Have you ever wondered about the budgetary freedom–or restraint–of popular TV shows? Isn’t that what people spend their time pondering these days? The simple truth of television: it is incredibly hot. It is it form of visual entertainment. Advertisers are plugging more advertising into the medium than ever before, and the advent of content-based entertainment for Internet-based audiences hasn’t hurt the advertising game. Considering those big bucks, are are 12 of the most expensive TV shows that have ever been put into production.
12. Breaking Bad
$3 Million per episode. Breaking Bad enjoyed the benefit of shooting outside of Los Angeles during location shoots, and a relatively small cast from episode to episode. As the show came to a close, it was being made at an impressive $3 million per episode. To offer a little scope, an independent film like Napoleon Dynamite is generally made for less than $1 million. And anything in the realm of feature filmmaking under $5 million is considered micro-budget by Hollywood standards. Applying the Breaking Bad budget to two episodes to create what would be a feature length film, it is impressive that Vince Gilligan’s team was able to pull off what they did with this show. And Bryan Cranston’s salaray? A modest $225,000 per episode. Aaron Paul? $150,000 per episode. They could have asked for more toward the end, but they understood maximizing production value.© AMC / Courtesy Everett Collection