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European TV fiction production dropped by 600 hours in 2020, but high-end TV series kept on growing

“Audiovisual fiction production in Europe – 2020 figures” has just been published by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The report analyses the volume, formats, origin, commissioners and producers of original European TV films and TV series released on TV and SVOD between 2015 and 2020.

Over 1 000 titles, 20 000 episodes and 13 000 hours produced each year in Europe
Daily soaps account for 9% of seasons but 60% of hours produced and suffered from COVID-caused interruption of shooting. Meanwhile, shorter formats kept on growing, although at a slower pace. Figures also suggest a downward trend for TV films, maybe hinting at a substitution of the production of TV films by TV series.

Number of AV fiction TV films and series seasons produced by format (2015-2020)

Germany, the United Kingdom and France produce the most seasons
Germany is the leading fiction production country in Europe by number of TV seasons and TV films produced. But the United Kingdom is the leading producer of a 2-to-13-episode seasons. And figures suggest a production boom in Spain and in Scandinavian countries.

Top 2-to-13-episode series producing countries in number of seasons (2020)

Impressive turnover of writers and directors.
48% of screenwriters and 42% of directors were active in only one year between 2015 and 2020. Therefore, on average, a writer wrote, and a director directed only about 2 episode per year (excluding more-than-52-episode seasons).

Average number of TV films and episodes (co)written per year (2015 and 2020) by all active writers

Average number of TV films and episodes (co)directed per year (2015 and 2020) by all active directors

European Audiovisual Observatory analysis of The European Metadata Group and IMDB data


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