Scripted originals hit a record high in 2016, suggesting we still haven't hit 'Peak TV'

The past 12 months offered up a wealth of high-quality originals

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Thursday 22 December 2016 10:18
Donald Glover's series Atlanta was one of the biggest TV hits of 2016
Donald Glover's series Atlanta was one of the biggest TV hits of 2016

Scripted TV originals hit a record high of 455 in 2016, according to a study released by cable network FX, but apparently we still haven't hit 'Peak TV'.

Ironically it was FX Networks' CEO John Landgraf who coined the term 'peak television', when he stated that the US was airing so many TV series that it could become overwhelming for viewers, particularly for critics who were obligated to review as many shows as possible.

This, he predicted, would result in a decreased output of series in future.

Earlier this year Mr Landgraf told reporters that the scripted surge showed no signs of slowing down, and accurately predicted that 2016 would manage to put out 450.

"I wrongly predicted that we'd hit the peak in 2015 or 2016," he said at the time. "It now seems clear that, at a minimum, the peak will be in calendar 2017 - and there is enough inertial momentum here that we could well see the growth trend carrying over into the 2018 calendar year."

The past 12 months have certainly offered up a wealth of high-quality originals. Donald Glover's FX show Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover in a series about two cousins trying to work they way through the Atlanta rap scene. FX ordered the pilot to a 10-episode season in October last year, and announced that it had been renewed for a second season in September 2016.

Of the 455 scripted originals, online services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon represent 93 series, with the streaming originals category experiencing a whopping 1,450 per cent jump since 2011, EW reports.

Julie Piepenkotter, executive vice president of research at FX Netwoks, said peak TV was "once again far from peaky in 2016".

"This estimate reps an 8 per cent increase over just last year, but an astonishing 71 per cent increase over five years ago (266 in 2011), and 137 per cent over a decade ago (192 in 2006)," she said.

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