Inside Cable’s Retreat From Scripted Series

Many networks are ending their brief dalliances in the space, unable to compete with streaming services

Earlier this decade, several cable networks determined that the key to their future was to follow the lead of AMC and FX: reinvent themselves as a home for premium scripted series, and ride the wave of increased buzz and ad revenue that would likely follow. That led more than a dozen networks—including A&E, Bravo, CMT, Discovery, E!, ID, MTV, TV Land, VH1 and WGN America—to try their own luck in the space by creating their own scripted shows.

But now, given the seismic changes in the industry during the past few years, all of those networks have changed course within the past year, and have either pulled out of scripted entirely, or significantly curtailed their efforts there.



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This story first appeared in the November 12, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.