How Pandemic Could Delay 60% of Scripted Shows and Change TV Production

Sean Burch

It could be a while before we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming, with the coronavirus pandemic derailing up to 60% of scripted shows that were set to be released by the end of 2020, according to a report from Ampere Analysis on Tuesday. During the second half of the year, Ampere projects there will be 5-10% fewer scripted titles released each month by the world’s top TV producers. That global downturn is expected to linger into the first half of 2021 — and could extend even longer. There already has been a noticeable downturn for scripted projects compared to last year, with only 51% of scripted shows ordered between March and May 2019 airing to date. And so far in 2020, commissioning of scripted content is down 40%, according to Ampere’s data. “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,” Ampere analyst Fred Black said. “Initially, we expect delays to cause gaps in scripted TV release schedules, which broadcasters and streaming players will have to fill with other content.” Black added that when delayed productions eventually start to fill in the...

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