FX's John Landgraf: Scripted Content Will ‘Peak’ In 2022

John Landgraf
(Image credit: Amy Sussman)

FX chairman John Landgraf said that the number of scripted series will finally peak in 2022, several years after first predicting the end of “peak TV.”

Landgraf, speaking Tuesday at FX's Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour executive session, said that 2022 is trending to feature the most scripted series ever across cable, broadcast and streaming services. Currently, 357 scripted series have already debuted across the platforms through June, up 16% from the same period last year. In 2021 the industry set a record with 559 original scripted series.

“This year we’ve seen a tidal wave of scripted programming thanks to the bottleneck of COVID that delayed production finally clearing up,” Landgraf said. 

FX and sister streaming service Hulu have contributed to the record number of new shows slated for 2022 with the debuts of such series as The Old Man, The Bear and Under the Banner of Heaven, as well as upcoming series including animated series Little Demon, The Patient and Fleishman Is in Trouble. 

After previously predicting that scripted shows would peak in 2018-19, Landgraf said that the number of scripted series will begin to decline after 2022 as the number of new streaming services begins to taper off. 

“All the major streaming services have now launched … I don’t see any new major purveyors of programming entering the scene as they have been over the past decade or more,” he said. “It will take a year and a half to find out if I’m right this time or I’ll have to eat crow yet again.” ■

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.