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Given the choice, the creator of the hit TV series The Good Doctor says he would move production of the show from Vancouver to Hollywood – an exit that would remove a high-profile example of B.C.’s multibillion-dollar production prowess.

More than 30 shows are being shot for network TV and streaming services in British Columbia, including Riverdale and The Man in the High Castle. The Good Doctor, about a savant resident with autism, played by Freddie Highmore, at a California hospital, debuted last year.

Financial details on shows shot in B.C. are closely guarded, but a study by the Motion Picture Association - Canada in 2017 on the series Arrow noted that the fourth season resulted in total spending in B.C. of $72-million, creating 1,417 full-time equivalent jobs. A spokesperson for Film LA, the not-for-profit film office of the Greater Los Angeles area, said the production cost for a season of a U.S. network series is about US$100-million.

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Freddie Highmore, who plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, is shown in a scene from The Good Doctor in this undated handout photo.HO/The Canadian Press

In an interview, Good Doctor executive producer David Shore, who also created TV’s long-running medical series House, said the series, now in its second season, is shot in B.C. because of “economics.” While he did not elaborate, Hollywood producers have cited the relatively low Canadian dollar and provincial tax breaks as appealing factors.

But Mr. Shore, a native of the southwestern Ontario city of London, said his family is in Los Angeles.

"LA is my home,” Mr. Shore said after participating this week in a panel of show-runners (creative and production executives who manage series) at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Asked if he would ever shift production to LA, Mr. Shore said, “I can’t say we wouldn’t. My wife and children would prefer if I was in LA, and that’s always going to be a factor.”

Mr. Shore said he does not like travelling back and forth.

Family considerations have been factors before. In the 1990s, production of TV’s The X-Files was shifted to Los Angeles from Vancouver after five seasons, in part because star David Duchovny wanted to be closer to his family.

California would likely welcome the show. Business is booming in British Columbia’s production sector, with $3.4-billion worth of spending in 2017-18, largely by Hollywood studios. However, other jurisdictions, especially California, are fighting for TV series and feature films.

“If you don’t view it from the perspective of a competition, you’re probably going to lose out to a better-resourced competitor who is out-thinking you or out-spending you,” Philip Sokoloski, a spokesperson for Film LA, said in an interview.

British Columbia has in recent years lost such series as Legion, Timeless and Lucifer to California after they were launched in the province. However, B.C. has picked up other productions from Los Angeles, such as the series Supergirl.

California has appealed to producers of feature films and TV series through a tax-credit program that was tripled in scale in 2014 to $330-million annually. Applications for the credits are evaluated based on factors such as the number of jobs the projects would create.

B.C. has its own tax credits, and the lower value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. currency can also help stretch budgets.

“I have to be honest," Mr. Shore said. "We came here because of the economics of the situation. That’s why Sony wants to do stuff here.

“That’s why we stay.”

The Good Doctor is an adaptation of a South Korean series of the same name. Actor Daniel Dae Kim, formerly of TV’s Lost and Hawaii 5-O, bought the rights for a U.S. production, and Mr. Shore was brought on to develop it. The series first aired in September, 2017. A second season had its debut on Sept. 24.

Mr. Sokoloski said series can move only if they can find a location where access to actors (known in the business as “the talent”), crews and incentives allow it to be made at a reasonable cost. However, he said family considerations are not be underestimated. “If your talent and your show runners prefer to be at home at night and sleep in their own beds and kiss their children, that can be a powerful inducement keep a show in one place or another,” he said.

Asked about Mr. Shore’s comments, the head of a B.C.-funded agency that supports the economic development of the production sector said B.C. remains competitive for reasons that include its proximity to Los Angeles over such other Canadian options as Toronto.

“Does the [B.C.] industry here like to see something go? No,” Prem Gill, chief executive officer of Creative BC, said of TV shows. “Is there room for more to come in? Yes.”

In an interview on Friday, Ms. Gill said her organization is making the case for B.C. with outreach to studios, and hosting scouts for prospective Hollywood projects. “It’s a very hustle-driven sector, and will continue to be that way.”

On Wednesday’s panel, Mr. Shore was joined by other show-runners who were born in Canada and had success in the United States. Asked which show they would most like to reboot, some picked The Beachcombers, a CBC series about B.C. log salvagers that ran for 18 years on CBC, ending in 1990.

“You just do this great show about guys flying around British Columbia, and you could do it now with a budget and it could look really cool,” said Graham Yost, a Toronto-area native who has served as executive producer on such series as Justified and The Americans.

Graeme Manson, executive producer of the acclaimed science-fiction series Orphan Black, who is now working on a series version of the film Snowpiercer in Vancouver, also said he would like to take a crack at Beachcombers.

“Barring that, a real show about B.C., about Vancouver, and the place I grew up - actually set a show here with a good, decent budget and make it about the fabric here," Mr. Manson said.

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