NEW YORK (AP) " "Ugly Betty" is moving back to New York to take advantage of its " lower rent?
The ABC show will leave Los Angeles, returning to the city where the pilot was filmed " and where the story takes place " in part because of a 35 percent tax credit offered by the city and state. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson joined ABC Studios President Mark Pedowitz to announce the move Monday.
"Ugly Betty" stars Emmy winner America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, a young woman from Queens who works for a fashion magazine. Filmed in Manhattan and Queens, the show is expected to create more than 200 full and part-time jobs in the area.
On the Los Angeles end, more than 300 members of the production crew expect to lose their jobs, according to a letter they jointly sent last week to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state and local politicians.
"Instead of making good wages and paying our fair share of California state income tax, we will all be collecting Unemployment Benefits," the letter states, adding that "all of our local vendors are losing our business." The letter goes on to implore California political leaders to "do everything in your power to level the playing field" with similar incentives.
In response, Schwarzenegger said Friday that California must increase tax incentives, which have repeatedly failed to clear the Legislature, to prevent further moves.
"I've been trying for four years, since I've gotten to Sacramento, to convince our lawmakers here that it is extremely important to give tax incentives to Hollywood," Schwarzenegger said.