There’s a reason why there’s more TV than ever: networks are spending boatloads of money.
In a shocking overview from Variety’s Cynthia Littleton and Maureen Ryan, series of all kinds are enjoying higher budgets than ever before, including recent Emmy nomination powerhouses “Stranger Things,” “Westworld,” and “The Crown.”
As expected, Netflix isn’t skimping on their per-episode price tags. But it’s not just their lavish period pieces that are getting surprising amounts of funding. The report also cites a previously speculated $5 million-an-episode price for “13 Reasons Why.”
Littleton and Ryan also note that the popularity of “Stranger Things” got the show an overall per-episode cost bump from $6 million to $8 million for the series’ upcoming Season 2. When placed against other TV behemoths like “Game of Thrones,” it seems like the cost of doing business. But compare that $8 million an episode to the $1.5 million total spent to make the most recent Best Picture winner “Moonlight,” it’s a signal that with audiences and awards, TV looks like it’s becoming a rich show’s game.
Comedies, dramas, and even comedy specials are all being lifted by rising costs, as Variety explains. But that hasn’t necessarily translated into an overall guarantee of quality or audience success. (The numbers for the recently canceled “Will” on TNT are especially surprising.)
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The Variety report outlines some above-the-title pay bumps that may have contributed to these numbers, but it also has plenty of information on how individual writer/producer salaries have risen, too. Location shoots really add up over time, apparently.
You can read the full report here.