409: New Record High Number of Scripted Series in 2015

Some critics are calling 2015 the year of "Peak TV."
Earlier this year when speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf spoke about the proliferation of scripted series television and "peak TV," predicting that the number of scripted series would surpass the 400 mark, while also speculating that the number of scripted series would reach its apex either this year or in 2016.

According to Julie Piepenkotter, Executive Vice President of Research for FX Networks, the combined total of scripted series on broadcast networks, basic and pay cable networks, and OTT services was 409.

Piepenkotter said, "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. 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 they were a decade ago."

The total number of scripted series in 2015 posted an increase of +9% over 2014 (409 vs. 376). Since 2009, the number of scripted series has increased +94%, rising from 211 to 409, with a +174% growth in scripted series on basic cable (181 vs. 66).

Dating back to 2002 when FX launched The Shield, basic cable's first successful hit scripted drama series and also the first ever to win Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the greatest growth in the number of scripted series has come courtesy of basic cable networks with an incredible +484% increase over that span (181 vs. 31).

The combined total does not include reality, news, sports, made-for-television movies, specials, daytime or children's programming.

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