While millions are spent to create some of your favorite TV series, you might be surprised how many millions each show costs.
From television shows to HBO to Netflix streaming series, some of the most successful shows have hefty price tags. Exotic locations, expensive reshoots and stars’ salaries drive up the costs for production companies, PEOPLE reports.
Read below to see the five most expensive series of all time and why it costs so much to make the programs.
It comes as no surprise that HBO’s Game of Thrones makes the list for most expensive TV shows. It costs $10 million per episode to create the fantasy drama.
The series has had significantly greater success than many shows of its kind. From the sets to the cast's salary, this show quickly added up.
Friends may be an unexpected show on the list, however the one thing that drove up its price was the cast’s salary per episode.
The show’s price tag was $10 million per episode as well. Over the course of its 10 seasons, the salaries increased to $1 million each for the main cast members.
Since it didn’t have the production value like Game of Thrones, the cost of the show would have been much lower without the hefty salaries.
The successful medical drama that sky rocketed George Clooney’s career, ER, also had a steep increase in its production cost.
The price tag went from $1.9 million to a massive $13 million per episode to keep the show on the air. The series lasted for 15 seasons.
Baz Luhrmann’s hip-hop musical The Get Down cost Netflix a whopping $120 million for its first season.
The cost was so high because of production changes and music licensing. It was Netflix’s most expensive show until The Crown.
The series was canceled after one season due to behind-the-scenes trouble and failed connection to its viewers.
The Crown topped the list of the most expensive show of all time. The biographical drama is based on the story behind the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
The Netflix's series' first season cost a massive $130 million.
The show was nominated for multiple awards just after its debut season.
Before Westworld, HBO had already had success with a western series called Deadwood. The show ran three season from 2004 to 2006, but it was not cheap to maintain. According to a report by marketplace.org, HBO paid about $4.5 million per episode to make Deadwood -- between setting up accurate sets, bringing in livestock and coordinators and, of course, stacking the cast with incredible talent.
Believe it or not, Boardwalk Empire reportedly cost an average of $5 million per episode. The crime drama may seem self-contained, but it was no small task for producers to authentically fabricated the Atlantic City boardwalk as it was in the 1920s. Thankfully, that work built on itself over time. The pilot was said to have cost $20 million, but it got a lot of the hard work done for later on.
Actors have earned famously massive salaries on shows like ER and Friends, but there are actually some on TV today making that kind of money as well. According to a report by Forbes, the entire cast of The Big Bang Theory crossed the $1 million per episode thresh hold back in season 8. It's an outrageous budget for a simple sitcom, especially considering their starting salaries in the five-figure range.
Apparently the money is well worth it to CBS, as the network is hoping to keep the series going as long as possible. At the networks upfront presentation in May, entertainment president Kelly Kahl said that she and her colleagues hope the upcoming twelfth season won't be the last.
“As long as Chuck and his team have stories to tell, we will take the show for as long as they want to go,” Kahl said. “We can take a few more seasons.”
Hypothetically, the actors could continue to negotiate higher and higher contracts as the show goes on, so it will be interesting to see how long CBS can keep it afloat.