TV production is up more than 33 percent in Los Angeles over the second quarter of last year. The numbers seem to be a bright spot in what has been a dismal run of statistics for southern California’s entertainment industry. But officials with FilmL.A., a not-for-profit that tracks production figures through permitting for local productions, immediately tampered down expectations.
“Today’s report illustrates the challenges we sometimes face in interpreting film industry data, Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A., said in a statement. “It’s crucial that observers understand the losses the region has already suffered, so as to view reported short-term gains with the proper perspective.”
Part of the reason for the quarter-over-quarter increase was that TV production was delayed in the first quarter. Moreover, the FilmL.A. report states, “it seems more local crews are working to support the early summer premiere of new and returning shows.” These factors helped push second quarter permitted production days (PPD) to 5,761 — a 33.7 percent increase over 2013.
Nearly all TV categories were up: TV Drama (up 58.6 percent to 1,191 PPD), TV Reality (up 64.1 percent to 2,550 PPD), TV Sitcom (up 5.5 percent to 402 PPD) and Web-Based TV (up 3.4 percent to 379 PPD).
Two categories were down. TV Pilot production declined 26.6 percent to 282 PPD, and feature production declined 5.3 percent last quarter to 1,665 PPD.
Audley reiterated his group’s support for an augmentation of the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program.
“History teaches us how quickly apparent gains in local production can be swept away,” Audley stated. “Strengthening the programs that make California competitive and attractive for filming is essential to our state’s long-term prosperity.”