If we went back to the 90s we would find really great series. We would say wonderful. Friends, Seinfeld, The Prince of Bel Air, ER, The West Wing of the White House… As you can see, on the other side of the pond, series of all kinds and great quality were made.
But it was in 1999, the last year of the last century, when a series came on the air to change everything: The Sopranos. The adventures and businesses of Tony Soprano and “his family of him” opened his eyes to the world of audiovisuals, as we mentioned before. That series would be the one that would open the season… until today.
Since then, the series have been gaining weight and importance for producers and television channels. And since the entertainment giants have their own platforms such as Disney +, HBO Max or Netflix, they do not hesitate to drop huge amounts of money to do great things.
And they have been in that fight for a decade. For this reason, and as many people ask, today we have decided to bring you the most ambitious series in the history of television, ordering them in economic order.
The last one, of course, will be the one with the biggest budget, we don’t want to spoil any surprises. Let’s go, without further ado, to see the list:
The most ambitious series that have been shot, ordered according to their budget
Based on Peter Morgan’s successful play, The Audience, tells the story of the current queen of England, Elizabeth II, and the relationship between two of the most famous addresses in the world: Buckingham Palace and number 10 of Downing Street, with the intrigues, love affairs and machinations behind the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
This series has already had four seasons and is preparing for a fifth that will arrive in 2022ie this year. If you like English history or monarchies, this is your series without a doubt.
One of the great productions that Netflix has left in its catalog and that endures season after season, despite its huge changes in direction and the acting cast (obligations of the script, as you will know if you see it).
These last seasons have raised the budget of the series to 13 million euros per episode, something logical when you see the enormous quality of the clothes, jewelry, sets and locations. The series is expensive to do, but it’s worth it.
- Title: The Crown
- Release date: 2016
- Duration: 60 minute episodes
- Platform: Netflix
Game of Thrones
After a long summer of several years, the fearsome winter approaches the Seven Kingdoms. Lord Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, lord of Winterfell, leaves his domain for the court of his friend, King Robert Baratheon, in King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.
Stark becomes the Hand of the King and tries to unravel a tangle of intrigues that will endanger his life and that of all his family. Meanwhile, various factions conspire with a single goal: to seize the throne. Presenting Game of Thrones is as useless as explaining who Santa Claus is.
This series was the big winner of the past decade. So much so, that HBO managed to experience some of the most important growth of its generation. Since then, HBO Max has been the platform for millions of faithful to the Seven Kingdoms.
As for the budget, a real animal: episodes of 15 million euros in their final seasons. It’s HBO’s biggest outlay to date, but it’s also the most worthwhile.
- Title: Game of Thrones
- Release date: 2011
- Duration: 55 minute episodes
- Platform: HBO Max
Set after the fall of the Empire and before the appearance of the First Order, the series follows in the footsteps of Mando, a bounty hunter belonging to the legendary tribe of the Mandalorians, a lone gunfighter who works in the confines of the galaxy, where it is not enough the authority of the New Republic.
Pedro Pascal surprised the world with this series, the revival of Star Wars speaking with all the sincerity in the world. Jon Favreau can be proud to approve and bring the Mandalorian to life, as Grogu and Mando resurrected the franchise with their shoulders (the little guy, rather, with the power of the force).
At Disney they were clear their commitment to The Mandalorian, hence they did not hesitate to hire a world-class actor despite wearing a helmet all day. They literally could have put anyone to play Din Djarin, but they decided to hire one of the best.
This disbursement of money translates into 15 million dollars per episode, the same as what HBO spent with Game of Thronesbut for a few extra cents, Disney’s work goes right to HBO Max’s.
- Title: The Mandalorian
- Release date: 2019
- Duration: 40 minute episodes
Successor to Blood Brothers, also produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and created by Dreamworks and HBO, It was the most expensive series of all time. Now it only occupies the fourth position on the list.
It is based primarily on the memoirs of two American soldiers, “With the Old Breed” by Eugene Sledge and “Helmet for My Pillow” by Robert Leckie, which recount their experiences fighting the Japanese during World War II.
If you like war series, this installment is a delight, narrating the combats of the Pacific zone in World War II. But, to be honest, Blood Brothers is much better, with a more interesting and better told story. Of course, it was also cheaper to shoot.
For this series based on real events, Dreamworks and HBO spent 20 million euros per chapter, which at the time was a record. You have it, of course, on HBO Max.
- Title: ThePacific
- Release date: 2010
- Duration: 49 minute episodes
the marvel series
Here we make no distinction, since Disney has wanted to provide the same budget (or almost identical) to the series format productions of the Marvel universe. That is to say: WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, etc.
As you know, Disney’s idea is to expand the Marvel product to series in order to have powerful content on its Disney+ platformand since the releases are weekly (specifically, every Wednesday), the company manages to keep subscribers for months.
Thus, Disney is concatenating Marvel series with Star Wars series throughout the year, with premieres every week, and never competing with each other. First one comes out and when it ends, the next one opens. So there is no way to unsubscribe from Disney +.
Disney’s budget for all these series is 25 million euros per episode. It makes sense here, since although the CGI and post-production is not the best in the world, these actors have a very high cache.
- Title: WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- Release date: 2020/2022
- Duration: 49 minute episodes
The Duffer Brothers’ Tribute To Classic ’80s Supernatural Mysteries, Stranger Things is the story of a boy who disappears in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana without a trace in 1983.
In their desperate search, both their friends and family and the local sheriff find themselves involved in an extraordinary enigma: Top-secret experiments, terrifying paranormal forces, and a very, very weird girl…
What to say about Stranger Things that we haven’t already said, if the fourth season has just been released, both its first and second parts, and in this way we have witnessed how one of the great phenomena of television came to an end. In addition, it has been an international success.
In this fourth season, the Duffer brothers have enjoyed 30 million euros per episode, which is crazy. But it is also true that some of these exceeded two hours, which is as if we were talking about a long movie.
- Title: Stranger Things
- Release date: 2016
- Duration: 50 minute episodes
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
In a nutshell: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a TV series based on the books by JRR Tolkien, set in Middle-earth, and exploring new story lines in a time long before “The Fellowship of the Ring”. “, the first film of the trilogy.
If you are into the subject, you know that it is the most anticipated series of the decadeif you are not, do not worry, you will understand the expectation behind this series.
Amazon wants to turn the prequel to The Lord of the Rings into the series that rivals and beats Game of Thrones. For this, he has chosen the most important epic fantasy work of all time and has presented it in a series format, narrating stories from the Second Age.
Let’s go to the important thing, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has a budget of 58 million euros per chapter. This is almost double that of the second on the list and an all-time record. We are talking about a bigger budget than half of the Hollywood movies this year.
- Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
- Release date: 2022
- Duration: not known
- Platform: Prime Video
Can we say that all these series are the best in history? Many of them will not make the cut. Can we say that they are the most expensive in history? Definitely. This shows us one thing: money does not buy quality, although it helps to achieve notoriety.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism