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Up to 60% of Scripted Shows Could Be Delayed Amid Pandemic: Report

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Up to 60% of scripted movies and TV shows set to air and stream later this year could be delayed into 2021 because of COVID-19 production studio shutdowns. And up to 10% will be scrapped altogether.

These global projections come courtesy of a new report from UK research company Ampere Analysis. (Deadline Hollywood originally reported on the findings.)

Also read: Production Panic: Can the Major SVOD Services Keep Up with Ravenous Audience Demand?

The data is, of course, relevant to Disney Plus, HBO Max, Peacock … and any other video programming service faced with a burgeoning audience that, despite recent loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, is still reliant on its living-room television for most of its entertainment. These services are trying to capitalize on these increased video usage levels, but face an almost ironic challenge—shutdowns of production studios globally have made it hard to produce new shows.

In the second half of 2020, Ampere predicts that programmers will release 5% - 10% fewer new scripted shows per month than previously planned. 

More than half of scripted shows planned for release in the second half of 2020 are at risk of delay, the company said.

Also read: Peacock Comes Up with Originals for July 15 Launch (A Look at the Full Slate)

The better news: unscripted programming is less disrupted, and studios should be producing quite a bit of it in the second half of this year. 

“There is one certainty among the current uncertainty—that the COVID-19 pandemic will change the TV production industry far beyond the end of the lockdown,” said Fred Black, senior analyst for Ampere Analysis, in a statement. “Initially, we expect delays to cause gaps in scripted TV release schedules, which broadcasters and streaming players will have to fill with other content. However, as delayed productions begin to fill out content gaps in later months, these gaps will begin to close. But this has further ramifications. The knock-on effect of delayed releases is a likely depression of the number of new commissions for some time after the shutdown ends, as commissioners look to fill schedules with delayed projects they have already invested in before signing off new ones.”