The serial nature of TV and its inherent short deadlines allow facilities and effects artists to find a satisfying and stable niche. “The predictability of the television season helps us,” says Andrew Orloff, co-owner and visual-effects supervisor of Zoic Studios, whose clients include TNT’s Emmy-nominated Falling Skies and ABC’s Once Upon A Time. “We built our business model on serving a bunch of different markets, and we’ve done pretty well.” ...
In Los Angeles. (Even as Zoic has a studio in Vancouver. Right up until the subsidies are taken away.) And there are those pesky tight schedules:
[Visual effects supervisor] Gary Hutzel says he often does work in Canada, with the Defiance effects team based in Toronto. But the kind of labor outsourcing to places like India or China that’s seen in feature films is less practical on a TV schedule.
There's this frightening thing called an air date, and that limits a producer's options with overseas studios. If a supplier misses a deadline, you're screwed, because your special effect is missing from your coast-to-coast, primetime baby.
Not good. But ultimately it keeps work here ... and in Canada for as long as the rebates and tax subsidies hold out. (This is the same dynamic that has kept large chunks of animation in Los Angeles. There's a talent pool here that is good to utilize, and foreign studios can be unreliable when you need them to be the opposite.)