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Reality shows boost Los Angeles economy, report says

Reality shows boost Los Angeles economy, report says

Reality television programs, including "The Apprentice," "Beauty and the Geek" and "Top Chef," have become an increasingly important part of the Los Angeles entertainment system, say statistics being released Thursday.
The number of days spent shooting reality TV episodes in the city increased 53 percent last year, accounting for about 40 percent of all on-location TV production, according to figures from the nonprofit FilmL.A. Inc., which handles filming permits for much of L.A. County.
The jump compared with increases of 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively, for sitcoms and dramas.
"Everybody wants to see themselves reflected on the screen," Salaam Coleman Smith, executive vice president of the Style Network, told the Los Angeles Times. The network films 10 unscripted shows in the city.
The entertainment industry supports an estimated 240,000 high-paying jobs in Los Angeles County and pumps an estimated $30 billion (euro23 billion) into the regional economy, the study said.
Reality television's popularity and low production costs have caused the genre to flourish. It could become even more important to Los Angeles as labor tensions mount, economists say. Cable and broadcast networks are expected to order more shows as a hedge against a possible writers' strike this year.
But reality TV does not help the economy as much as scripted shows, which have larger budgets, bigger crews and longer runs, said FilmL.A. president Steve MacDonald.
The rise of reality programming also is helping offset losses in feature filmmaking.
According to FilmL.A., Los Angeles saw a 7.4 percent decrease in local feature film production last year, continuing a trend that began in 1997 when more studios left Los Angeles to film in other cities and states that were offering incentives, including tax breaks.
The report also found shoots for commercials fell 3.4 percent, the first yearly decline since 2000, when the industry dealt with a six-month strike by industry actors. MacDonald attributed the drop to changes in the advertising industry, including an increase in online advertising.


Updated : 2021-07-25 15:45 GMT+08:00