A&E's Against-the-Grain Retreat From Scripted TV Triggers a Ratings Revival

Unscripted shows like Live PD draw viewers and advertisers

During the past few years, several cable and streaming networks have jumped on the scripted series bandwagon in an attempt to reverse ratings declines, make themselves essential in a world of skinny bundles—and collect higher CPMs from advertisers. So it was shocking last April when A&E announced it was going against the grain and retreating from scripted series, focusing solely on unscripted content.

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This story first appeared in the Oct. 30, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.