It took an unprecedented six-month production shutdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to finally slow down the expansion of the scripted TV universe in 2020. While the pandemic is still far from over, the volume of adult scripted original series rebounded in a major way in 2021 after taking a dip for the first time the year before.
FX Content Research released their annual tally, which lists 559 original scripted series in 2021, a new all-time record. That was up +13% from 2020 and 5% above pre-pandemic 2019.
There is a caveat — because so many series were delayed by the 2020 shutdown, there are shows that shifted to 2021, which may have inflated the total to surpass pre-pandemic levels.
The clearing of the backlog, which started in the second half of 2021, is expected to carry over to 2022, likely pushing it to another record before we get a better picture whether Peak TV is finally peaking in 2023.