Nearly 10% more scripted shows exist on broadcast and cable TV now than versus a year ago, says FX Networks. And that is apparently a problem.
Some 409 TV shows are on the air versus 376 a year ago, nearly double that from six years ago. All this gives more detail to the general scenario John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, warned about this past summer.
The caution came to this: Too much good television. Viewers can’t get to all of it, and neither can TV critics review all, either. Perhaps he should have added: And there’s too few resources to adequately promote those TV shows to a successful niche/
Landgraf added this 400 level would be the “peak” in the number of scripted TV series, and it’s increasingly hard to maintain “quality control.”
Digital and streaming video promoters might scoff at all of this, saying that a seemingly unlimited number of premium TV/video platforms can cater to these shows -- and perhaps more. They might add that sophisticated and, more importantly, still growing media usage by TV and entertainment consumers hasn’t really stopped.And so the bigger question is -- if Landgraf’s scenario comes to pass -- where will the decline occur? Will it be on established networks like USA Network, TNT, and AMC -- who like ESPN, might soon feel the effects of lower revenue from a smaller subscriber base? Maybe on the traditional broadcast networks?
We have been through this TV programming financial scare before. Some 16 years ago, analysts said the rising number of reality TV shows were the result of increased costs in scripted TV shows -- and that the number of scripted shows would decline.
Reality fare was cheaper to produce, though it had little to none of the rerun value of scripted TV programming.
You want to get more near-term nostalgic? Wasn’t the “user-generated” video of a few years ago going to cause disruption of the TV ecosystem? We are still waiting for that to happen.