It was a banner year for the production of TV pilots, but most of the increase didn't spill over to Los Angeles.
That was the takeaway from the annual survey of TV pilot production by FilmL.A. Inc., the nonprofit film permitting group.
Thanks to a boom in cable TV production, and cable comedies in particular, the most recent pilot season — stretching from June 1, 2010, through May 31 — was the most productive on record, with 169 pilots produced. Pilots are test episodes or premieres for TV series filmed in advance of screenings for advertisers in May.
At first blush, the recent numbers are positive for L.A., where 87 pilots were produced last season, up from 76 the prior season and the second-highest annual take in Los Angeles since local pilot production peaked in the 2004-05 season, according to the FilmL.A report.
But L.A.'s share of the pilot pie continues to shrink. The region captured 51% of all pilot production last season, compared with 58% the prior season and down from 82% six years ago.