On-location television filming returned to Los Angeles in a big way during the first quarter, according to figures released Friday by FilmL.A.

Led by reality television filming, the category totaled 3,766 shoot days, an increase of 51 percent for the first quarter compared to 2,491 days in the same period a year earlier.


On-location filming for reality soared the highest in the category with a 96 percent increase to 1,514 shoot days. Television dramas and pilots also increased on-location filming activities, while sitcoms and web-based series declined.


In total, the Hollywood nonprofit that coordinates location film permits in Los Angeles, unincorporated Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions handled 7,011 on-location shoot days from January through March. That compares to 7,252 shoot days in the same period a year earlier, a decrease of 3 percent.


A shoot day is one crew’s permission to film at one or more locations during a 24-hour period. FilmL.A.’s data does not include activity on soundstages, studio backlots or jurisdictions outside its control.


On-location feature film production fell by 14 percent during the first quarter compared to the prior year. It totaled just 575 shoots days.


Commercial activity also dropped during the quarter, to 993 shoots days, compared to 1,214 shoot days in the same period a year earlier.


Still, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley called the current pace of business resumption encouraging.


“Continuing industry adherence to Appendix J protocols, which has made film sets among the safest possible workplaces during the pandemic, remains important even as local vaccine uptake increases,” Audley said in a statement.