Interesting Television Production Trend

The last 6-10 months as we’ve seen cost cutting accelerate at networks, it’s interesting to see a new trend emerging.

Some networks are moving more production in-house.

Meaning, they’re taking more individual pitches, and fewer pitches from production companies.

This, I believe, is good for the shows, and good for the networks, but good only for the show creators to the extent that they and their lawyers can cut a deal to retain international rights and participation in ancillaries.

Off the bat, in-house production means you might actually have *more* money to spend on your show, since your budget doesn’t have to cover the overhead of a third-party production company (typically a 10-15% markup). So if you don’t have to whack that off of your actual production budget, maybe you can spend 2-3% more on stuff that actually ends up on-screen.

Most recently, I’m noticing this trend accelerate at places like BET, and E!

The downside is these companies will have to learn to carry larger idle assets in between productions (such as physical production space, and office resources), but the costs of those are far lower than what they lose in “fees” to third party production houses.

It’ll be interesting to see if this continues to tick upwards or not. My guess is that it will.