Television overall performed poorly in the first three months of the year, with less filming of one-hour dramas and unscripted reality programming. Only sitcoms showed an increase in production days, according to statistics released April 3 by FilmL.A., the not for profit agency that coordinates on-location filming in the city and county of Los Angeles and in other jurisdictions.

“This is the first quarter where we’ve seen television projects outnumber features in the list of incentivized projects filming locally,” said FilmL.A. President Paul Audley in a prepared statement. “Nonetheless, we continue to feel the sting of last year’s loss of television dramas and a softening in the reality production segment overall.”

Overall, there were 11,360 permitted production days in the first quarter for feature films, television, commercial, and other projects. In the first quarter of the prior year, there were 11,604 production days.

FilmL.A.’s numbers do not include filming on studio lots or certified soundstages. A permitted production day is a single crew’s permission to film a single project at a single defined location during any given 24-hour period.

For television pilots, there were 335 permitted production days in the first quarter compared to 378 in the first quarter of 2011. Dramas accounted for 1,029 production days in the first quarter compared to 1,264 production days a year ago. And on-location reality filming accounted for 1,558 production days compared to 1,930 in the first quarter of 2011.

Feature film production increased by 15.8 percent in the first quarter to 1,019 permitted production days from 880 production days in the first quarter of 2011.

The early months of the year are historically a slow time for feature production and the region benefitted from a presence of multiple feature films, according to FilmL.A.

Commercial filming had been strong throughout 2011 and continued that into the first quarter with 2,309 permitted production days in the first quarter compared to 2,083 production days in the first quarter 2011.

Mark R. Madler