Over the past few years, we have seen seismic growth in the area of scripted originals. With streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu undertaking a gargantuan role in this space, we have seen the development of dozens if not hundreds of new and unique scripted original series that have resonated with fans far and wide. Inspired in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s almost becoming difficult to keep up with the myriad of new series that have come to light during this time with social media in a frenzy virtually every time one of these series debuts. The proof isn’t strictly anecdotal however: scripted originals hit a new peak in 2021, with a nearly 13 percent increase in the amount of scripted originals produced between 2020 and 2021.
Scripted originals are the new hot commodity in Hollywood. The birth of streaming had a substantial influence upon this, providing streaming services with the capital and resources to do so at a steadfast pace. That is exactly what they have done, with the graph below, provided by FX Content Research, highlighting the annual growth in the number of scripted originals being produced, a number that has been growing considerably over the past decade. Before 2021, the year with the most scripted originals produced came in 2019 before seeing a drop off in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic, however that drop off wouldn’t last long; 2021 now holds the title with 559 scripted originals produced last year. There is one caveat however: many of the scripted originals released in 2021 were originally slated for release in 2020, only to be delayed by COVID-19 when it took a stranglehold upon societies around the world. Nonetheless, the growth is apparent and, given the current climate of Hollywood, is a trend that is unlikely to change for a number of years.
Streaming certainly ushered consumers into a new era of media and content, dominated by an outstanding amount of inventive and unique new programming. The COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated that even further as streaming services worked frantically to fulfill the demands of their consumers, and their hard work is paying off. We will now just have to wait and see what exciting new project Netflix has in store for us now.