Number of scripted shows continues to rise, as do costs associated with them

By Jim O'Neill on Aug 10 2016 at 11:00 AM
Number of scripted shows continues to rise, as do costs associated with them

By 2017, Hollywood could be producing as many as 500 scripted TV shows, a 20% increase from last year’s record 417, according to FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who told a Television Association Critics gathering that he anticipates up to 450 shows this year.

And, he said, an increasingly large percentage of them are coming from streaming service like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which already have nearly doubled their original programming from a year ago.

Netflix alone has either debuted or announced 71 scripted originals targeted at adult audience, more than the “future output of HBO, Showtime, Starz and FX combined,” he said.

Not included among those 71 titles? Dozens of Netflix original children’s series or documentary series or late-night series or even fully scripted series produced primarily in a language other than English, Landgraf said.

There were just 210 scripted series on the air in 2009.

That flood of content has potentially delighted audiences, but caused headaches for networks and operators, as users increasingly turn to OTT content, in turn creating a further dilution of viewership of cable programming.

And, Landgraf said, producing an ever-increasing flow of scripted-TV content has a significant financial impact on content companies; when combined with viewers defecting to other platforms and reduced potential ad revenue, the mixture could be crushing.

Stay tuned.                                                             

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