NCTA’s Programming Stories Year in Review

NCTA’s Programming Stories Year in Review

Another great year for cable TV wraps up, but before audiences dive into the exciting television that lies ahead in 2023, it's worth pointing out a handful of the innovative storytelling moments that NCTA covered in 2022. If this year is any indication, viewers will continue to be amazed as cable TV networks continue to deliver top-notch, compelling, inclusive, and award-winning programming.

Celebrating Milestones

  • AMC's hit zombie apocalypse show "The Walking Dead," which transformed into a cultural phenomenon and broader universe, celebrated its final season this past November after 11 seasons. The network also said goodbye to "Better Call Saul," the spinoff of "Breaking Bad" which aired from 2008-2013, marking 14 years of the "Breaking Bad" storyline.
  • HBO turned 50 years old on November 8. That's 50 years of award-winning storytelling since its debut in 1972. It was also another big year for HBO at the 74th Emmy Awards, with the network securing 38 wins, including 10 for the limited series, "The White Lotus." To top it off, the network's premiere of “House of the Dragon” set a record for the largest audience for a series premiere in HBO history, garnering 9.99 million viewers.

Diversity Leads to Authentic Storytelling

  • Hallmark Media launched its new brand programming initiative last summer, Mahogany. "The launch of Mahogany marks a seminal moment in the evolution of Hallmark content, with authentic stories about friendship, family, community, and love through the unique lens of Black women," said Hallmark Media President & CEO Wonya Lucas. Mahogany also released its first holiday movie this month, "The Holiday Stocking."
  • AMC's "Dark Winds" premiered this past summer, and the first time in decades that filming of this scale has been permitted in Monument Valley within the sovereign Navajo Nation. The crime drama was also shot at the first Indigenous-owned film studio in New Mexico, and the writers, actors, and production staff are mostly members of the Navajo Nation.
  • OWN's "Queen Sugar," which has received praise from critics for its racially progressive themes, ended a phenomenal seven-season run as an all-female directed show. "I think this is something that is a model for what the industry can and should be," said Stacey Muhammad, one of the show's filmmakers.

Live Sports Continues to Set Records

  • ESPN delivered big when the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks scored the largest season opener for Monday Night Football since 2000 with 19.84 million viewers.
  • NBCUniversal covered the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing this past February, and delivered the most accessible Winter Games coverage than ever before for viewers of all abilities.
  • This year's World Cup saw larger audiences tuning into the tournament to watch the U.S. Men's Soccer National Team play, with over 20 million viewers watching across the Fox Sports and Telemundo platforms for the U.S. v England game. The U.S. v Iran game was also the most-streamed World Cup match for Fox Sports.