Keep on binge-watching: A record number of TV shows were filmed in the city over the last year, with a growing percentage coming from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
In an industry still largely dominated by major networks, streaming services were behind 19 of the record-breaking 56 productions that chose one of the five boroughs as their filming backdrop during the 2016-2017 season, according to the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).
Netflix, Amazon and Hulu kept up with their increasingly popular trend of releasing seasons in their entirety and boosted their city-filmed productions by 58 percent compared to the year prior. The season included the return of streaming favorites (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Master of None”) and welcomed 11 newcomers to the scene (“She’s Gotta Have It,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Gypsy”).
“Streaming series are on the rise and New York City is getting a good share of this increased production activity," Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin said. "That’s because, in addition to our iconic and diverse locations, we have a world class talent pool to staff any production from soup to nuts, and the infrastructure to support the industry. The city’s energy, talent and appeal simply can’t be replicated anywhere else.”
During the same time span, the city saw an 8 percent year-over-year decline in production by networks such as CBS, ABC and HBO, per data provided by MOME.
TV shows filming in NYC
“The industry is enjoying a period of substantial expansion – not only to different audiences, but new platforms. And our city is doing an excellent job of getting its share of this growth,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release Tuesday.
The production boost as a whole isn’t unprecedented, however. Filming in NYC has continued to increase over the last seven years. There were 52 shows shot in the 2015-2016 season, 46 in the 2014-2015 season and only 29 in 2013-2014, according to the mayor’s office.
The city’s “increase in production provides enormous revenue to … small businesses, and as well as thousands of well-paying jobs,” Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin said.
According to a MOME spokesman, the film industry contributed to $9 billion in profits for the local economy in the 2016-2017 season. A network can spend more than $56 million each season per production. It's not immediately clear how much of the revenue came from filming of streaming services.
To keep up with the growing demand, the city also announced plans on Tuesday to break ground on a new $100 million production complex, York Studios. The nine-stage studio is slated to open in Soundvie in the Bronx by October 2018, according to John Battista, York’s executive vice president of operations. The news comes less than a year after Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios opened a second location, Silvercup North, in Port Morris last August.