There are 409 scripted shows on television, according to a study from FX Networks, 33 more than in 2014 and almost double what the figure was just six years ago. The wheels for such a study were set in motion when John Landgraf, FX Networks and FX Productions CEO, spoke about the abundance of scripted shows at the TCA press tour event in August.
“There is simply too much television,” Landgraf said at the time, predicting the 2015 total would “easily blow through the 400 series mark” before a contraction occurs.
The total includes broadcast, cable and digital and does not include reality, news, sports, made-for-television movies, specials, daytime or children’s programming.
“The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years,” said Julie Piepenkotter, executive VP of research for FX Networks. “This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform–broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming–led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services. This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where it was a decade ago.”
Since 2009, the number of scripted series has increased 94%, from 211 to 409, with a 174% growth in scripted series on basic cable (181 vs. 66).
The number of scripted offerings informed the opening gag in the Emmys telecast in September, with host Andy Samberg jokingly attempting to see them all by holing up in a bunker.