As streaming fans begin to panic that their favorite shows might not return for more after the latest HBO Max cutbacks and Netflix’s struggling subscriber count, certain showrunners are speaking out about where they should go from here.
Mike Schur, known for working on all of your favorite comedy shows such as Parks and Rec, The Office, and The Good Place, thinks that this year will mark a change for streaming shows.
“The first domino to fall was when Netflix announced they had lost subscribers for the first time ever,” Schur said while on The Dan LeBatard Show. “I think that put the fear of God into everybody and now they are all scrambling and trying to cut their losses. It’s bad for people like me and anyone who likes good content.”
Schur, who works primarily with NBC and Peacock, says that when it comes down to it, the streamers are mostly focused on making money instead of quality content. “We get that this is commerce. It’s not a pure expression of artistic creativity. This is capitalism, the upside of it is that you get to make stuff, the downside is when capitalism takes over or there is a downturn in the economy or whatever, they don’t really care about the content,” he explained.
“They care about survival and their stock price. So they get really really harsh with cutbacks and layoffs,” Schur added. This doesn’t bode well for what is supposed to be the year of Peak TV (again). As reported earlier this week, there were over 300 scripts in development during the first six months of 2022. Who knows which, if any, make it to TV?
The showrunner also mentioned that it’s likely more studios will join forces in the near future in order to cover more ground. As it stands now, Netflix users make up over half of the streaming landscape with over 220 million subscribers, though that number has been dwindling over the last year. “I think you’re gonna see more of these companies merging with each other to just try to take a big chunk out of the streaming marketplace.”
Maybe if streamers focused more on expanding on quality shows with dedicated fanbases and less on run-of-the-mill action movies starring tired A-list stars then things would be a little bit more stable. Hmm.