When we heard that Game of Thrones was spending $10 million an episode, we thought that seemed a little excessive. Then we saw “The Battle of the Bastards” and it made a lot of sense, because if you’re going to send Jon Snow riding into battle one-on-thousands, well, you’ve got to spend money to earn a bunch of gold statues. Whether other television networks and studios subscribe to this costly theory is unknown, but it seems like Netflix has taken over the whole dang publication, based on the cash the streaming giant is pumping out on its latest original series.
For example, Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down is among the most expensive in TV history, costing Netflix approximately $7.5 million per episode and $120 million overall. Surpassing that series, though, is The Crown, which reportedly cost $156 million and stars Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in the story of her life, from her wedding to today. Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith plays Prince Philip and John Lithgow appears to be all-in as Winston Churchill in this Peter Morgan (The Queen) series.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in January that he doesn’t think there’s such a thing as “too much TV,” while bragging about the $6 billion his “global network” would spend on original content. He has also boasted about Netflix’s dedication to creativity over fiscal responsibility, as evidenced by renewing Marco Polo, which cost around $90 million but isn’t really considered a critical hit. As for The Crown, we can judge when the 10-episode first season debuts on Nov. 4. The entire series is scheduled to last six seasons.