Scripted TV Season Orders Down in U.S., Says Ampere – Deadline

The number of scripted TV seasons being ordered in the U.S. has nearly halved since 2019, according to new research from Ampere Analysis, which revealed a “Hollywood displacement” as international orders outpace the U.S.

Ampere’s snap research found that 418 shows were ordered last year in the States, down from 722 in 2019, which it mainly put down to the strikes but said is unlikely to rise in 2024.

This dramatic fall is “in a more precipitous decline” than U.S. series releases but releases also fell sharply last year, from 633 to 481. That figure may rise in 2024 due to “the potential for truncated 23/24 seasons doubling up,” according to Ampere.

Hollywood virtually shut down for the latter half of 2023 due to the writers and actors strikes but the Ampere research suggested the slowdown is more terminal, called it an “abrupt end to peak TV” and pointed in particular to the decline in orders from the streamers.

“The more terminal decline is originating from the SVoD services,” said Ampere, with Netflix reducing its show releases from 107 in 2022 to just 68 in 2023 – a drop that cannot be blamed on strike action as it took place during the first half of the year. Other big reductions were from Peacock (-20 titles), Hulu (-11), Max (-9) and Paramount+ (-4). Furthermore, while other players like Amazon Prime Video, Apple, and Disney+ maintained the number of series released in 2023, only Prime maintained the series it ordered, meaning 2024 will be “even lighter for almost all the major SVoDs,” Ampere said.

“The displacement of Hollywood”

The research, however, proved a boon for non-U.S. commissioning, with Ampere pointing to “internationalisation and the displacement of Hollywood.”

The number of seasons of scripted international streamer shows released last year was more than 100 ahead of the U.S., with 367 coming from outside America and 257 from inside. This represents a major shift even from the prior year, where the two were neck-and-neck.

“The strikes are partly the cause but also conceal the broader story of internationalisation and the decentring of Hollywood as the core of the world’s TV industry,” Ampere said.

Fred Black, a Principal Analyst at the firm, said the U.S. scripted boom has “finally run out of steam.”

“While 2024 will see some level of a bounce back in the content being ordered, many of these titles will be released in 2025, meaning any recovery is likely to be slow going,” he added.

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