By Della Hasselle
MANHATTAN - The television industry in New York has reached an all-time high and is becoming a an entertainment force to rival Hollywood, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials announced Monday.
"Thousands of New Yorkers are hard at work building sets, making costumes and scouting locations for the record 23 new and returning TV shows that film here," Bloomberg said on the set of "Pan Am" at Brooklyn's Steiner Studios.
"Pan Am" is one of the eight new primetime shows being filmed in the city this year, part of an industry that supports 100,000 jobs, Bloomberg said.
The new series, a drama about women flight attendants in the 1950's that premieres next month, is alone a major boost to the city's economy, officials said.
The show currently employs 400 people behind the scenes and helps spark the economy at places like lumberyards, fabric stores and coffee shops, Bloomberg added.
"We’re working to strengthen and diversify New York City’s economy and create jobs, and our thriving entertainment industry is a prime example of those efforts paying off,” he said.
Tax incentives initiated by Bloomberg and implemented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo have in large part added to the growth of the industry in the city, which currently contributes more than $5 billion to the city’s economy each year, officials said.
The benefits extend beyond the local businesses, but are a perk for aspiring actors and actresses in the city, too, state Sen. Dan Squadron added.
“From Pan Am to Boardwalk Empire, the TV shows and films produced right here in New York prove that you don't need to be in Hollywood to be a star,” Squadron said in a statement. “The TV and film industry creates jobs for countless New Yorkers, generates business and often brings New York to the rest of the world."