MTV show ‘Teen Wolf’ takes a bite out of state film tax credits

The popular MTV show “Teen Wolf” is among 28 projects that won a piece of the lottery -- California’s film and TV tax credit lottery, that is.

Producers of the TV series were notified Friday that they were among the select few to receive conditional approval for the state film and TV tax credit, out of 322 projects that poured applications into the Film Commission’s office last week. The number of submissions rose 83% this year, underscoring heavy demand for the film incentive.

“Teen Wolf” currently films in Georgia but will relocate to produce a minimum of 24 episodes in California this fall, said the California Film Commission. MTV actually received approval for a tax credit last year but didn’t want to move the show in midseason. It was approved for a credit of $10.4 million.

“Teen Wolf” joins a handful of TV shows that have moved to California from other states since California enacted its film tax credit program in 2009 to curb runaway production. Also on board is ABC’s"Body of Proof,” which relocated last year from Rhode Island.


TV series accounted for a dozen of the 28 projects. Nine others were independent feature films and five were movies-of-the-week, with one independent miniseries and one studio feature film. Approved credits ranged from $66,760 for a movie of the week production called “Doll & Em” to $12 million for “Body of Proof.”

California allocates $100 million annually toward the program, which offers tax credits of between 20% and 25% toward qualified production expenses, such as the salaries paid to crew members. Companies can use the credits to offset any state tax liability they may have.

Due to limited funds, the Film Commission uses a lottery to determine which projects receive the credit. The commission will continue to accept applications throughout the fiscal year for placement on a waiting list. Those on the list will be accepted only after credits are freed up by other projects that withdraw from the program due to scheduling delays or other production-related issues. Last year, the commission awarded credits to 74 projects.


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