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More and more TV shows being made in NYC

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It's more than just "The Tonight Show" and its rumored return east.

The Big Apple has become one of the most sought-after locations for the small screen, and the city benefits from its Hollywood pull.

There are 25 prime-time episodic shows being filmed in the five boroughs, along with dozens of cable, variety and talk shows, and that number keeps growing, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment said.

Even more shows are on the way, thanks in part to new tax breaks from the state, and the city's studios are gearing up for the tidal wave of productions.

"As long as it continues to be a great place to live, work and capture on film, New York and its image will always be something that producers want to be and take advantage of," said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Studios in Long Island City in Queens, where "Nurse Jackie" and "Sesame Street" are shot.

Between 2002 and 2011, TV productions in the city soared 82 percent, according to a 2012 Boston Consulting Group study.

Although government incentives like the governor's Empire State Film Production tax credit help bring television and film crews to the Big Apple, the city's charm wins them over, according to New York industry pros.

Some of the most successful shows shot in the city have made the most of its famous backdrops and locations.

" 'Sex and the City' and 'Gossip Girl' were love letters to New York City much like HBO's 'Girls' is to Brooklyn," said Alan Suna, chief executive of Silvercup Studios, where those shows have been produced.

The city also has another advantage in its hundreds of established filmmakers, Suna said.

In the past, New York was primarily a draw for film projects, not episodic television. But with the industrywide influx of top talent into TV, more and more shows have tapped into a base of writers, directors and actors who are open to the city, Suna said.

And the stars of the shows aren't the only ones to earn a lot, because thousands of other workers such as carpenters, caterers and scene decorators get a piece of the annual $7 billion in revenue that's generated for the city, the Boston Consulting Group report said.

In 2011, more than 130,000 New Yorkers worked on a film or TV production. TV production jobs have seen a 76 percent growth since 2002, according to the BCG study.

"All the TV shows here means jobs for New Yorkers," said Marybeth Ihle of the mayor's media office.

One big reason companies are taking more risks is the state's 30 percent tax break.

The tax credit refunds crews for a portion of their costs in expenses for props, makeup, set construction and the like.

An extension of this credit for shows that relocate to New York is expected to be included in the next state budget.

This extension is said to encourage "The Tonight Show" to come back to New York with Jimmy Fallon behind the desk, because there is reportedly a provision that would give large talk shows the tax break.

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