The data was part of Landgraf’s now regular breakdown of the shifting TV landscape and the phenomenon of “peak TV.” That number represents the largest number of scripted series ever, topping 2016’s 455 series. Of the 487, basic cable had the biggest share with 175 series. Broadcast was next with 153, the largest number that broadcast has ever seen. Online services like Netflix had 117 series on the air, also the largest number of shows such services have ever supported. Pay cable accounted for 42 of the shows.
Over the past five years, online services have seen the most growth on a percentage basis, growing by an astonishing 680 percent compared to 2012. Pay cable is second percentage wise, with series output growing by 45 percent since 2012. Basic cable was right on its heels with 40 percent, with broadcast growing by 29 percent. Overall, the number of shows on television has grown by 69 percent since 2012.
When looking at the growth of scripted series since 2002, the numbers get even more astronomical. Firstly, there is no comparison for online services going back to that period as streaming did not exist at the time. Meanwhile, basic cable’s series output has increased by 483 percent, while pay cable’s output has increased by 147 percent. Broadcast has grown by 13 percent. Overall, the total series output on television since 2002 has grown by 168 percent.