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‘Legion,’ ‘Lucifer,’ ‘The Affair,’ ‘The OA’ Relocating to California to Receive Tax Credit

Variety logo Variety 3/17/2017 Dave McNary
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Four television shows — “Legion,” “Lucifer,” “The Affair” and “The OA” — are relocating to California to receive the state’s production tax credit.

“Legion” and “Lucifer” are leaving Vancouver while “The Affair” and “The OA” are departing from New York. The state of California has now attracted 11 TV series from other states as part of its expanded tax credit program.

“We’re wrapping up year-two of Program 2.0 on a very high note with a record number of relocating TV series,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch. “The tax credit program is working as intended to reaffirm California’s status as the preferred choice for film and TV production.”

“Lucifer” co-showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson added, “Los Angeles is a key character in ‘Lucifer.’ With the storylines revolving around iconic locations in Hollywood and Southern California, we are thrilled that the California incentive now makes it competitive to base the show in the L.A. area.”

In all, the latest TV allocation round reserves tax credits for 15 projects, including five new series (“Here, Now,” “Law & Order: True Crime,” “Messiah,” “Sharp Objects” and “Untitled Seth MacFarlane Project”), two recurring series (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Snowfall”) and four pilots (“Behind Enemy Lines,” “Mayans MC,” “S.W.A.T.” and “The Get”).

Seven of the 15 projects (“Behind Enemy Lines,” Mayans MC,” “Sharp Objects,” “Untitled Seth MacFarlane Project,” “Lucifer,” “Legion” and “The OA”) plan to shoot at least partially outside the 30-mile Los Angeles zone.

“The projects announced today further demonstrate Program 2.0’s ability to bring production jobs and spending to regions across the state,” Lemisch added.

A total of 25 projects applied for the latest $99.2 million in tax credit allocation. The commission said Friday that based on data provided with each application, the 15 projects will generate an estimated $620 million in direct in-state spending, including $235 million in wages to more than 4,400 crew and cast members.

The 2015-16 fiscal year marked a major expansion of the seven-year-old tax credit program, aimed at halting the erosion of California-based production to states with bigger incentives, such as Georgia and New York. The annual allocation rose from $100 million to $330 million, and applications are ranked on how many jobs they will produce, rather than being selected by lottery.

The program expansion, enacted in 2014 by California lawmakers, covers five years and $1.65 billion in tax credits. The credit is set at 20%, but producers are eligible for an additional 5% “uplift” if they shoot outside the L.A. zone, commit to music scoring or music track recording in the state, or to do visual effects in California.

Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” received a tax credit last year under new rules that allow productions with budgets more than $75 million to be part of the program. In February, the commission announced that “A Star Is Born,” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, had been allocated a $7 million credit.

In November, Dwayne Johnson’s HBO series “Ballers” agreed to move to California from Florida for its third season and has been conditionally approved to receive an $8.3 million tax credit from the state. “Ballers” is the seventh series to relocate to California under the state’s expanded tax incentive program and joins “Mistresses” (which returned to California from Vancouver); “Scream Queens” and “American Horror Story” (which moved from Louisiana); “Veep” (from Maryland); “Secrets and Lies” (from North Carolina); and ABC’s “American Crime” (which recently moved from Texas).

Friday’s allocations:

PILOTS

“Behind Enemy Lines,” $1,863,000

“Mayans MC,” $1,539,000

“SWAT,” $1,644,000

“The Get,” $838,000

NEW TV SERIES

“Here, Now,” $7,730,000

“Law & Order: True Crime,” $7,514,000

“Messiah,” $7,514,000

“Sharp Objects,” $5,447,000

“Untitled Set MacFarlane,” $8,337,000

RECURRING TV SERIES

“Crazy Ex Girlfriend,” $6,074,000

“Snowfall,” $8,8833,000

RELOCATING TV SERIES

“Legion,” $11,032,000

“Lucifer,” $16,811,000

“The Affair,” $8,407,000

“The OA,” $8,202,000

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