To give you a sense of how quickly this rise happened, let’s just look at the cable numbers. In 2014, there were 199 scripted cable series. (Again, “scripted”! That doesn’t account for the myriad iterations of Real Housewives, Real World, and Keeping Up with whatever combination of Kardashians E! is hocking at that moment.) In 2009, there were just 87 series. In 2004, there were 45 series. And in 1999, there were just 26 series.
As helpfully computed by Adalian, that means there has been a 665 percent increase in scripted series between 1999 and 2014. Do you even know how big of an increase that is? IT IS A HUGE INCREASE.
Even just taking into account the leap from 87 scripted cable series in 2009 to the 199 in 2014, that increase is jaw-dropping. It is more than double in just five years.
Here’s the thing, folks. 2009 wasn’t that long ago!