FX’s John Landgraf: Peak TV Was Media-Circus ‘Sideshow’ in 2017


CREDIT: David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Continued growth in digital streaming programming drove the number of original scripted U.S. television series to an all-time high in 2017. But according to FX CEO John Landgraf, Peak TV was a mere media “sideshow” in 2017.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Friday, Landgraf presented data culled by his company’s research department asserting that 487 original scripted series aired across U.S. broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms in 2017 — up 7% from 455 in 2016. The number of streaming series was responsible for much of that uptick, growing 30% from the previous year at 117.

The number of broadcast originals grew 5% to 153, after showing slight decline from 2015 to 2016. The number of pay-cable original series grew 17% to 42. The number of scripted original series on basic cable declined 4% to 175 — the second year in a row that FX observed declines in category.

Landgraf’s data-driven talks have become ritual at TCA press tours in recent years. But his executive session Friday was dominated largely by the Walt Disney Company’s pending acquisition of FX parent’s 21st Century Fox’s entertainment units and by FX’s decision last year to cut ties with longtime creative partner Louis C.K. following extensive reports detailing a pattern of sexual misconduct in the…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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