ID & Hulu top NPACT’s unscripted survey, as Amazon, ABC & Discovery+ miss top 10

Framing Britney Spears

Disney streamer Hulu and US network ID have emerged as among the favourite Stateside commissioners, according to American unscripted production trade body NPACT.

The trade association’s annual survey canvasses producers of unscripted, documentary and reality series to rate their favourite networks and streaming platforms across numerous categories.

Much changed as a result of the challenges of the pandemic and this year’s survey is an opportunity to spotlight our network and streaming partners that have adapted in a producer-friendly way

NPACT’s Michelle Van Kempen

This year’s survey results are based on 2021 activity, with categories focused on: pitching process (this year, specific to Zoom/video conference); development; greenlighting process; business affairs; production oversight/notes; production management; and finance.

‘Overall’ winner

Producers were also asked to cite their favourite networks/streamers to work with overall, with Discovery’s ID taking the top spot with an average score of 7.65 out of 10. Nat Geo Wild, CBS, YouTube, NBC, Hulu, A&E, E!, AMC and WeTV making up the top 10 respectively.

Other major players include Discovery+, which ranked 6.27, while HBO Max scored 6 with producers, Amazon 5.94, Netflix 5.92 and Apple with 5.4.

MTV came bottom of the ‘favourite overall’ ranking with a score of 3.44, followed by CNBC, VH1 and Freeform.

Framing Britney Spears streamer Hulu was the top choice for producers when based on overall averages across all survey categories, with CBS, HBO, Nickelodeon, History, HBO Max, ID, NatGeoWild, truTV and Netflix making up the next nine spots.

Michelle Van Kempen

The Disney-owned US streamer was also cited in the top 10 across more categories than any other network or platform, with CBS and History tied for second place. HBO, HBO Max and ID tied for third place.

Category favourites

In specific categories, ID led the rankings for Zoom/video conference pitching process, followed by Viceland, SundanceTV, TLC, OWN, WEtv, E!, Hulu, CNN, and History in the top 10.

Nickelodeon was first in the category of programme development with Hulu second, and the Disney streamer led on in the ‘greenlighting process’, followed by CBS, ID, Disney+, Peacock, WEtv, VH1, Magnolia, USA, and History.

National Geographic was top in business affairs, NatGeoWild was first in production & editorial oversight/notes, while truTV led in production management. BET took the top spot in finance, followed by WEtv, NatGeoWild, HBO and CBS in the top five.

NPACT GM Michelle Van Kempen said: “Responding to the immense challenge of producing during the pandemic, unscripted was the first sector to come back, and come back safely.

“Much changed as a result of these challenges and this year’s survey is an opportunity to spotlight our network and streaming partners that have adapted in a producer-friendly way. It’s also a chance to evaluate what’s working well in the production world, and where there’s room for improvement as we work together to navigate the ‘new normal.’”

Across the survey, respondents were asked to rank only those networks they worked with in 2021. 49 production companies rated 66 networks/platforms across the eight categories.

Last year, NPACT’s survey asked a single question related to the most positive network-producer partnerships during the pandemic. In alphabetical order, Bravo, Discovery, HBO Max and Netflix were producers’ top four responses.

Tags: Hulu, ID, NPACT

Most Recent