The golden age of television is now

Though television is no longer primarily based on a broadcast delivery architecture, and despite or because of the enormous changes in the business model, a huge number of “television” dramas are being made this year. I cite the New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum:

“At his year’s Television Critics Association meetings, FX’s CEO, John Landgraf, a prolific producer himself, presented a report that was highly alarming, at least to television critics. Last year, according to FX’s data, three hundred and fifty two scripted first-run prime-time and late night programs aired on broadcast, cable and streaming networks in the US….

“The number of new prime-time scripted cable shows had doubled in just the past five years, tripled since 2007 (the year Mad Men premiered, and grown 683 percent since the turn of the century.” 

I have ducked the question I implicitly raised. Does the expansion of quality television drama derive from expansion of the means of delivery, or proceed independently of that expansion? Is the shift to subscription based delivery models significant, and if so, how significant?

Analysis please, Mr. Spock. 352 scripted first-run dramas! This calls for some attention from doomsayers.

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