WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The HBO comedy “Veep,” which depicts the inner workings of the White House from the perspective of a female vice president elevated to the presidency, is moving production to California from Maryland, a spokesman for the show said on Thursday.
The Time Warner Inc unit is shifting the Emmy Award-winning show because of better tax incentives, HBO spokesman Quentin Schaff said in a statement.
“The producers and HBO would like to thank Maryland for making the last four seasons of Veep such a success,” Schaff said. “We look forward to returning with another production in the future.”
HBO, which has filmed several projects in Maryland over the years, including “The Wire,” “The Corner” and “Game Change,” had long been considering the move for tax incentive reasons.
“Veep,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer, who takes over for the president when he resigns, is one of four shows selected to receive tax credits for relocating production to California, according to the California Film Commission.
The panel earmarked $6.5 million in film tax credits to “Veep” if the show moved to California, according to the commission’s executive director, Amy Lemisch.
“Veep” has been filmed in Maryland for four years, primarily in Columbia, Baltimore and Sykesville. It received $13.9 million in tax credits in its first three seasons, said Karen Bell Hood of Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development.
In November, Maryland lawmakers proposed ending the tax credits in 2016. In a report, they said the program was too costly to taxpayers and that film production brought little economic benefit.
The report said the state had given $62.5 million in tax credits to film and television productions since 2012. Of that amount, $60.2 million had gone to “Veep” and “House of Cards,” the Washington political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
California last year tripled its tax incentive fund for television and film production to $330 million.
Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Cooney