Over the summer, FX president John Landgraf opened up a can of worms when he declared that “there is too much television” and predicted the number of shows would reach 400 in 2015. He called the phenomenon “peak TV.”
On Wednesday, FX released a study showing he was right. There were 409 scripted TV shows on broadcast, cable, and streaming this year. That’s almost double the number in 2009.
The study shows that the growth was mostly driven by cable, which has produced almost five times the number of scripted shows that were around in 2002 and two times what was around in 2009. That’s not surprising as we’ve seen more and more cable channels getting into the scripted business recently, such as Spike, Bravo, E!, and Pop (formerly the TV Guide Channel).
For their part, streaming outlets — such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle — provided 44 of those 409 shows. That’s 21 times more than they produced in 2009, making streaming the fastest-growing area.
Clearly there are more shows than anyone can realistically watch. But cable and streaming outlets would probably argue that they don’t expect everyone to watch their shows. They just offer choice.
Landgraf predicted that we would hit this “peak” and then the number of shows would decline after 2017.
“There is too much competition,” he said. “It is hard to find good shows… and I believe it’s impossible to maintain quality control.”
Take a look at the handy chart courtesy of FX Networks Research below, and tell us what you think:
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