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Just Shy of 500 Scripted Originals: FX Survey

There are 495 scripted original series in 2018, according to a new research study from FX Networks. That includes 160 online series, 146 broadcast ones, 45 on pay cable and 144 on basic cable.

It represents modest growth from 2017, when there were 487 scripted originals, according to FX.

In 2013, there were 349 total scripted shows. Basic cable had 161, broadcast 131, pay cable 33 and online 24.

In 2002, when The Shield launched on FX, there were 182 scripted originals, said FX. Online television of course did not arrive until many years later.

Online represents 32% of scripted originals today, with broadcast at 30%, basic cable at 29% and pay cable at 9%.

In 2017, basic cable was 36%, broadcast 31%, online 24% and pay cable a flat 9%.

In 2014, basic cable held 45% of scripted original series, and broadcast 38%. Pay cable was 9% and online was 8%. Online had 33 scripted original shows that year, which grew to 160 this year.

Julie Piepenkotter led the FX research team. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.