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Entertainment: The Most Expensive TV Shows of All Time (Infographic)


By Drew Burstein

It isn’t cheap to make an episode of your favourite show every week. This infographic from Frame Your TV takes you through how much it costs to keep you entertained. Take, for example, Game of Thrones, the most talked about show at the moment. For seasons 5 and 6, the main stars earned around $300,000 an episode and they are earning even more for seasons 7 and 8. Game of Thrones also has extremely elaborate sets which bumps the cost of each episode to $10 million per episode.


These figures are hardly surprising to people these days but in 2002, when the cast of ‘Friends’ negotiated $1 million per episode pay deals, people couldn’t believe the money they were earning. They negotiated together and said they would leave the show if they did not earn the same money. It may seem like a strong move from the cast, but the reality is that they made the show what it was. Surely then, they deserved a decent cut of the profits? The cast of Frasier were also on very high wages around this time with Kelsey Grammer earning $1.6 million per episode in the later years of the show.

In some shows, a lot of the money goes on paying the cast but in others the money is spent on lavish sets. For example, in the Netflix show ‘The Crown’, they required 7,000 costumes for extras and even life-size replicas of Buckingham Palace and these really increased the cost.

Of course, throwing money at a TV show doesn’t guarantee its success as Netflix have found out on numerous occasions. Shows such as Sense 8 and The Get Down just didn’t work in spite of their massive budgets.

Check out the full infographic now for information on a wide range of shows. Did you expect that they would cost so much?


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