Seven TV series — five new and two relocating — have been selected to receive $90.8 million in tax incentives for shooting in California, the state’s film office said Monday.
HBO, granted $30 million in credits, came out on top in this round of tax breaks, followed by Disney’s Lucas Film ($20.9 million), Warner Bros. Discovery ($19.7 million), Netflix ($14 million) and NBC Universal ($6.2 million). Netflix led the way in the previous round of tax credits and the one before that.
The shows — headlined by Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Skeleton Crew and Netflix’s The Residence (produced by Shonda Rhimes) — are on track to spend a total of $713 million in California during production. They’re projected to generate a combined $468.2 million in qualified spending. (defined as wages to below-the-line workers and payments to in-state vendors.)
The five new shows, which include Warner Bros. Discovery’s My Glory and Presumed Innocent and HBO’s The Sympathizer, accepted into the tax incentive program are the first since 2019. The absence of new series selected to participate was due in part to the large number of recurring series already receiving credits. In July 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill (SB144) increasing by $180 million funding for the $330 million annual tax credit program over a two-year period.
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew is forecasted to account for the largest qualified spend of the seven series, with nearly $136 million in expenditures during its first season. The show, which was awarded $20.9 million in credits, follows a group of lost kids trying to find their way home. The new addition to the expanding Star Wars universe starring Jude Law and directed by Spider-Man trilogy director Jon Watts is slated for a 2023 Disney+ release.
“Increased investment in our tax credit program strengthens California’s ability to compete and continue building on our status as the world’s media production capital,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell in a statement. “We are, once again, welcoming new TV series into the program, which creates jobs and economic opportunity here in the Golden State.”
SB144 also reserved an additional $15 million for series relocating to California, bringing the total annual funding for such shows to $71.1 million. Criteria to qualify was relaxed to include projects that filmed their pilot episode out-of-state. (The program previously required relocating series to film an entire season outside of California.) Killing It and Rap Sh!t — the relocating series selected to participate in the program — moved production from Louisiana and Florida, respectively.
“We are thrilled to be making season two in California, which not only has amazing crews and the best facilities but is also where our children are located,” said executive producers Dan Goor in a statement.
The seven projects will employ an estimated 1,953 crew, 545 cast and 21,691 background actors/stand-ins during production. They’ll spend an estimated 559 filming days in California.