California was used as a location for filming nearly half of all scripted television programs in the current season, according to a report released Wednesday by FilmL.A.
The Hollywood nonprofit that coordinates on-location film permits in Los Angeles, unincorporated Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions found that out of 465 scripted shows airing on broadcast, cable and streaming networks, 198 were shot in Los Angeles and another seven were filmed elsewhere in the state.
“California therefore captured a market share of 44 percent of the scripted series this year,” the 2019 Television Report said.
Other places with high numbers of television production included New York with 60 shows; Vancouver with 37 programs and Georgia with 33 series.
The report’s introduction stated that the television industry is growing at a “breakneck speed,” fueled primarily by series produced for streaming networks such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, owned by Walt Disney Co. in Burbank.
The streaming sector, which surpassed for the first time the number of new shows made by broadcast and cable networks, spreads production around and away from established centers such as Los Angeles, the report said.
“California, comfortably poised as the epicenter of U.S. domestic television production, will continue to be challenged by other jurisdictions seeking to capture a bigger piece of the TV business for themselves,” it stated.
FilmL.A, counted 196 new shows for broadcast, cable and streaming networks for the current season, of which 72 series, or about 37 percent, were filmed in California. That is an increase of almost 11 percent from the 2017-18 television season when 65 new projects filmed in the state.
The impact of digital streaming networks on the television industry “cannot be overestimated,” the report said, adding, “In one year alone, the number of new projects they produced nearly doubled, and there are plenty more shows in the pipeline.”
In the race to find space in which to film, Netflix has been the most aggressive in establishing production hubs outside of California. The Los Gatos company has set up production space in New Mexico, New York, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Other television production trends noted in the report include increased episode costs, fewer episodes per season and a year-round production season versus the traditional broadcast season of August through April.
Hundreds of soundstages in Los Angeles are in high demand, with occupancy rates nearing 90 percent.
To meet increased demand, the report said, several new projects have been built, including the purpose-built Quixote Studios in Pacoima (North Valley Studios), and LA North Studios, which is an adaptive re-use of a former warehouse in Santa Clarita.
“Another new, purpose-built facility in Sun Valley – Line 204 – is set to open later this year,” the report said.