Scripted Originals Hit Another Record High in 2017

FX CEO John Landgraf provided his semi-annual update on "Peak TV" on Friday at TCA.
Courtesy of Netflix
Netflix continues to spend on scripted originals. Pictured: "13 Reasons Why"

The so-called "Peak TV" phenomenon is not slowing down.

FX CEO John Landgraf returned to the Television Critics Association's stage Friday to provide his semi-annual update on the explosion of scripted originals and, as he has done in the past, he came armed with endless data.

In a study conducted by FX, the total number of scripted originals reached another record in 2017, hitting a total of 487 (up 7 percent from 455 in 2016). That was again fueled by an increase in content from SVOD outlets like deep-pocketed Netflix and Amazon (up from 90 to 117). Netflix is expected to continue to spend upward of $7 billion on originals, Amazon another $4.5 billion and Hulu an estimated $1 billion, with tech giant Apple also joining the fray last year.

Broadcast volume remained largely the same, moving from 146 in 2016 to 153 — its largest number ever — in 2017. Premium cable held its course (growing from 36 to 42). With networks like WGN America and A&E exiting the scripted originals space, the contraction that has been hitting basic cable can be seen for the first time as that tally dipped from 183 in 2016 to 175 (down 4 percent).