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NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver 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 will air Monday, January 30th 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 primetime series were based here. Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Oliver 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 Senator 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?” said Mayor Bloomberg. “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.”
“New York City is a television town, and we’re thrilled that we broke records for television production in 2011,” said Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver. “The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment is committed to working hard to make sure that the industry continues to grow and expand in 2012, bringing even more jobs for New Yorkers. We want to congratulate ‘Gossip Girl’ for their terrific five seasons as a ‘Made in NY’ show and look forward to what’s to come.”
“New York has been our home for the past five years, and we couldn’t have had quite the success we’ve had without the support of the residents and administration of this great City,” said “Gossip Girl” executive producer Stephanie Savage. “We are excited to have Mayor Bloomberg here today to celebrate the series reaching 100 episodes.”
“New York City’s television and film industry has become an increasingly vibrant and important sector of our economy, and we’re proud that homegrown shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ have enjoyed such success,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “Television and film supports jobs across a range of industries from fashion to food service to construction.”
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. “Gossip Girl” premiered on the CW on September 19, 2007, and will broadcast its milestone 100th episode on Monday, January 30, 2012, at 8:00 PM on The CW.
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. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment also works to diversify the entertainment industry and has developed several workforce development programs with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, including the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training. More than 300 diverse New Yorkers who previously lacked opportunities in the industry have been trained for entry-level jobs in film and TV production, and have collectively earned more than $7 million in wages. Last year also marked a watershed moment for television in the City as “Made in NY” productions received 110 Emmy nominations, winning 23 awards.
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment also connects local vendors with productions based in the City. The “Made in NY” Discount Card Program includes 1,000 businesses like lumberyards and restaurants that offer discounts off their goods and services to productions shooting on location in the boroughs. Productions can quickly locate participating vendors by using the free “Made in NY” Discount app available to download online.
“Gossip Girl” stars Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Kaylee DeFer with Kelly Rutherford and Matthew Settle. Based upon the book series written by Cecily von Ziegesar, “Gossip Girl” was developed for television by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage, who serve as executive producers of the series along with Leslie Morgenstein, Bob Levy and Joshua Safran. “Gossip Girl” is a production of Fake Empire and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Since its premiere, “Gossip Girl” has filmed at iconic locations around the City, including the Museum of the City of New York, Brooklyn Inn, Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.