The past year has been a time of great change for the entertainment industry as media companies try to find a new normal after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. For a few studios, that meant stripping content to cut costs on their budgets, either by cutting shows or movies that were in the middle of production, undoing renewals for new seasons, or pulling existing content from streaming services. These decisions were made en masse by Warner Bros. Discovery and AMC Networks – and apparently the head of another major company isn’t ruling it out either. During an executive session during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, FX chief John Landgraf revealed that his company has “no specific plans” to make similar decisions, but that they “are not ruling anything out.”
“Making fewer, bigger, longer movies and then marketing and distributing and licensing them had a better economic impact than just flooding the zone with things that get consumed and then thrown away,” Landgraff added. “Film has had multiple windows. It’s figuring it out again. You just can’t dump this infinite amount of money on something. First, it gets stale.”
What shows has AMC canceled?
In recent weeks, AMC Networks has axed several upcoming and in-progress television seasons, including the first seasons of Invitation to a bonfire and demascusand second seasons of Pantheon, Moonport and 61st street, most of which had already partially or fully completed their production. AMC Networks boss Dan McDermott argued during his own company’s TCA presentation that there are “too many shows” and that the decisions have been made to adapt to audience behavior.
“As human behavior continues to evolve, our industry is experiencing an unparalleled period of reflection and correction,” McDermott explained. “Factors such as rising inflation, challenging ad market, too many shows and over-reliance on streaming metrics that are not necessarily profitable have caused most content companies, including ourselves, to take stock and recalibrate their forward path. At AMC, we have taken critical steps so that we are optimally positioned going forward as a lean, progressive, forward-looking organization, ready to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities in the marketplace, we will continue to do what we do best, partner with hugely talented creatives to create shows and build franchises that fans love and make a center of their lives.”
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- AMC cancels another series in mid-production
- Warner Bros. Discovery will receive up to $1 million more in tax write-offs from canceled content