USA’s Graceland is set in L.A., but the series is actually filmed all the way on the other side of the county, in Fort Lauderdale. As I wrote at Quartz,
While Hollywood and the rest of Los Angeles has been the center of the TV and film industry for decades, that’s all changed in recent years as other states and provinces have lured productions away with budget-saving tax incentives. Hollywood used to stand in for any location around the world; now even shows that are actually set in and around LA can no longer afford to shoot there.
Graceland creator Jeff Eastin talked with me about California’s meager $100 million film and TV tax credit program, in which credits are distributed via lottery system. He explained the benefits of shooting in Florida versus California:
“The number I hear thrown about is a 30% savings,” says Eastin. “If you’re talking literally $300,000 on every $1 million, that’s pretty substantial when our budgets are $2-$3 million [per episode]. The cost savings are really substantial when ultimately you’re trying to put as many dollars as you can on the screen. Especially for a cable show, where the budgets aren’t what big networks shows are, we’re counting every dollar.”
No wonder that out of the 28 new drama series picked up for next season, 20 of them will be filmed outside of California.