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Subsidies Draw Shows Back to California

“American Horror Story” is coming back to Los Angeles to take advantage of the state’s beefed-up tax credits for films and TV shows – and comedy hit “Veep” is moving west, too. The California Film Commission on Tuesday announced the 11 shows picked to receive a share of the $82.8 million in credits allocated to new and relocating TV projects due to start shooting after July 1. Heading the list are two established and award winning shows, the supernatural FX series and HBO’s Washington-set political comedy. After filming its first two seasons in California, American Horror Story moved to Louisiana for seasons three and four because of lucrative tax credits there. Now the show is coming home to the Golden State to shoot season five, subtitled “Hotel,” in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus series “Veep” will film its fifth season here, having previously shot in Maryland. Production tax credits used to be doled out through a lottery system, but now projects are assessed based on job-creation statistics. That’s how the film commission whittled down the 37 TV show applicants to the 11 chosen projects. Based on data provided with each application, the 11 approved projects will generate an estimated $544 million in direct in-state spending, including $216 million in wages for below-the-line crew members. “We are thrilled with the results from the program’s first application period,” said Amy Lemisch, executive director of the California Film Commission. “California crews and support businesses will begin to feel the impact immediately as these first 11 projects begin pre-production. “ In a bid to retain and attract production jobs and economic activity across California, Governor Brown signed bipartisan legislation in September 2014 to more than triple the size of California’s film and television production incentive, from $100 million to $330 million annually.

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