The online media streaming market is getting more competitive by the minute. While it has mainly been monopolized by Netflix in recent years, more companies are now in the race, such as Disney + from The Walt Disney Company, Apple TV + from Apple, and HBO Max from WarnerMedia. TV shows are no longer tied to a cable, and more importantly, they aren’t limited to small budgets either.
There was a time when TV shows were considered a cheaper alternative to blockbuster movies, and while that’s still true to some extent, the bigger picture is much different than it used to be. Companies today put millions of dollars into producing high-quality shows, and here are the ten most expensive to date.
The Lord Of The Rings – Total budget of $ 1 billion
On numbers is a television series that has yet to be made.
JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is one of the most critically and commercially successful franchises in the modern media, thanks to the overwhelming success of Peter Jackson’s original LOTR and Hobbit trilogy.
Amazon is in the process of developing a live-action prequel series and they’ve already paid $ 250 million just for the rights to produce and the deal also came with a promise that the show would be produced for five seasons This will bring the total cost of production for the entire series to nearly $ 1 billion, and if the show is to be anything other than a flop, it’s going to have to be a bigger hit than anything else book adaptation in TV history.
Disney + Marvel TV Series – $ 25 million per episode
After the earth-shattering success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, there is no reason why Disney wouldn’t be willing to invest more in the production of more Marvel content. The upcoming shows, notably Wandavision, Hawkeye and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will follow the story of some of the most established MCU characters.
Phase 4 of the MCU will be filled with original shows that will enrich the knowledge of some of the existing figures and also introduce some new ones. These shows, due out towards the end of 2020, will have massive budgets, and the shows that will come in the future certainly won’t be much cheaper.
Each episode of The Pacific costs $ 20 million.
Released in 2010, HBO’s The Pacific remains to this day the most expensive limited edition TV series ever produced by them and overall. Producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks spared no expense when it came to recreating some of the bloodiest and most violent battles of World War II.
Originally, the budget was estimated to be about $ 100 million for the entire ten-episode run, but the final cost ended up being more than the average budget of a Hollywood blockbuster. An important reason for this was the extremely accurate depiction of WWII, for which many practical effects were used.
Game of Thrones – $ 15 million per episode for the final season
It’s no surprise that one of the most ambitious shows of all time would make it onto this list. HBO’s Game of Thrones took the world by storm when it first came out in 2011, and for years it remained the most expensive and best-produced shows on TV.
Filming in exotic locations, using massive CGI, and tons of special effects, not to mention the huge cast’s salaries, all added up to the cost. Last season cost a little more than the last, with each episode costing no less than $ 15 million. Although the previous seasons did not cost that much, the difference was not too great.
$15 million per episode for The Mandalorian
Disney + ‘s The Mandalorian, created by Iron Man director Jon Favreau, was an instant hit upon release. It was set in the Star Wars universe but was not directly connected to any of the mainstream movies, giving the series a lot of flexibility in terms of plot and character development.
The actors’ action and performance were hugely praised by critics, not to mention Baby Yoda went viral on the internet. The Space Western uses some advanced practical effects, and CGI and the Baby Yoda doll itself costs about 2 million.
See – $15 million per episode
Another series produced by Apple TV +, See also has a huge budget. Starring Aquaman star Jason Momoa as Baba Voss, the leader of a tribe of people in a world where humans have lost their vision and adapted to a different kind of lifestyle over many centuries.
Two twins with vision are born. which confuses the tribes. Set in a future dystopian world, the series uses CGI in many cases, plus the cost of practicalities and salaries, ultimately bringing the final cost per episode to $ 15 million.
The Morning Show – $ 15 million per episode
Tech giant Apple is known for investing boundlessly when it comes to delivering quality to its customers no matter how expensive it gets, and the same principle is applied to their streaming service Apple TV +. According to reports, they have a planned budget of $ 6 billion to invest in the production of TV shows and movies for their streaming service.
Starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carel, a significant portion of the show’s budget was spent on the actors’ salaries. The two main actresses got over $ 2 million per episode.
The Crown – $ 13 million per episode
Much of the budget consists of lavish re-enactments of historical events and royal aesthetics, such as the wedding scene between Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, in which the actress wore a replica dress that reportedly cost $ 37,000 to produce. While this attention to detail has earned the series a good reputation, it comes at a hefty price.
ER – $ 13 million per episode
At first glance, ER may seem like a typical medical drama, but in reality, it was one of the most influential and popular shows of all time during its heyday in the 1990s. Created by Jurassic Park writer Michael Crichton, the series sparked the rise of many current Hollywood stars such as George Clooney.
While the initial cost for the show was not above reasonable limits, during its peak popularity, the shobazen were so desperate to keep Clooney in the cast that they agreed to such skyrocketing budgets. This later turned out to be a rather unwise decision, as the costs incurred were enormous.
Band Of Brothers – $ 12.5 million per episode
Created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, Band of Brothers is one of the highest-rated TV shows in history and also one of the most expensive. The war drama series told the story of the “Easy Company”, a battalion in World War II, as they made their way through missions in a war-ravaged Europe.
Such an expensive budget for a TV series was unheard of during the show’s 2001 release, but with big names like Hanks and Spielberg in charge, the project got the green light from HBO.