New York snags “Ugly Betty” as California sleeps

As if the Writers Guild strike and potential Screen Actors Guild strike weren’t damaging film and television production in Los Angeles enough, the State of New York is aggressively wooing productions to shoot there instead of California.

Already, new tax breaks by Gov. David Paterson have convinced ABC to move production of “Ugly Betty” to New York after shooting its first two seasons in Los Angeles.

Under the expansion, the percentage of qualified film production costs eligible for a tax credit tripled, from 10% to 30%. The program was also extended, from its original 2011 expiration to 2013. New York City chips in an additional 5% tax break. [Variety]

While I’ve been unable to find any record of if producers sought out a competing deal with California or Los Angeles, Nikke Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily lays the blame on blockbuster star/governor Schwarzenegger:

It’s always been repugnant to me that, despite his years in Hollywood, Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger has done less than zero to stop runaway production or enact incentives to lure TV shows and films back to California and even Los Angeles. (Then again, very little that this piss poor political parvenu has done in the job deserves praise, period.)

Annika at LA Metblogs writes that an estimated 300 Los Angeles residents will lose their jobs as a result, accounting for crew and vendors.

Surprisingly, in all the talk about budget deficits on both the state and city level, little discussion has centered on how to retain the entertainment industry. Are we taking it for granted?


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