Entertainment NewsHollywood Exec Warns TV Industry is Headed to An Uncertain Future

Hollywood Exec Warns TV Industry is Headed to An Uncertain Future

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On Thursday, the CEO of FX issued a warning that the television industry will remain uncertain for an extended period and cautioned that Hollywood’s recent cost-cutting initiatives might impede advances in diversity.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, FX chairman John Landgraf told reporters that despite his prediction of peak TV having already peaked last summer, 2022 marked yet another record-breaking high in “peak TV.” There were 599 original scripted shows on television across the United States – a 7% increase yearly. It appears as if peak TV is here to stay.

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Nevertheless, he remains hopeful that his hypothesis may be correct this time around due to the inherent inefficiencies associated with both generating and consuming such a vast amount of television.

“I think we have a strong indication that we’re going to start to see a decline beginning in 2023,” Landgraf highlighted that when comparing the second half of 2022 to 2021, there will be a mere 2% decrease in shows -– 248 total –- demonstrating the resilient spirit and determination of those within the entertainment industry.

Reporters asked questions all morning about the cost-cutting and belt-tightening currently taking hold in Hollywood. This has caused a great deal of worry across the entertainment industry, as there are fears it might impede progress towards diversity and inclusion – something Landgraf himself worries about too.

“I’m always concerned about it,” Landgraf told HuffPost, noting that the entertainment industry often targets its metrics for success toward the white male demographic. “I do think you have to measure the success of programming for all other components of American society carefully, and you have to decide purposefully that you want to reach those audiences.”

He remarked that over the past few years of acclaimed television, it has become increasingly evident how expansive and impressive peak TV truly is. “A really positive benefit, which is that a lot of new people got opportunities in the industry. So then you worry when there’s a narrowing process, who loses the opportunity, right? Is it the last person that got an opportunity, and does that not favor diverse voices?”

He radiated optimism, particularly unveiling the vibrant spectrum of programs and creators at FX along with its parent enterprise Disney. He expressed that he isn’t as worried about what will come in the long run, either.

“I’d really like to leave the industry with a sense that [diversity] is just a part of the normal course of business, right? It’s just a part of who we are, which hasn’t been the case for most of its 100 years. So that’s a permanent job for me,” he said. “I think you always have cause for concern. But I also want to have cause for optimism that the work we’re doing is sustaining and permanent and thoughtful, and it’s real change, not just a cosmetic change.”

At the same time that HBO Max declared a cost surge, Landgraf told journalists. He made it evident that he doesn’t anticipate FX making any similar moves due to recurring licensing fees and ongoing financial cuts that have removed specific titles from their service.

“But I wouldn’t rule anything out,” he continued, citing the larger period of instability and uncertainty across an industry still adjusting to new distribution models, such as the explosion of streaming. “We’re just in the middle of a period of radical transformation from the pre-Internet era to the post-Internet era, and we’re in the really bumpy part of that transition.”

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Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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