FX chief John Landgraf has made another “foolish” prediction.
The exec kicked off the conversation around “peak television” in 2015 when he said “there is simply too much television.” Today, at his exec session on the virtual TCA press call, he said that he believes that 2022 will be the “peak” of peak TV.
He joked that his original prediction was “obviously way off” and that the bottleneck of production as a result of the Covid pandemic created a “tidal wave” of shows launching this year.
His research team has estimated that during the first six months of 2022, there were 357 scripted originals across broadcast, cable and streaming, which was up 16% from the same period last year.
Last year, Landgraf said that there were 559 original scripted series, a 5% rise on the pre-pandemic 2019 number.
He expects this growth by the end of the year, setting a record.
“It will take a year and a half to find out if I’m right this time, or we’ll have to eat crow yet again,” he said.
This comes as FX, FXX and FX on Hulu prepares to launch a raft of new series including The Patient and Fleishman Is in Trouble, after launches such as The Bear, Under the Banner of Heaven, Pistol and The Old Man as well as the returns of shows including Atlanta.
“I think that this year is actually somewhat inflated by the fact that last year was somewhat depressed. And I think that had to do with the difficulty of initiating and maintaining and completing production during the COVID pandemic. I think that 16% surge you’ve seen in the first half of the year is pretty extraordinary, given how many episodes and television series premiered last year. Beyond that, I think all the major streaming services have now launched. I think we’ve seen a remarkable set of additions of new streaming services join the party in the last couple of years and I think that process is complete,” he added.
“So in other words, I don’t see new, major purveyors of programming, entering the scene as they have been continuously over the past decade or more. In fact, there are some prior purveyors of television programming that are kind of exiting the scenes.”