Scripted Series Orders Fell 24% During Last 9 Months Of '22

Even before the current writers' strike -- which started at the beginning of the week -- scripted TV series projects ordered by TV networks and streamers had already been declining.

Over the last nine months of 2022, Ampere Analysis says, U.S. scripted TV content given the go-ahead for production dipped 24% year-over-year -- with the fourth quarter of 2022 registering just 108 TV scripted projects, down from 152 TV shows in Q4 2021 and 160 in 2020.

Looking at this year overall, there was 255 orders in the first quarter by TV networks and streamers for scripted TV shows, compared to 233 orders in the second quarter and 151 in the third quarter.

“Low commissioning now will create a future content deficit, with the slowdown likely to start to bite in Q3 2023 and beyond,” says Ampere Analysis.



Ampere says the most positive scenario, would be 5% to 7% fewer scripted releases each quarter between now and the second quarter of 2024. This analysis came before the writers' strike that started earlier this week

A worst-case scenario estimates that at current levels, there would be 16% fewer releases expected in fourth-quarter 2023, and 20% fewer TV shows from the second quarter through the end of the year.

In addition to scripted TV series, unscripted TV shows are also sinking.

Specifically, Ampere Analysis says Warner Bros. Discovery cut back on this content by 32%, down 172 TV series between July 2022 and March 23.

Overall there were 241 fewer unscripted TV shows versus the same period the year before. Other big legacy media companies also made unscripted TV series cutbacks -- Paramount Global (16%) and Comcast’s NBCUniversal (13%).

Analysts have noted wild increasing TV/movie production spending -- especially from new premium streamers platforms -- has dramatically slowed down due to still high financial losses with profitability still a ways off for many platforms.

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