• Category: Latest News
  • Written by Rick Ellis

How Many Of The 711+ New Scripted TV Shows Did You Watch In 2019?


For the past few years, one of the cottage industries in the TV critic world has been the attempt to define just how many new scripted television shows have premiered over the past twelve months. This effort is a lot more complicated than you might expect, since just the act of defining what a "scripted premiere" is in a world with global co-productions and complicated distribution deals can almost be impossible. Add in a few hundred channels and streaming services of various sizes and I suspect that nailing down a definitive number is almost impossible.

Throughout the year, I keep a running list of upcoming TV premieres, finales, movies and other new stuff on this page. Once the shows have aired, I move them over to this page, which includes all the new stuff that debuted in 2019. And based on that list, my best estimate is that at least 711 new scripted TV programs premiered in 2019.

I say estimate because even though 2019 is essentially over, I keep finding new premieres to retroactively add to the list. I am reasonably sure I am within 20 or so titles of the actual number. But given herculean task at hand (and the size of my research staff), I'm comfortable with the results.

My original plan was to break out all the 2019 premieres by day and outlet. But I've been battling some health issues in December, so instead feel free to check out my entire list of 2019 premieres on this page.

If you'd like to see an alphabetical list, Liz Shannon Miller has compiled one in a Google Doc here. Her number of premieres is somewhat smaller, but I suspect that's partly due to me including some smaller streaming services and the fact that I've been compiling the list on a daily basis.

If you're interested, my criteria for shows making this list was that they were scripted (even though you can argue a lot of reality TV is essentially scripted). I didn't include sports, docs, children's shows or movies. I excluded most animation, although added a few titles that were adult animation. If it was an international production, it had to be debuting in the U.S. for the first time and it couldn't be more than a year or so old. I excluded almost mini-series, although if the mini-series was five or more episodes and there was space open for a second season, I defined it as a series.

But I said earlier, any attempt at compiling a list like this is somewhat fruitless, since there are a number of cases where two people can have a very different sense of whether a show deserves to be on this list.

Have any comments? Think I missed something? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter at @aysrick.