There are a lot of shows on TV. How many? Too many, or more precisely, 409 series in 2015 alone, spread across broadcast networks (ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, The CW), basic and pay cable networks (HBO, AMC, etc.), and streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon). It’s damn near impossible to keep up with every show you’re supposed to watch — “I finally caught up with The Night Of, now I only have 72 hours left to go on the DVR” — and it’s only getting worse.
While speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier today, FX CEO John Landgraf admitted that he wrongly predicted that we’d hit Peak TV — a term he coined — in 2015 or 2016. “It now seems clear that, at a minimum, the peak will be in calendar 2017,” he said, “and there is enough inertial momentum here that we could well see the growth trend carrying over into the 2018 calendar year.” There will be somewhere around 450 scripted shows on TV (or whatever) this year. In 2017? Closer to 500.
Landgraf sees #TooMuchTV as a problem because “we have lost much of the thread of a coherent, collective conversation about what is good, what is very good, and what is great.” (I’ll help: American Horror Story is good; American Crime Story is very good; The Americans and Fargo are great.) He was particularly critical of Netflix for flooding the market. “They can’t double and double and double, because then the entire planet’s surface would be covered by Netflix television shows in 20 years,” Landgraf told reporters. “You could give me all the money in the world, and I could not make an organization that could supervise 71 shows and give them the level of attention we do.”
Landgraf has a point. Netflix has some of the most original and daring shows on TV (or, again, whatever), including BoJack Horseman, Master of None, Orange Is the New Black, Lady Dynamite, and Stranger Things, but there’s also a ton of crap. So many of Netflix’s other series exist in a blackhole of programming. Remember Flaked, or The Ranch? Those were things for about four seconds, or however long it took you to re-watch an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, instead. Landgraf tries to cap FX to 18-20 series, which, in theory, is better for quality control. (It doesn’t always work.)
And yet, still no Terriers. #TooMuchTV #NotEnoughTerriers
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)