The COVID pandemic has taken one full year out of most of our lives. For too many people it took their lives completely. Those of us not deemed essential workers have been locked up at home, and in that time, television has taken center stage together with food, pets, kids, and dreams of traveling.
In a certain way, television production became an essential part of our lives, so it could be said that production people might also be classified as “essential workers.”
Indeed, despite risks and pitfalls, the 2019-2020 U.S. TV production cycle did not turn out to be all that bad. According to FilmLA, the official film office of the city of Los Angeles, the 215 new projects of that cycle represent the highest count since FilmLA began tracking these numbers back in 2011.
The total project count increased by 9.7 percent over the previous year (196 projects) and by 27.2 percent since 2011 (169 projects).
Examining new projects by distribution platform year over year, production of new broadcast shows declined by 11.9 percent, from 67 to 59. A total of 32 of these shows were one-hour, and the remaining 27 were half-hour. On the other hand, the number of new cable shows rose 11.3 percent, from 53 to 59. This includes 43 one-hour and 16 half-hour projects.
Meanwhile, new streaming projects, once again, experienced a steep increase, growing 27.6 percent from 76 to 97. This is not surprising, given the launch of four new streaming platforms during this cycle. This streaming series count includes 70 one-hour and 27 half-hour projects.