It's a good thing New Yorkers are accustomed to being in the spotlight, because in 1997, film and television production in the city hit a record high. Last Wednesday at the Kaufman-Astoria Studios in Queens, we celebrated this news with the help of Bill Cosby and Dan Aykroyd, two of the people who have helped make it happen.
This marks the fourth consecutive year of record growth in this industry, bringing direct expenditures from the production of film, TV series and specials, commercials, and music videos to $2.37 billion. When you consider that the entertainment industry is cyclical, our momentum is particularly remarkable. It's great news for entertainment industry professionals, and for the city as a whole.
We have 105 national television series in production, from sitcoms like Spin City and Soul Man to prime-time dramas like Law and Order, weekly comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, daytime dramas, talk shows, children's shows, and more. The number of shooting days for TV shows jumped from 6,439 shooting days to 7,458 last year. That's an increase of over 15 percent in a single year.
All this sustained growth in film and television production is creating jobs; employment in the motion picture services industry has increased 47.5 percent over the last four years. As the industry keeps surging, it will continue to add to the 185,000 private sector jobs that have already been created citywide over the last four years -- and continue to generate billions of dollars in revenue. But the best result is that it gives us a chance to share our New York stories and images with people around the world, advertising the revitalized spirit of our city.
When you take what's happening in film production, and add the success of Broadway, the Grammys, and the creative energy that fills every performance space in the city, it is no wonder that we are the city Americans most want to live in and visit. It's no wonder that we are recognized as the entertainment capital of the world.
So next time you hear "Lights! Camera! Action!" on your block or anywhere throughout the city, think of all the jobs, revenue, and creative energy that the film and television industry bring to New York City.