Television shows are making Louisiana rich
Louisiana has become quite a hotspot for television and movie action.
Chances are you have seen or heard of the most popular of these ventures: History Channel’s “Swamp People”. But the list of Louisiana-bred series continues to grow. Spike TV’s “Rat B*stards” follows swamp rodent trappers, while the network also boasts “Big Easy Justice”; A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” chronicles a family of duck-hunters who earn livings by making duck calls, and the station is also home to “Billy the Exterminator”; CMT has “Bayou Billionaires” as well as “My Big Redneck Vacation”; and most recently, Animal Planet began airing its “Louisiana Lockdown,” which follows life inside the State Penitentiary at Angola where prisoners farm and raise animals.
Life – and people – in Louisiana can be uniquely entertaining. While all of the above shows are drawing millions of viewers and leave many of us locals chuckling, it is somewhat disappointing that our state and people are mostly portrayed as undereducated, classless humans who only know about swamps. While the Louisiana shows on television feature many talented and intelligent residents who pursue unique professions or living arrangements, let’s not kid ourselves – the producers are well aware that they are magnifying the down-home personalities and traits of our neighbors for ratings.
But, the joke is actually on the rest of the nation, and we’re reaping the benefits. According to Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one reason television networks and movie studios are steadily streaming into the state is because Louisiana has quite generous television and film tax credits available. On top of the money factor, Louisiana is truly a melting pot filled with people from across the country and globe, as well as the legendary Cajuns and Creoles. Also, the state’s natural beauty and avid outdoor culture are hard to beat. For all these reasons, FBT Film and Entertainment, a New Orleans-based service and financing company for out of state production teams, said the state is actually the number one ranked location destination for film productions in the entire U.S.
FBT also says Louisiana’s film industry is helping to grow jobs by 23 percent each year. In the past 10 years, over $2 billion in productions have been filmed here, with $1.48 billion of that directly affecting the state.
Those numbers continue to grow. So, keep laughing, America. You might be laughing at us here in Louisiana; but we’re laughing all the way to the bank.
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