As glamorous as it is, entertainment is an expensive venture. The almost elephantine budget of American TV shows is what promises better quality visuals. The mammoth cost helps to afford the up to date expensive CGI, impressive locations and most importantly bigger stars as cast members.
Netflix has set the release date of its most expensive series, the £ 100 million, ten-part drama, Queen. In the wake of this news, here is a list of some of the most costly television shows produced till date.
- Game of Thrones:
Created by: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Based on: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
The average budget of HBO’s colossally popular show, Game of Thrones was estimated to be around $6million. However, with the release of season 6, the cost per episode has spiralled upwards by $4 million, thus taking the cost of each episode to a total of $10million. The total budget person has skyrocketed from $60 million to $100 million. While “Blackwater” was the most expensive episode of season two, coming with a price tag of almost $8 million, “The Battle of the Bastards” of season 6, of Game of Thrones, has the “most expensive episode” title reserved for the time being. (By the way, don’t forget to check out Game Of Thrones Merchandise)
- Orange Is the New Black
Created by: Jenji Kohan
Based on: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
Orange Is the New Black is one of Netflix’s most-streamed comedies. Being nominated for several Prime Time Emmy Awards along with a host of other nominations like six Writers Guild of America Nominations and six Golden Globe Award Nominations, each episode of Orange Is the New Black costs $4million.
- The Big Bang Theory:
Created by: Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
Directed by: Mark Cendrowski
The Big Bang Theory which wins the viewership race against Modern Family and all other dramas of the genre ran with a cost of $6 million per episode. However, for seasons eight through ten, the three leading stars, Jim Parsons(Sheldon), Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and Johnny Galecki(Leonard), have negotiated their per-episode salaries. While their former per episode pay was around $60000, their new pay will be $1million each. The salaries of the other cast members Simon Helberg (Howard), Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh), Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) and Mayim Bialik (Amy) are also to be negotiated and hiked. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are to be given 80 percent of the salary that Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco will receive in the eighth season along with 1.25 percent of the comedy’s ownership, which is also granted in equal amounts, to the super hit trio.
- Marco Polo:
Created by: John Fusco
Directed by: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg, Alik Sakharov, Daniel Minahan, David Petrarca, John Maybury, Jon Amiel and
One season old Marco Polo is one of the most expensive television shows in the world. As the name suggests the show focuses on the life of Marco Polo, the legendary traveller and costs $9 million per episode, taking the cost of the entire season to a whopping $ 90 million. The only show with a higher budget is Game of Thrones.
Created by: Doug Ellin
2004 comedy-drama Entourage had a pretty huge budget as well. The show which ended in 2011, reportedly paid Jeremy Piven (agent Ari Gold) $350,000 per episode. Co-stars Adrian Grenier (Vincent Chase), Kevin Connelly (Eric “E” Murphy) and Kevin Dillion, drew $200,000 pay checks per episode.