Some of the Most Expensive TV Shows in the History of Cinema

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Expensive TV Shows

Of course you have heard of some of the Most Expensive TV shows in the history of cinema. They are huge, the production costs are too massive and the results are not always good. Still, the major production companies invest in such shows. This is because people all around the world like to watch shows that involve a lot of money. It is somewhat a guarantee of quality. Also, more often than not expensive TV shows do turn out to be rather good. Let us discuss some of them in the article below. 

Spartacus

Spartacus

When the show Spartacus premiered 10 years ago, a budget of $2 million was considered significant. The series featured stunning costumes, intense battles, and extravagant sets and parties set in Ancient Rome. Each episode had a well-written script, impressive fight scenes, and talented actors, making it a success considering its budget. Filming in New Zealand helped greatly reduce production costs.

Narcos

Narcos

Netflix reportedly spent around $25 million on the first season of Narcos. The subsequent four seasons, including Narcos: Mexico, likely maintained a similar budget due to the show’s continued success. The series is set in Colombia and focuses on the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, so it was crucial to accurately depict the 1980s era. This involved investing in period costumes, hiring well-known actors, and shooting in expensive locations. These factors contributed to the show’s substantial budget.

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead primarily focuses on zombies, which means a significant portion of the budget is allocated to creating prosthetics and makeup for the walker team. The actors who play walkers also undergo training to perfect their zombie movements. In addition to these costs, there are the expenses of the ensemble cast, which includes highly paid actors like Andrew Lincoln. While the first season had a budget of $3.4 million per episode, subsequent seasons had to reduce costs to $2.75 million. Overall, the show manages to create its intriguing atmosphere without relying heavily on expensive CGI or locations.

Daredevil

Daredevil

To make Daredevil look convincing in his fight against villains, the show required a substantial budget for impressive stunts and action scenes. Netflix invested around $40 million for each season to ensure the show stayed true to the story and its expensive setting. Despite being a television series, Daredevil gained a dedicated fanbase, showing that Marvel can captivate audiences even without the big screen.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad, now considered one of the best shows in recent years, spared no expense in captivating viewers. With compelling storylines, memorable characters, and unforgettable dialogue, the show consistently delivered top-notch entertainment. As the show gained popularity, the salaries of its main actors, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, also increased. Each episode before the final season had a budget of around $3 million, higher than the average for a basic cable show. Filming in New Mexico provided financial advantages for the production. Also, it is a delightful series. 

Yellowstone

Yellowstone

The producers of the popular neo-Western show, Yellowstone, reportedly allocated $27 million for each season according to Salt City Tribune. However, Cinemablend estimates suggest that this budget only covers about three-fourths of the total production cost, implying that each season of Yellowstone could reach approximately $35 million. In addition, the show’s prequel series has an even higher cost of $35 million per episode.

Mad Men

Mad Men

Mad Men, a popular TV show that aired from 2007 to 2015, had a significant budget due to its grand scale and attention to detail. Set in 1960s New York, the series boasted impressive set designs and authentic costumes, capturing the essence of the time period. The show is highly regarded for its talented cast, captivating storylines, and well-written dialogue. It is often praised as one of the best period shows, thanks to its meticulous attention to detail and nostalgic visual appeal.

Lost

Lost

Lost was a highly successful TV show in the mid-2000s known for its captivating storylines, numerous characters, and unexpected plot twists. Considering that the majority of the series is set on an island and features a large and well-known cast, it’s understandable that the production costs were astronomical. However, dedicated fans would argue that the show was worth every cent!

Terra Nova

One of the most interesting shows on this list. This one is science fiction. Humans go back in time and try to establish a settlement. There are dinosaurs here as well. Also, the pilot alone cost $14 million. Can you imagine this? But it ultimately tanked. Dinosaurs could not save the show. This is no surprise, after all. 

Fringe 

Fringe 

It’s not surprising that sci-fi shows dominate this list. They require extensive special effects, intricate set designs, and elaborate costumes. Fringe follows this trend with its own share of otherworldly elements. The paranormal drama on Fox delves into parallel worlds and strange happenings, featuring alien-like creatures and scientific mishaps. It’s clear that cutting corners on the show’s budget was not an option.

Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove

This is an unusual show. One of the best on vampires and werewolves. Netflix tried to promote it, but failed. The special effects are really good. The acting is also on point. As for the setting, it is dark and gloomy at times. Actors have done a commendable job. However, it ran into extremely high costs because of the mythical creatures. The series is really good. 

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black received praise for its realistic depiction of prisoners, but it came with a high price tag. The show had numerous main characters, which meant higher salaries for the actors. Additionally, there were many extras needed to portray other inmates and staff members. Creating the set to resemble a minimum security prison required significant effort and resources. The show’s long run of seven seasons also contributed to its overall expense. Also, it is one of the best series in the world. 

Vikings

Vikings

One of the most popular shows in the list. Vikings had staggering costs during production. Also, it wanted accurate costumes and settings. The makers chose several authentic locations. The cast features some of the best actors in the world. Also, the battle scenes are tremendous. The plot is gripping. So is the world building. Definitely a must watch. We recommend it for mature viewers, though. We loved it.

True Detective

True Detective

True Detective stands out from other crime dramas with its exceptional set designs and an impressive lineup of A-list actors including Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Mahershala Ali, and Colin Farrell. The show’s dark and intense storylines about brutal murders and hidden secrets contribute to its higher production costs. What’s more, we would definitely pay to watch these actors solve some really gruesome mysteries. 

Deadwood

Deadwood

Deadwood, a show about cowboys in a lawless town, required a significant budget for authentic costumes, accessories, and props. The production also needed trained horses for the show. Considering these demands, it’s surprising that the budget wasn’t even larger. We are quite honestly surprised that the production costs were not even higher. But then once again, people from all across the world loved and praised the show. 

The Tick

The Tick

This is a show about superheroes. It had a budget of $5 million. It also features an ensemble cast. But it failed to generate enough attention. People did not like it much. Some watched it though. And The Tick was successful to some extent. Possibly this is why the show ran for only two seasons. Such a shame, really. It could have been better. 

Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire

Everyone loves a show on gangsters. Especially directed by Martin Scorsese. Boardwalk Empire was massive. It took $5 million to create authentic sets, costumes and props. But the costs were worth it. Atlantic City is extremely beautiful. Too beautiful to look at. And the show was worth it. It is about Nucky Thompson, the mayor who is also a gangster. The show went on to win several awards. 

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