Peak TV Still Peaking, But Broadcast Offerings Are Down


Is “Peak TV” past peak? A new study from FX — whose president, John Landgraf, coined the term “Peak TV” — indicates that for the first time in recent years, the number of TV series produced by the traditional outlets of basic cable, premium cable, and broadcast has decreased.

And yet 2016 saw more original scripted content than ever — a mind-boggling 455 shows — thanks to the rise of streaming shows, which continue to gallop forward as anyone with a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon subscription already knows.

At Indiewire, Michael Schneider crunched the numbers:

According to new FX Networks research, a record 455 scripted original series aired in 2016 across broadcast, cable, and streaming sources. That’s still a lot – but here’s a telling sign: For the first time since FX began compiling this chart, the combined number of scripted shows aired by broadcast, cable and pay TV outlets has actually decreased. It’s now streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon that are fueling TV’s growth – more than doubling their output (46 to 93) from last year.

So there are indeed more shows to watch than ever before; they’re just more likely to show up on your computer or smart TV.