Contemporarily, with recent developments in media distribution technology and the world saturated by various streaming services, we live in the Golden Television era. Streaming giants such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ are launching exclusive originals to attract new subscribers. As a result, what was once considered a casual pastime consisting mainly of 20-minute sitcoms and single-location small-scale production houses has gradually transformed into high-quality productions with budgets more akin to the theatric scale.
This era of streaming services has created an acute rivalry between cinema and OTT platforms. Streaming giants have increased their production values, hired notable directors and protagonists, and the re-created well-known franchises. This era of entertainment marks an age where audiences have become more sensitive to the content and requires representation. People have given up going to cinemas because high-definition content is available at their convenience. We have enlisted some of the highest-budget shows that topped the charts in 2022.
Halo (2022 – )
Production Value: $10 million per episode
Halo is based on the renowned Microsoft video game. It is well received by critics and has become the beloved franchise adapted for Television. It is an original Paramount+ series. It narrates the story following the war between United Nations Space Command and the alien alliance known as Covenant. Halo brings the compelling science fiction tale to the small screen in a magnificent way.
It is the most critically acclaimed and successful video game franchise. The existing fanbase highly promoted the Halo TV series. However, many fans agree that the CGI could have been better, considering the production budget. Halo’s season 1 production was impacted by the global pandemic. The series has big names attached to it, such as executive producer Steven Spielberg. Fans are eagerly waiting for season 2 to be bigger and more entertaining than ever.
The Crown (2016 -)
Production Value: $13 Million per Episode
The Crown is Netflix’s most well-received original series. Period dramas require expensive production budgets. Crafting historically similar sets, costumes, hair, and makeup and casting authentic actors who look and sound like their real-life counterparts is a high-budget endeavor. Netflix has spared no expense when bringing the story of the British Royal family to the television screens.
The budget of the Crown is justified with attention to detail. It has won countless awards for its art direction and costumes. Its cast has been praised for portraying the authenticity and mannerisms of their real-life characters. So, it’s easy to comprehend how a series about royalty requires an equally high budget.
‘The Pacific’ (2010)
Production Value: $20 million per episode
The Pacific revolves around the historical chronicles of the World War II battle between American and Japanese soldiers on the island of Peleliu. It is one of the most expensive miniseries recently. You can watch The Pacific on Hulu. However, if you attempt to watch Hulu in Poland, you will encounter a geo-restriction error. To bypass the geo-blocks, you must use a premium VPN.
With such expensive production budgets, the miniseries is critically acclaimed for its historical accuracy and depiction of epic World War II Pacific Ocean fight sequences. It is produced by big names such as Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Hans Zimmer composed the behind-the-war drama sequences. As a result, the Pacific truly feels like a TV show on a grand cinematic level.
Game of Thrones (2011 – 2019)
Production Value $15 Million per Episode
HBO’s pop culture mega-hit Game of Thrones experienced the challenge of adapting George R. R. Martin’s epic fiction-fantasy novels for TV. It revolves around the power struggle between several noble families. The story comes with a large cast of recurring characters spanning different locations within the seven kingdoms.
From King’s Island to Wintry North, Game of Thrones is known for its visually aesthetic filming locations shot all around the globe. The initial budget for season 1 was around $5-6 million per episode. The budget flared up to $15 million per episode by the final installment. HBO series saw the cast and crew traveling between Iceland, Spain, Morocco, and the United Kingdom.
The Mandalorian (2019 -)
Production Value: $15 million per episode
One of the earliest exclusive original series on Disney+, The Mandalorian embarked on a new chapter in the Star Wars franchise with its first live-action TV show. It is set after the events of Return of the Jedi; it follows a bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who has rescued a young infant from the same species as Yoda, who is on a journey to be reunited with his kind.
It has an expensive production budget because of the innovative filming techniques employed throughout the production. While the green screen has traditionally been used to superimpose the protagonist onto a digital environment, it has used Stage Craft, a way of immersing the actor within the digital domain through large LED video screens that can be processed in real-time.