Have we hit critical mass when it comes to tuning into TV?
How many TV shows do you watch every year? I bet it's not 599, yet that's the number of scripted TV shows that made it to TV and streaming this year. It's so many that it is nearly impossible to keep up with newer titles.
At the 2023 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, FX Chairman of Content and Productions John Landgraf said of the situation, “I think we have a strong indication that we’re going to start to see a decline in the beginning of 2023.” He continued, describing the state of the television world, saying, “In August [Summer 2022 TCA Press Tour], I said it would be the 2020s you would find the market peak of scripted series TV series, and that is still my bet while noting with humility that I’ve been wrong on this prediction twice before.”
His words are indicators that we've hit critical mass, both with what networks can afford and what people can watch. While we're getting amazing new shows and seeing incredible worlds be explored, it feels like very few shows have massive followings.
Instead, the audience is subdivided into passionate fan sections who watch a few shows. And that doesn't make a lot of money for advertisers. If it is streaming, then it doesn't promise a lot of subscribers.
So, what does a decline in TV shows look like? I don't think we're talking quality, but I do think quantity is going to take a hit. First, 599 is a gigantic number. I could see that dropping steadily and then wavering around 500 for a while.
We'll probably so this and maintain the quality we've seen already. I don't imagine that taking a dip. We'll have to be careful to safeguard diversity and equity in rooms, but that also means a lot more cancellations and a lot less buying. It's very expensive to make TV, and budgets keep getting higher.
We've seen so many cancellations lately; networks are being ruthless with what gets a second season or more episodes. Instead, it might be nice to see them pivot toward less show that they allow to breathe for multiple seasons.
Right now, TV has grown exponentially. But we reached an amount that's subdivided people so much that there are rare hits. Time will tell how the industry adjusts.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
wow .... that's a crazy number. Never underestimate the amount of content that a coupe of billion people can consume. Having said that, the number will come down dramatically .. for several reasons ... right off the top of my head ... a significant amount of this content is crap, and the powers that be have figured out they have to make money ..
January 14, 2023 at 9:33AM