Co-productions grow as series become essential on a global scale | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The 2019 edition of the Scripted Series Report by analyst Glance has revealed that the success of the genre has been confirmed worldwide as it reinvents itself in terms of creation, genres and topics.
all3media Fleabag2 3Dec2019
The study analysed the consumption of series on over 100 channels in 12 countries and found that locally produced series still top the preferences of channels and viewers in 2019. In all countries combined, over two-thirds of the prime-time series broadcast on the main channels are national creations, especially popular with the public and account for three-quarters of the consumption of fiction series. This was found to be especially true for the US, Turkey, Israel and Russia, which give 90% priority to national content in their broadcasts, while Sweden, Denmark and Italy mainly import series.

Yet though the supremacy of local creations remains indisputable, the trend is stabilising. Indeed, their leadership at the top of the national ratings for the best prime-time series is now being challenged by the greater presence of imported programmes (21 compared to 17 last season) and co-productions (18 compared to 12 previously).\

The survey also identified that select channels were scheduling more co-productions this season. Commenting on their importance, Candice Alessandra, international research manager at Glance said: “The series is a format that remains strategic in programming as in 2019, almost 60% of the channels studied have seen their audiences boosted by a primetime series. Although national crime dramas remain unbeatable in the hearts of viewers, we observe more co-productions among the top 15 series of countries and the recurring appearance of new themes such as feminist historical series.”

Examples of the growth in co-productions include Arte in France with a 1.7x increase compared with 2017; TV4 in Sweden (x5); and HBO in the US which broadcast five co-produced series compared with none last year. European players are joining forces with each other or with American players to face the competition. Notable co-production successes include: My Brilliant Friend (Italy/US), The Name of the Rose (Italy, Germany, France) and The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (United States/France/Italy).

By totalling almost 75% of the series scheduled and viewed during prime-time, drama has again imposed itself as the undisputed leader of the fictional genres in most of the countries studied. Only Israel prefers comedies. Two genres are clearly distinguishable: crime series alone accounted for 41% of the prime-time series offer, up three points compared with 2017-18; and human drama series, including medical series with 19% of the offer.

Although the vast majority of crime and human drama series watched are produced locally (81% and 92% respectively), three American medical series have travelled particularly well beyond their borders. The Good Doctor alone accounts for almost a third of the consumption of imported human drama series, followed by Grey’s Anatomy and the recent New Amsterdam.

Other dramas are successful both at home and around the world. This is the case of three new programmes that directly rank among the best in prime-time: the American Manifest, the Swedish A Wedding, A Funeral And A Christening and Britain’s Manhunt.

In terms of consumption,  the Glance study found that in France as in the UK, online viewing of series on tablet, smartphone and computer has given a boost to different titles from those present in the national top 15 charts. But genre disparities still exist: although French people mainly watch dramatic productions, like for example the series Clem broadcast by TF1, across the Channel comedies are more popular online, such as White Gold or Fleabag.