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Here's Where TV Shows Have Filmed in the City Over the Past 4 Years

By Nicole Levy | February 24, 2016 11:05am | Updated on February 24, 2016 2:53pm
 This is an increasing common sight in New York City.
This is an increasing common sight in New York City.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

If you live in New York, you've been in the way of movie-star trailers, no parking signs and the buffet tables before.

Your waning sense of awe isn't surprising, considering the number of scripted TV shows produced in New York City more than quadruped from 2002 to 2014, when a record 46 series were filmed here, according to a Boston Consulting Group report.  

A driving factor behind the growth in local TV production is the increasing number of networks — both older cable networks, like HBO and Bravo, and new streaming platforms, like Amazon and Hulu — commissioning original scripted shows requiring more shoots on location.

Back in 2002, only two networks broadcasted scripted shows shot in New York City; 12 years later, in 2014, 19 networks were in on the game.

The 2014-2015 season also marked the first time the number of one-hour drama pilots produced in New York (24) surpassed the number in Los Angeles (19), a report by the FilmL.A. permitting office found. These pilots are considered particularly lucrative for the states they film because they cost millions to produce and employ a couple hundred people.

WNYC has compiled a map of four years of shooting permit locations for 16 scripted shows using data from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. (A shooting permit doesn't necessarily mean an exterior scene was shot at the location; it may have been used for parking or other purposes.)

You'll find high concentrations of permits in Midtown and lower Manhattan, which provide iconic backdrops for shows set in the city, but Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Long Island City and Astoria— neighborhoods home to Broadway Stages' soundstages, Silvercup Studios, and Kaufman Astoria Studios — are also popular locations. 

Here are some other things WNYC's map revealed:

► A lot of shows avoid the Bronx and Staten Island entirely.

► But FX's "The Americans" has a particular fondness for New Dorp in Staten Island, probably for its resemblance to suburban Washington D.C.

Cinemax's "The Knick," a drama about a New York City hospital in the early 20th century, favors the grittier neighborhoods: Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, Morrisania in the Bronx, and Harlem in Manhattan.

► Among the 16 shows, the CBS procedural drama "Blue Bloods" shows a unique love for Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. It's their residential look that appeals, an extra told DNAinfo in 2012. "Forest Hills has that nice suburban flavor to it," she said.

► USA's psychological thriller about a computer programmer, "Mr. Robot," is the only show to film more than 13 times in Coney Island, where the show's crew of hackers maintains its base of operations inside an abandoned arcade.

► TV Land's half-hour comedy "Younger," which is set primarily in the publishing offices of Manhattan and the hip dive bars of Brooklyn, has secured shooting permits for the hoity-toity hills of Douglaston, Queens.

► HBO's "Girls" secured more than 12 permits to shoot at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a home for retired sailors in the 1800s and a stand-in for the University of Iowa when Lena Dunham's character was admitted to the Iowa Writers' Workshop.