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2016 Record-Breaking Year for Scripted TV – Until Next Year?

Deadline logo Deadline 12/21/2016 Dominic Patten
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As well as his day job as FX’s CEO, John Landgraf has made an end of year grab to solidify his position as prophet-in-chief for scripted television – at least when it comes to the numbers game.

In a study released today by FX, the cabler’s research department concludes that 2016 was a record-breaking year for scripted TV with 455 series.

This follows on the pattern of the past several years where Landgraf has lamented the sharp increase in scripted fare and its potential affect on the industry and viewers. With the 2016 stats, it looks like a distinct possibility that 2017 could see 500 scripted shows or more available on broadcast, cable, the streaming services and other platforms.

“Peak TV was once again far from peaky in 2016, with a record 455 scripted original series across broadcast, cable, and streaming sources,” said Julie Piepenkotter, Executive Vice President, Research, FX Networks. “This estimate reps a +8% increase over just last year (421 in 2015) ― but an astonishing +71% increase over five years ago (266 in 2011) and +137% over a decade ago (192 in 2006).”

“Counting TV shows is like counting lemmings,” Landgraf said at January’s TCA. “You can’t even count the number of TV shows accurately. Hoping they won’t run off a cliff and into an ocean.”

Check out the chart from FX Networks Research below. But note that the network says this is an unofficial total based on data from a variety of sources, and is subject to change as in past years …umm, OK.

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