FX Networks Research has issued its annual report on the state of play when it comes to scripted television and confirmed that growth in the era of Peak TV is finally tapering off.
As of 2018, the number of U.S. scripted original series being broadcast this year via networks, cable and online stands at 495. That’s up by only 8 from last year’s 487. The growth curve is slowing as previous years have seen jumps of 30-60 new shows every year since 2012.
How have things changed? In 2002, at the start of the ‘Golden Age of Television’, there were 135 broadcast series, 17 pay cable series and 30 basic cable series. This year? 146 broadcast series, 45 pay cable series, 144 basic cable series, and 160 online series – the first time ever online series have come out on top.
Over the years broadcast TV has remained fairly constant between 120-150 or so shows and about one-third of the market share. Pay cable has also stayed pretty steady with only incremental increases. Basic cable peaked in 2015 with 186 series and has since dropped pretty sharply.
It’s online where it has exploded from 6 shows in 2012 to 49 in 2015, 90 in 2016, 117 last year and now 160 this year giving it one-third of the market share this year. With the launch of streaming services from Disney, WarnerMedia, and Apple next year – that number will only go up and will probably cannibalise some of basic cable’s numbers in the process.
Source: The Playlist