From the second half of 2020 to the first half of 2023, scripted crime & thriller commissions in North America increased in terms of both volume and share of overall titles, the only genre to do so. According to Ampere Analysis, this was helped by a notable spike in the first half of 2023 when 31% of the commissions in the top-five commissioned scripted genres were crime & thriller.
Most of these titles are from pay TV linear commissioners. Lifetime commissioned the most linear crime & thriller titles in H1 2023 in North America, comprising 8% of all the titles commissioned in the genre. Among SVoD players, Amazon's Prime Video commissioned the most crime & thriller titles in H1 2023 in North America, holding 35% of the streaming titles commissioned within the genre at the time. It’s not just new titles that have driven this growth: In addition to first-run titles, the number of scripted crime & thriller renewals increased nearly threefold in H1 2023.
Meanwhile, unscripted crime & thriller commissions have decreased as commissioners invest more in scripted titles. H1 2023 marks the lowest proportion of unscripted commissions since before 2020, with true crime making up less than 40% of all crime & thriller titles. This shift away from true crime reflects commissioners, facing high saturation levels among younger audiences, wanting to appeal to older consumers by investing in high-quality Scripted content in the genres they enjoy.