Peak TV: The Series Aren‘t Slowing Down

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Ozark (Netflix)

by @todotvnews the 10/08/2017
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During the TCA Summer Tour John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and, once again shared his views on current times and the future of the television industry, focusing on non-lineal consumption and the TV series ecosystem. 

Every time John Landgraf speaks, he gives the crowds something to talk about. And during his final speech at the TCA (Television Critics Association) Summer Tour, the long-tenured FX Networks and FX Productions CEO once again gave his outlook on the future of the television industry.

The guru defined the current situation as the "elephant in the room", meaning that the massive transformation that the industry is undergoing in this peak TV era is evident, but largely ignored.

How Many Shows For 2017?

The expression 'Peak TV' was created by Landgraf himself back in 2015 to refer to the lack of balance between the TV shows on offer and the amount of shows that is actually healthy for viewers and for the market. "We're drowning on a sea of our own making," he said back then, while claiming that the content bubble was ready to burst.

And, two years later, the CEO continues to think the exact same. The industry is "heading from an optimal number of shows to an unmanageable number of shows," he expressed on Wednesday.

FX Networks has spent the last two years counting the number of shows broadcasted on TV in the US, both on broadcast and basic cable, as well as on premium cable and streaming services. And the latest numbers were shocking: 216 saw the largest amount of scripted originals in history, a total of 455.

Now, Landgraf updated the information with the data collected so far into the year, and the numbers continue to grow. During the first half of 2017, the US has seen the broadcast of 342 fiction shows; 17 more than the 325 recorded last year on the same time period.

The growth is being boosted by OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which have already premiered 62 series - last year they had premiered 51. The executive also mentioned that, in addition, these services commissioned a total of 79 titles for this year that have yet to premiere.

Broadcast-TV networks have also grown. By now, a total of 127 have already been broadcasted, while last year the number stayed at 118.

Cable networks, in turn, have stayed the same: 13 vs. 131 on basic cable and 25 vs. 23 on premium cable.

A Possible Solution

Landgraf mentioned that, in order to face this reality, FX has "aggressively transformed its model" by placing non-lineal consumption at the heart of its strategy.

What he meant by this was the recent announcement of FX+, an ad-free version of the network that will become available in the US starting on September through Comcast.

However, the executive is not blind to the ever growing offering of streaming platforms available for potential consumers. "I don’t think the average home is going to have 20 subscription services," he mentioned. "I think we're talking about a very, very significant restructuring of the television industry."

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