One Television Year in the World
After a very particular year, 2021 has marked the return to a kind of normality in the TV industry. Worldwide content has appealed to large audiences. The digital revolution creates a strong dynamic in the industry with all actors rethinking their models. Glance spotted the best launches in 32 countries, highlighting consistent trends: games, period drama and family comedies.
Popular lauches in 2021
NoTa spotted the best TV launches in 32 countries in 2021 and early 2022, the latter usually being an accurate hint of the trend of the coming year. This selection gives a flavour of the kind of programmes that unite audiences in a given country.
Avril Blondelot, Head of Content Insight at Glance, analyses: «We detect content who meet large success throughout the world. Our insight shows that family comedy, crime series and period dramas strongly appeal to the public. Entertainment and especially game shows are ever so successful especially among young adults.»
Scripted series again led the field in 2021: they account for more than two thirds of the best launches in the 32 countries.
Viewers express steady appetite for Period drama. 1883 (Paramount Network), Yellowstone prequel, was the best launch in the US in 2021. It is the best launch since American Crime Story in 2016.
HIP in France, a massive audience success, was the best launch for a local scripted series on TF1 since 2010. It portrays an empowered police woman with a strong personality. This pattern is repeated in several best launches globally like in Lolita Lobosco in Italy or Kolleginnen in Germany.
As for crime series, Vigil (BBC One) in the UK sits in this long tradition of British suspense drama playing on the national security themes. They have almost every year since Bodyguard stood out as the best rated series in the country. In 2022, the best rated launch so far is Trigger Point commissioned by ITV, also on national security. It has already launched in New Zealand and Scandinavia, with certainly more exports to come. Programmes on national security have also well performed in China (Ennemy) and Turkey (The Shadow Team).
Conflicts inside the family also inspire authors. No matter the genre, nothing is stronger than family bonds. La chica que limpia is the 2022 n°1 launch in the US on Fox. Adapted from an Argentinian format, it portrays a Cambodian doctor who emigrates to the US to treat and save her son, and is embarked into the mafia as a cleaner. The series plays on violence while at the same time promoting values and morale.
“Family is a common ground for many successful series, a topic which speaks to all generations and is favourable to co-viewing, a linear TV asset. It has recently been observed in true-stories inspired comedies.”, says Avril.
Several comedies portray a father’s burn-out. Le Bonheur, best launch in Québec, tells the epic journey of a Dad and teacher who decides to reinvent his life in the countryside, for the better and the worse.
The Thief, the Wife and the Canoe (ITV, UK) based on a true story, follows a man in debt who orchestrates his own death to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy.
Entertainment thrives among young adults and there is a higher proportion of entertainment shows in the best launches among young adults (38%) than in the general audience (22%).
Mask Singer still represents the majority of the formats best launches in 2021 as in Quebec, Sweden and Ukraine, and in 2022 in Poland. Other strong brands rank in the best launches like I can see your voice. Game of talents is the new comer in this category.
Successful entertainment shows share 3 common dimensions : they feature a game, they are studio based and they contain an element of surprise. The best launch in Germany is a quite simple game, The Stacking show, where teams compete around challenges to pile up objects.
Audiences are curious about ingenious sets as staged in The Next level Chef , the best launch in the US in 2022. Hosted by Gordon Ramsay, it orchestrates a competition between 3 aspiring cooks teams operating across 3 different floors, each offering a kitchen with decreasing level of appliances, utensils and ingredients.
The Secret Song - a French format launched by TF1 in 2018 - is the best launch in Sweden in 2022. A celebrity’s loved ones surprise her with a song which is special to her.
Digital transformation unfolding
After a very atypical 2020 year, 2021 has come back to a certain normality on television. There is however a profound transformation in the industry, with viewing habits going through ever changing patterns.
After increased TV daily viewing time in 2020 due to lockdowns, in 2021 TV viewers in Europe spent an average of 3 hours 42 minutes per day watching TV, which is up 3 minutes on 2019.
Frédéric Vaulpré, Glance Vice-President, said: « 2021 has seen the return of qualitative TV series, intense news and high-profile sports events. »
Viewers are now being offered an almost unlimited range of programmes, whether international – Lupin, Squid Games - or local series – HIP in France.
With Netflix and to a lesser extent Amazon Prime Video leading the race, there is a range of SVOD actors with a more local influence. The Disney + original Encanto has ranked #1 in the UK among 5-15 year-olds, followed by The Simpsons and The Book of Boba Fett, showing originals as well as catalogue shows.
Pay-TV channels increasingly offer non-linear viewing for their original or exclusive series to focus on the user-experience. Among recent digital patterns, Pre-broadcast, a strong trend for the last couple of years, has marked its footprint in the UK. 250 programmes have been released in pre-broadcast in 2021. It is particularly significant among pay-TV broadcasters like Sky Atantic whose 55% of the programmes are released this way. FAST (Free advertising Supported Streaming TV) is also on the rise in the US.
Public service broadcasters also increase their digital offer in order to widen their audience, with RayPlay in Italy and Arte in France.
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