L.A. City Council approves fee waiver for producers of TV pilots

Dylan O'Brien rehearses a scene from MTV's TV series 'Teen Wolf,' which relocated from Georgia to LA to take advantage of a California tax credit. The City Council hopes to attract more TV shows by waiving fees for TV pilots.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

In a step to help attract more television production, the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure to waive fees for producers who shoot television pilots in the city.

The council Tuesday unanimously supported the resolution, which has been backed by industry trade groups and by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has declared so-called fighting runaway production one of his top priorities.

Garcetti, who must approve the measure before it takes effect, co-authored the original resolution last June, along with Councilmember Paul Krekorian.

“When we support TV pilots being filmed here in Los Angeles, there’s a very good chance that when that series is picked up, the television series will be produced in Los Angeles as well, '' Krekorian said. “Then you have millions and millions of dollars spent on those productions, which are spent right here in Los Angeles instead of in Vancouver or New York.”


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Waiving fees for producers of TV pilots is one of several steps Garcetti supports to give filmmakers more reason to shoot locally.

Garcetti recently appointed Hollywood executive Tom Sherak as a “film czar” to make the city more film-friendly and lobby lawmakers in Sacramento to boost California’s film tax credit program.

California sets aside $100 million annually for film and TV productions, but the credit is not considered competitive with what several other states offer.

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While L.A. has long struggled to keep big features filming locally, television production also has become increasingly competitive.

L.A. has seen a sharp fall of in its share of pilots, the first episodes of proposed TV series.

L.A. captured just 52% of all pilots this season, down from 60% last season and well below the 82% during the 2006-2007 cycle, according to a study by FilmL.A. Inc.


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