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‘Peaked TV’: US scripted shows dropped in 2023

PASADENA, California — The number of scripted television series in the United States declined by 14% in 2023, FX network chief John Landgraf said on Friday, after a decade-long explosion of shows fueled by the streaming TV wars.

The chairman of FX Content and Productions coined the term “peak TV” as he tallied the rise of programming when traditional media companies started chasing Netflix, Inc. in 2013.

Mr. Landgraf said on Friday it could now be called “peaked TV.” FX research counted 516 original scripted series last year, down from 600 in 2022. Hollywood’s strikes last year contributed to the drop, Mr. Landgraf said, but added that he believed the reduction likely was under way even before the work stoppages.

“I finally predicted correctly, after a number of sincere but premature guesses, that we had started to see a decline,” he said at a Television Critics Association event.

FX is a unit of Walt Disney.

Disney, Netflix and other companies have canceled shows and reduced budgets to meet investor demands for profits, leading to predictions of a major contraction in Hollywood.

Since 2012, the only other dip in the number of scripted shows came during the pandemic year of 2020, when 493 were released.

Last year’s downturn has accelerated at the start of 2024, Mr. Landgraf said. Scripted programming in the first five weeks of the year has fallen 31% compared to the same period in 2023.

While that represents a short window, and may have been impacted by the strikes, Mr. Landgraf said he believed it was “directionally accurate” in what he expected for the rest of the year. — Reuters

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