MEDIA & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and I recently visited the set of “Gossip Girl” — a “Made in NY” television series that films at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City — to announce that 2011 broke all records for television production in New York City, and to celebrate the show’s 100th episode, which aired on Jan. 30 on The CW.
The Warner Bros. Television-produced series “Gossip Girl” is one of 23 series that have filmed in New York City throughout the 2011-2012 television season; 10 years ago, only nine prime time series were based here.
We were joined at Silvercup Studios by “Gossip Girl” executive producers Stephanie Savage and Joshua Safran; series stars Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Kaylee DeFer and Kelly Rutherford; co-executive producer Amy Kaufman; producer Bart Wenrich; Alan Suna, CEO, and Stuart Suna, President, of Silvercup Studios; State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
Here’s a hot tip for “Gossip Girl”: Spotted — 100,000 New Yorkers making a living from the film and television industry.
Could 2011 have been the city’s busiest year ever for television production?
With our beautiful city talented workforce and the assistance offered by our “Made in NY” program, New York City has surpassed all previous records for film and television production.
We’re proud to be home to employers like “Gossip Girl,” Warner Bros. and Silvercup Studios, and I want to congratulate “Gossip Girl” on its 100th episode and nearly five seasons of generating jobs and drawing fans to New York.
Over the past five years, “Gossip Girl” spent $200 million on local development and employed approximately 6,300 individuals both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Last season, for example, the show hired more than 120 principal actors, 180 crew members and more than 7,000 background actors.
The series has also used more than 500 local vendors, including a glass supplier in Soho, flowers from the Flatiron District, medical equipment set rentals from the Bronx, lumber and paint from Long Island City, props from a prop house in Harlem, bus rentals from Staten Island and office supplies from Williamsburg.
Production is currently at record levels throughout the city.
Last year, New York City hosted 188 films and more than 140 TV shows, including news shows, reality programs and talk shows.
Four thousand local businesses support film and television production in the five boroughs, and the industry contributes approximately $5 billion to the city’s economy each year.
Approximately 100,000 New Yorkers make their living working behind the scenes in film and television in various positions, such as electricians, carpenters, make-up artists, camera operators and production assistants.
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment facilitates production throughout the city, issuing permits to projects that shoot on location and working with productions and the local community in which they film.
In an effort to thank residents for hosting film and television in the neighborhood, the office partners with various studios to host community appreciation screenings and invites local residents to attend free movie screenings to emphasize that when a crew shoots on location, residents are seeing their fellow New Yorkers hard at work.