There Was a Record Number of Scripted TV Series in 2015

The number of scripted television shows is growing with a total of 409 different shows this year available on broadcast, cable and online services. By comparison, there were 376 scripted shows in 2014. This was the third consecutive year that scripted TV has grown across all three platforms, according to FX Networks’ research department. Basic cable had the biggest gain, with 174 percent more scripted shows since 2009. Some executives debate whether scripted TV has grown too much.

These numbers of scripted shows were unimaginable a decade ago. Now, industry execs are arguing whether scripted television has topped out. FX’s chief executive John Landgraf believes that the current amount of scripted television programming is not sustainable long-term. He also blames the abundance of scripted shows for the declining ratings across the industry.


HBO, which is known for its popular scripted series such as “Game of Thrones,” is making moves to decrease its reliance on scripted programming. The premium cable network will add a daily newscast and talk show to its programming next year.

Other industry executives say that more scripted series means more great television. “There are more quality shows, they say, as well as increased diversity in casting and opportunities for show runners who would have previously been turned away,” reports The New York Times.

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