series is set, and the "Shooter" pilot was shot in Vancouver.

"One of the many benefits of filming in California is our wide range of locations that can double for anywhere in the world," Lemisch noted.

Rounding out the list are three pilots: CBS' "Bunker Hill" and "Four Stars" and Hulu's "Citizen."

The nine projects announced Wednesday will generate an estimated $313 million in direct in-state spending, including $121 million in wages to below-the-line crew members, according to the film comission.

For the full fiscal year, the expanded tax credit program is on track to generate a total of $1.7 billion in direct in-state spending, including $659 million in below-the-line wages.

The comission anticipates those figures will grow considerably next year, when the program receives its full $330 million in annual funding. 

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