Disney+ and Apple TV+ are pushing us into the era of the $25 million TV episode

Adam Epstein for Quartz:

The age of the $15-million-per-episode TV series has already come and gone. We’re now entering the era of the $25 million show.

Some of the Marvel TV series on Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+, will cost as much as $25 million an episode to make, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That would be the most expensive scripted television ever made — by a lot.

Until a few months ago, HBO’s Game of Thrones was the priciest scripted TV show ever, at about $15 million per episode toward the end of its eight-season run. Costs were already ballooning throughout the industry due to several factors, including the competition for top talent, the entrance of new deep-pocketed players like Netflix and Amazon, and the desire to make shows that with high production values that stand out amid the deluge of content. The shift to on-demand viewing also gives shows longer shelf lives, affording networks more time to collect returns on their big investments.

When Apple launches its streaming service, Apple TV+, on Nov. 1, it will feature two shows with budgets in Game of Thrones territory: See, a far-future dystopian drama (rumored to cost up to $17 million an hour, Variety reported) and The Morning Show, a dramedy starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. The tech giant is paying those stars more than $1 million per episode…

MacDailyNews Take: This is as we predicted. Of course, in this game, he with the most money wins. And Apple has, by far, the most money.

Those who can wrap their heads around Apple’s massive cash mountain and the company’s unparalleled ability to generate cash can clearly see who the winner will be. The most talented producers, writers, directors, editors, actors, etc. are attracted to exactly what Apple has and makes in vast abundance: Cash. The king.

Like bears to honey, it’s happening already.MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Apple has the money required to catch up and even surpass all competitors very quickly and they can accomplish it without buying a studio or even production companies.MacDailyNews, April 3, 2018


  1. People quickly get used to a higher standard so if your show is low rent and it shows it usually tanks. The great thing is online media services are looking to overall profits and not just film by film, or episode by episode. The “cinema” films Scorsese doesn’t want to go by the wayside will end up not being made so much by studios but online media services. Would you believe online-cinema?

  2. I find it so funny when Jennifer Aniston talks about how she came back to TV because of the quality of the script. C’mon … the script might be fine, but it’s the truckload of cash Apple backed into the lot with.

    With billionaires competing for talent, it’s a good time to be in show business.

  3. And this balloon will also burst. The only reality check is that long historied film industry is participating. While Apple and Netflix are commissioning the production, Universal, Warner Bro’s and Disney are making the product and raking in the money, not just the talent.

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