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Hollywood Made 532 TV Shows in 2019, and It’s Going to Make More

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/9/2020 Lucas Shaw

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. TV industry released 532 scripted shows last year, an annual increase of 7%, as the competition for viewers intensified with the introduction of new streaming services like Disney+.

John Landgraf, who runs Walt Disney Co.’s FX networks, has tracked production for years and predicts 2020 will see another increase, which he lamented as “just bananas.”

The surge is raising the cost of making TV shows, while the growing volume means many programs don’t get the attention or audience they need to be successful, according to Landgraf, who spoke Thursday at the Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena, California.

Landgraf has held senior roles at FX since at least 2004 and has shepherded popular hits such as “The Americans” and “Atlanta.” He’s been particularly critical of the funding flowing in from technology companies that don’t need to make money from the shows they back.

“The danger of the internet is that everything becomes junk food,” he said.

Over the past decade, AT&T Inc.’s HBO released 19% of the shows on critics’ top 10 lists, while FX was second with 18% and Netflix Inc. fifth with 10%, Landgraf said.

New streaming services set to launch this year include Peacock from Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and AT&T’s HBO Max.

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