10+ Most Expensive TV Shows Ever Made

We are living in a Golden Age of TV. In the wake of the streaming wars, the competition has allowed the cream to rise to the top.

That doesn't come without a cost. Audiences around the globe expect a new standard of quality that isn't cheap. Have a look and check out these 10+ most expensive TV shows ever made.

*The West Wing*.

Long before House of Cards, there was The West Wing — the original political drama about life in the White House!

The total cost pushed the budget to upwards of $3 million per episode. Which may not sound like a lot nowadays but in the late '90s it was a gold mine.



Though it may not seem like it, at the time Lost was one of the most expensive series in the history of television.

The average cost per episode was roughly $4 million but the pilot alone was well over $14 million!

*Orange Is The New Black*.

This one floored me. I mean, how can a show that takes place by and large inside a prison, cost such an unworldly amount to make?

Estimates gauge the series to be burning at a rate of close to $4 million an episode.

*House Of Cards*.


For a show like House of Cards, $4 million an episode seems like a pretty modest budget. Especially when you consider how much detail they put into things like props and set design.

And that's not even factoring in actor salaries!

*The Borgias*.


If you're looking for an incredibly enjoyable, criminally underrated period piece, look no further than The Borgias.

Sadly, the costs to produce were just more than the show could carry. At $5 million per episode, it isn't hard to understand why.

*Boardwalk Empire*.

The first few seasons of Boardwalk Empire are some of the best television you're likely to find. Steve Buscemi amazes and gives the performance of his life as Nucky Thompson.

All in all, it cost roughly $5 million per episode.



It might surprise you to learn that Kelsey Grammer once had one of the biggest TV contracts in history. By the time the final season of Frasier rolled around, he was taking home $1.6 million per episode.

The show itself cost $5.2 million per episode to produce.



Starz' Camelot was canceled after just one season! The show claimed that there were significant production challenges that made a second season impossible.

It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it cost $7 million an episode to make.


The problem with Sense8 was simple, in a sense. It was simply too expensive and had too small an audience to justify its continuation.

When all was said and done, it cost roughly $9 million per episode.

*Marco Polo*.


Upon its release, Marco Polo was the most expensive series that Netflix had ever produced.

It cost an astounding $90 million to film the first 10 episodes. The only show to exceed it at the time was Game of Thrones.



A dedication to detail is a double-edged sword. In order to pull it off successfully, oftentimes you have to pay through the nose.

Such was the case with Rome and it's nearly $10 million per episode production budget.

*Band Of Brothers*.


I know that everyone likes to point at Saving Private Ryan for being the best WWII period piece. But for my money, nothing compares to Band of Brothers.

The costs were astronomical at the time — roughly $12.5 million an episode.

*The Pacific*.


No other show comes close to comparing to the cost it took to produce The Pacific. What most shows spend on their entire series budget, The Pacific burned through in one episode.

It cost an astounding $20 million for each individual episode.

*Game Of Thrones*.


For a long time running, HBO's masterpiece, Game of Thrones was the most expensive series ever produced.

The budget for the final season was so expensive that it raised the average cost per episode to an astounding $15 million.



What makes the Central Perk six all the more enticing is that each cast member was taking home the exact same salary.

For the final season of Friends the cost ran upwards of $10 million per episode. How you doin'?!