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The European Audiovisual Observatory takes a closer look at adaptations in fiction production


- From 2015-2022, streamers offered more adapted works than broadcasters, and book adaptations grew by 27%

The European Audiovisual Observatory takes a closer look at adaptations in fiction production
The Norwegian TV series SKAM, which has had a total of six European remakes

This week, the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) published a new report titled “Adaptations in Audiovisual Fiction Production in Europe,” authored by Agnes Schneeberger.

In detail, the study zooms in on adaptations in audiovisual fiction production in Europe during the period 2015-2022. The study aims to provide figures and context related to the audiovisual content boom.

First, the report finds that 12% of all fiction works produced in Europe between 2015 and 2022 were adaptations (making a total of 1,189 film and TV series). Generally, streaming platforms seem to offer more adaptations than broadcasters (19% for streamers, 13% for private and 11% for public broadcasters). Besides this, most fiction adaptations are based on books (77%) and TV series (17%). Notably, book adaptations increased by 27% from 2015-2022 alongside the growth in productions.

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On average, over 140 titles and more than 1,000 hours of fiction adaptations are produced each year in Europe. All in all, their share remained stable between 2015 and 2022.

The UK boasts the highest share of adaptations among works of fiction produced in the country (26%), followed by France (18%), Sweden (17%), Spain (16%) and Italy (15%). Most fiction adaptations are either series with 13 episodes or less per season (58%), or TV films and collections (36%).

Next, over half of all fiction adaptation titles produced in Europe are based on originals from the UK, Germany, France and Spain (61%). Around one in ten fiction adaptation titles produced in Europe is based on a non-European original (12%).

Books used for fiction adaptations are mainly domestic (81%), whilst TV series are mostly international (93%). In particular, TV series from Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Canada account for the most prominent originals among non-European shows.

Furthermore, most fiction adaptations based on books stem from works first published in the 21st century (66%). Adapted books first published in the 20th century accounted for 29%, and pre-20th-century books represented 5%.

To date, the Norwegian TV series SKAM has the highest number of remakes (six; Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain), followed by Israel’s In Therapy (four; Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Portugal) and Belgium’s Professor T (four; Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK).

Lastly, the share of adaptations among fiction co-productions is double the proportion (23%) of those that were not co-produced.

The full document is available to peruse here.

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