40. Married… With Children


Estimated production costs: $1 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1987 to 1997
The sitcom’s creators wanted to make a show that turned up the realism on family dynamics, says a report in AV Club. The airwaves were awash with idyllic families on TV, but that wasn’t what every family was like in real life.

Characters Al, Peggy, Kelly, and Bud Bundy were a family of misfits, often miserable and arguing with each other. Married… With Children aired for 10 years before being canceled due to supposed declining ratings. Both fans and cast were disappointed, says HuffPost.
NEXT: The stylish outfits were one of the most memorable parts of this show.

39. Miami Vice

NBC via Getty Images

Estimated production costs: $1.3 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1984 to 1990
“Maybe the ’80s became ‘The ’80s’ when Crockett and Tubbs rolled through a dark Miami night with streetlights reflecting off their hood and hubcaps, while Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ simmered on the soundtrack,” writes Noel Murray for AV Club.

Miami Vice is a good snapshot of the decade, with the sharp outfits of main characters and bumpin’ music. James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs didn’t patrol the criminal paradise of Miami, Florida, forever, unfortunately. AV Club says the show died with the decade.
NEXT: This show is set 78 years after the original series took place.

38. Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation, most expensive TV shows
Getty Images/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $1.3 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1987 to 1994
The decision to revive the series with a new cast of characters in the late ’80s changed the Star Trek franchise forever, argues Mike Bloom in The Hollywood Reporter. Patrick Stewart starred as the iconic Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Fans loved the program, with The Next Generation’s popularity reaching a fever pitch in the final season, says The Hollywood Reporter. It became the first syndicated program to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. The Star Trek legacy added movies and an upcoming sequel series post-The Next Generation.
NEXT: This was one of former US president Barack Obama’s favorite TV shows. 

37. The Wire


Estimated production cost: $1.5 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2002 to 2008
Even former US president Barack Obama was a fan of this TV program. Running from 2002 to 2008, The Wire portrayed drug dealing in Baltimore, Maryland through the eyes of both drug dealers and the police department.

Many critics claimed that The Wire was one of the best TV shows ever created. It’s unclear where exactly the estimated $1.5 million per episode is allocated. However, highly rated TV shows like The Wire typically put more and more cash into its production.
NEXT: “The truth is out there.”  

36. The X-Files

Fox Television/IMDb

Estimated production cost: $1.5 million to $2.5 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 1993 to 2018
FBI agents Fox Mulder, the believer, and Dana Scully, the skeptic, team up to battle and investigate unexplained cases and crimes. IMDb says that $1.5 million per episode was spent on seasons one through five.

We imagine the show’s popularity contributed to the show’s bump in its production budget. Seasons six through nine saw an increase to $2.5 million per episode. On average, the show spent $1,944,000 per episode. (You can definitely see an increase in special effects quality.)
NEXT: We don’t know who “The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella is” until some of the series’ last episodes. 

35. How I Met Your Mother


Estimated production cost: $2 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2005 to 2014
Through a series of flashbacks, character Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) tells his children about “how he met their mother.” His friends, Marshall (Jason Segel), Robin (Cobie Smulders), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) are a major part of the story.

You don’t know who the mother is throughout the majority of the series, except as “The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella.” The show almost didn’t make it but Britney Spears’ portrayal of receptionist Abby saved it from being canceled, co-creator Carter Bays said.
NEXT: “No soup for you!”

34. Seinfeld


Estimated production costs: $2 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1989 to 1998
When asked what makes a classic Seinfeld episode, titular star Jerry Seinfeld said each episode “has some insane thing in it,” writes Bill Keveney in USA Today. The ’90s program focuses on the friendship of four characters.

There’s a fictionalized version of Seinfeld’s self, George, Elaine, and Kramer. The show almost didn’t survive the harsh landscape of the TV industry. Many episodes later and yada yada yada (it’s a Seinfeld joke — look it up), it became one of the most popular comedy shows of our time and won 10 Emmy Awards.
NEXT: One of the actors on this show organizes the “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen,” aka GISHWHES. 

33. Supernatural

The CW Network

Estimated production cost: $2.2 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2005 to present
This fantasy, drama show follows the lives of two brothers and their battles against evil supernatural creatures. Monsters, demons, ghosts — you name it, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester have probably took them to task.

Played by Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Jensen Ackles (Dean), the brothers were trained by their dad to hunt all things supernatural after their mom was killed by an evil demon. The show has developed a cult following that’s probably seen all 300 plus episodes Padalecki and Ackles are in.
NEXT: Season six of this TV show was called “Season Sucks” by some viewers.

32. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Twitter via @thedevilhistory

Estimated production cost: $2.3 million per episode (season five to six), says IMDb
Run dates: 1997 to 2003
Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as the titular character in this supernatural drama series. Buffy is destined to kill vampires, demons and other evil supernatural creatures. The show was mostly well-loved by fans and critics, except for one season…

Season six was dubbed several names, including “Season Sucks.” That’s not a vampire joke by the way. “This was a dark, unpopular chapter in the show’s seven-year run,” wrote Joanna Robinson in Vanity Fair. Robinson argues the season became Buffy’s most important, however.
NEXT: The show’s star reportedly made $450,000 a week!

31. Cheers

Getty Images

Estimated production costs: $2.2 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1982 to 1993
This cheery sitcom created or perfected some of the genre’s conventions, writes Stephen Kelly in The Guardian. There are story arcs, cold opens, and the classic will-they, won’t-they couple — Sam Malone (Ted Danson) and Diane Chambers (Shelley Long).

Cheers ended when Ted Danson quit. “[O]nce Ted decided not to come back, it was all academic,” executive producer Les Charles told TV Guide in 1993. Danson reportedly made $450,000 a week — you’d think that would be hard to walk away from!
NEXT: The most iconic character on this program might be the happy, goth forensic scientist. 

30. NCIS

IMDb via CBS

Estimated production cost: $2.5 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2003 to present
This show is basically a different version of CSI: Miami and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The program covers the cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Washington DC Major Case Response Team (aka NCIS. Gotta love an acronym!).

This long titled team is led by special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon). One of the most iconic characters, however, is probably the happy, goth forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette).
NEXT: This zombie-centric TV series debuted on Halloween 2010.

29. The Walking Dead

IMDb via AMC

Estimated production costs: $2.75 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 2010 to present
Robert Kirkman surprisingly put the cap on The Walking Dead comic book series recently, writes Paul Tassi in Forbes. The TV series, however, lives on. Now in its 10th season, fans hope it doesn’t slow down.

Despite some recent low ratings and major stars leaving, Kirkman says the show isn’t ending with the comics. “Anyone who’s concerned … that season 10 is going to somehow spontaneously end on episode four as a surprise, that is NOT going to happen,” CinemaBlend reported Kirkman saying.
NEXT: Some critics want the latest season of this show to “RETURN FROM WHENCE YOU CAME!” 

28. Arrested Development

Arrested Development, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production cost: $3 million per episode (season four), says IMDb
Run dates: 2003 to present
Taking place in affluent Orange County, California, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) tries to take over his family’s affairs when his father is arrested. Although Michael is level-headed, the rest of his family is dysfunctional and spoiled.

Hilarity ensues as you can imagine. When the show premiered in the early 2000s, it did so to great acclaim. When Fox canceled the program, its cult following was devastated. Arrested Development was revived but its latest reiteration fell flat for some critics.
NEXT: This show’s creator once signed a deal with Lionsgate worth $25 million.

27. Mad Men

Mad Men, most expensive TV shows
Jordin Althaus/AMC via IMDb

Estimated production costs: $3 million per episode, says Ad Age
Run dates: 2007 to 2015
The 1960s period drama follows the lives of competitive, ruthless admen and women in New York City. Its popularity helped it become the first basic cable series to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row.

The show wasn’t cheap to make, Rebecca Greenfield wrote in The Atlantic. A deal that creator Matt Weiner signed with Lionsgate, for example, was worth $25 million to $30 million over three years. Greenfield goes on to say that Lionsgate paid out $33 million to $39 million in production costs.
NEXT: Columbia/Epic Records’ partnership with this show yielded a windfall of $100 million.

26. Glee

Glee, most expensive TV shows
Fox Television/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $3.2 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 2009 to 2015
Glee’s musical component proved to be a big hit with fans. Taking on modern hits and show tunes has led to tons of iTunes downloads — the show even beat the Beatles for most Billboard Hot 100 appearances, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Their cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was one major favorite. Columbia/Epic Records’ Rob Stringer desperately wanted the music rights to Glee, continues the article. Fortunately, Stringer’s instincts were right, and Columbia got treated to a $100 million windfall.
NEXT: Its production costs were higher than the typical basic cable program.

25. CSI: Miami

CSI: Miami, most expensive TV shows
CBS Photo Archive/IMDb

Estimated production cost: $3.5 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2002 to 2012
This popular TV series followed a fictionalized Miami-Dade, Florida police department and their various cases. In particular, the department’s Crime Scene Investigations unit (CSI, get it?). This series was a spin-off of the popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

The crime TV drama racked up $3.5 million per episode in production costs. That’s according to IMDb at least. Reviews for the TV show are currently 70 percent (average audience score) on review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes.
NEXT: He goes from mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher to a “blue” cookin’ kingpin. 

24. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad, most expensive TV shows
Ursula Coyote/AMC, Sony

Estimated production costs: $3.5 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 2008 to 2013
Breaking Bad tells the tale of a cancer-stricken high school teacher, Walter White, that turns to cooking “Blue” in order to provide for his family. However, things get out of hand and the previously mild-mannered White turns into a ruthless kingpin.

Not only did Breaking Bad reportedly cost more than a typical basic cable program, its stars made some good cash. TV Guide and Business Insider listed star Bryan Cranston’s salary as $225,000 per episode and supporting actor Aaron Paul’s as $150,000.
NEXT: This OG Netflix original’s seventh and final season is now available to binge.

23. Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: just under $4 million per episode, says Variety
Run dates: 2013 to 2019
Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange Is the New Black tells the stories of several characters in a minimum-security women’s prison in Connecticut. It made history as the second Netflix original series to debut (House of Cards was first).

Now Orange comes to a close this season. Alison Herman writes in The Ringer how Orange impacted TV: “Six years ago, conversations about diversity and representation had yet to become the lingua franca, in part because Orange had yet to start them.”
NEXT: This show’s pilot episode reportedly cost a whopping $10 million.

22. Lost

Lost, most expensive TV shows
Reisig and Taylor/American Broadcasting Companies Inc

Estimated production costs: $4 million per episode, says Digital Spy
Run dates: 2004 to 2010
Lost was never really interested in hanging around for viewers,” writes Stuart Heritage in The Guardian. “If you missed a couple of episodes, the whole thing had a habit of making no sense whatsoever.” Seems like there’s a bit of a barrier to fandom entry.

However, many were (and still are) fanatical about the TV show Lost. Shot in Hawaii, the fictional survivalist show reportedly cost between $2.5 million to $2.8 million for first-season episodes. The pilot’s costs ($10 million to $14 million) mostly went to getting a decommissioned airliner.
NEXT: Like Lost, this popular show also reportedly dumped $10 million on its pilot episode.

21. Fringe

Fringe, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $4 million per episode, says Digital Spy
Run dates: 2008 to 2013
This was the TV show Meghan Markle was on before marrying Prince Harry (she played junior FBI agent Amy Jessup). This science-fiction/supernatural drama TV show follows FBI agent Olivia Dunham as she investigates unusual crimes in the Bureau’s Fringe division.

The $10 million price tag for the pilot of Fringe was twice the amount of most TV pilots, wrote Bilge Ebiri in New York Magazine in 2008. This might’ve been a sign of the times, however. TV producer Marshall Herskovitz told Ebiri pricey pilots had become the norm.
NEXT: This is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries.

20. House of Cards

House of Cards, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $4.5 million per episode, says Digital Spy
Run dates: 2013 to 2018
Before sexual allegations against him were made public, Kevin Spacey starred as ruthless South Carolina politician Francis Underwood. Netflix announced he’d be leaving the show in November 2017. The sixth and final season finished without Spacey.

This was Netflix’s first original series (Orange Is the New Black was the second). House of Cards was a pricey program, with two seasons costing $100 million. This was due to the scale of production and the famous actors in it.
NEXT: Before there was Twilight, there was this vampire-centric TV show set in the South.

19. True Blood

True Blood, most expensive TV shows
John P. Johnson/HBO

Estimated production costs: $5 million per episode, says Marketplace
Run dates: 2008 to 2014
Produced and created by Alan Ball, True Blood is a dark fantasy show about Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse discovering the vampire world after meeting a 173-year-old vampire. Vampires became very trendy (see Twilight), and, in this case, very expensive, wrote Seth Kelley in Marketplace.

True Blood is one more example of HBO’s willingness to shell out to create good-looking television,” wrote Kelley. “Unlike other high-budget HBO shows that aired for only two or three seasons, True Blood got seven thanks to a vocal committed fan base.”
NEXT: This HBO show reportedly spent $20 million on its debut episode.

18. Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $5 million per episode, says Digital Spy
Run dates: 2010 to 2014
As we’ve found with Lost and Fringe, dropping loads on a pilot episode has become pretty normal in the TV industry. Boardwalk Empire reportedly dropped somewhere between $18 million to $20 million for its debut episode, say some sources. What Martin Scorsese wants, he gets, apparently.

Another massive expense? Its $5 million 300-foot-long boardwalk built to re-create 1920s Atlantic City, New Jersey, writes Seth Kelley in Marketplace. Based on a book, the program stars Steve Buscemi as a politician/gangster named Enoch “Nucky” Thompson.
NEXT: Some tourist shops in Seattle sell merch of this TV show, as it takes place there.

17. Frasier

Frasier, most expensive TV shows
Getty Images/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $5.2 million per episode, says Digital Spy
Run dates: 1993 to 2004
Character Frasier Crane had expensive tastes — and so did the actors of Frasier. This show’s costs were due to high actor salaries, says Digital Spy. Apparently, star Kelsey Grammer took home $1.6 million per episode.

Frasier tells the story of Dr. Frasier Crane, a successful Boston therapist who moves to Seattle for a new lease on life. We see him host his radio program, deal with his friends and family, and figure out personal problems.
NEXT: The first three seasons slapped. The rest of the series? Not so much, say some critics …

16. The West Wing

The West Wing, most expensive TV shows
NBC Universal, Inc/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $6 million per episode, says NinjaJournalist
Run dates: 1999 to 2006
In The West Wing, presidential advisers mix work with their personal lives — we really hope this isn’t how the White House typically is … Writing in The Guardian, journalist Gabriel Tate commended The West Wing on three terrific early seasons.

Starting with the kidnapping of character Zoey Bartlet at the end of season four, the show “went into terminal decline,” writes Tate. The West Wing also attempted to address 9/11 but failed miserably, Tate argues. Can’t win them all, we guess!
NEXT: He led a rebellion against the Ancient Roman Empire. 

15. Spartacus


Estimated production cost: $5 million per episode, says IMDb
Run dates: 2010 to 2013
It’s a period drama, if you will — this TV show follows the life of a gladiator named Spartacus who led a rebellion against the Romans in ancient times. Spartacus (played by actor Liam McIntyre) was a Thracian warrior (an Indo-European tribe).

He was enslaved by the Romans but then turned into a gladiator to kick major Roman butt. Reviews for the series were mixed. “Not even my affection for honorary TCA member Lucy Lawless is going to keep me around,” wrote Alan Sepinwall in Newark Star-Ledger.
NEXT: Actors portraying a young Kardashian family made an appearance in this TV series.

14. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

American Crime Story, most expensive TV shows
FX Networks/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $6.5 million per episode for The People v. O.J. Simpson, says Screen Rant
Run dates: February to April 2016
Each season of American Crime Story is a miniseries about a true crime, the first being about the O.J. Simpson trial. Even if you weren’t alive when the trial occurred, you’ve probably heard about it.

Screen Rant attributes the high costs to the high-profile actors — John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., and David Schwimmer, for instance. From the creators of American Horror Story, the second season goes on to cover the assassination of Gianni Versace.
NEXT: This TV drama’s lead actor reportedly made $1 million per episode. 

13. The Sopranos

The Sopranos, most expensive TV shows
Getty Images via HBO

Estimated production cost: $6.5 million per episode
Run dates: 1999 to 2007
There aren’t exact numbers on the cost per episode for The Sopranos but one thing’s for sure — lead actor James Gandolfini made a lot of money. TV.com says that the late actor made an estimated $1 million per episode of The Sopranos.

Another source indicates he made $800,000 per episode. Either way, Gandolfini did well for himself! As far as cost per episode, there’s varying reports. We spotted a $6.5 million number from a Quora user citing Variety. So who knows…
NEXT: Scheduling conflicts prevented Starz from making more seasons of this show.

12. Camelot

Camelot, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $7 million per episode, says WSJ
Run dates: February to June 2011
There have been so many TV and film adaptations of King Arthur and Camelot’s story. This one, in particular, had great ratings and earned Primetime Emmy Award nominations. That’s why it’s surprising the series ended after just one season.

If you’re looking for historical accuracy, you’ve come to the wrong place. But there were some unique representations of characters, such as Joseph Fiennes as an arrogant, punk Merlin with tattoos.
NEXT: After this show premiered, we saw many people dressing up like the protagonist with psychic powers for Halloween. 

11. Stranger Things

Stranger Things, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $8 million per episode, says Screen Rant
Run dates: 2016 to present
Stranger Things is one of the most popular shows on Netflix. Now three seasons long, the show is about kids and parents battling evil scientists and monsters from other dimensions. Its elements of ’80s nostalgia also appeal to audiences.

Apparently, the cost of each season-two episode was five times as much as Academy Award-winning movie Moonlight, says IndieWire. (See, you don’t have to spend a lot to win … ) Due to the show’s popularity, it was able to get a bump in budget.
NEXT: Some have critiqued this show for not accurately portraying “nerd culture.”

10. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory, most expensive TV shows
CBS Entertainment/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $9 million per episode, says Mental Floss
Run dates: 2007 to 2019
It was a bit offensive to nerds and used a lot of typical sitcom tropes, but it was a record-breaker for CBS, says Mental Floss. Shooting costs, high actor salaries, and licensing fees paid to Barenaked Ladies for the theme song contributed to expenses.

This wasn’t even for one hour of airtime — the show was only 25 minutes per episode. Say what?! These were some of the highest-paid actors on screen! Some of their contracts ranged from $750,000 to $1 million per episode.
NEXT: Elaborate sets, detailed costumes, and overseas locations made this a pricey production.

9. Rome

Rome, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $9 million per episode, says Marketplace
Run dates: 2005 to 2007
This historical drama covered, well, ancient Rome. According to Seth Kelley’s article in Marketplace, Rome creator Bruno Heller states that he’s a pioneer that paved the way for other high-budget series like Game of Thrones.

The $9 million-per-episode price tag is due to Rome’s large ensemble cast, elaborate sets, and costumes, and shooting overseas. It was just two seasons long, as HBO execs canceled it to save money on maintaining production resources in Italy. (They later said canceling was a mistake.)
NEXT: I say “Marco,” you say …

8. Marco Polo

Marco Polo, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $9 million per episode, says Marketplace
Run dates: 2014 to 2016
Rome might have paved the way for shows like Marco Polo to exist, says Kelley in Marketplace. The Netflix show was filmed overseas in Italy and Kazakhstan and then produced in Malaysia. Wow, now that’s a truly worldly show!

As you might have expected, this show focuses on famous explorer Marco Polo and his interactions with Kublai Kahn. A 2014 Business Insider article reported that since Netflix held international rights to the show, it might appeal to international audiences.
NEXT: Producers dropped the most money on this show’s last season.

7. Friends

Friends, most expensive TV shows
Warner Bros Television Inc/IMDb

Estimated production costs: $10 million per episode (season 10), says Marketplace
Run dates: 1994 to 2004
One of the most beloved shows of the ’90s and early 2000s, Friends tells the tale of a circle of, well, friends living and working in New York City. It became a major commercial success and cultural phenomenon.

It spent the most money in its final season mostly due to the salaries of the cast. Each of the six co-stars made $1 million per episode. Besides the last season, Friends was a pretty low-budget show, says Kelley in Marketplace.
NEXT: This science-fiction/Western show is based on the 1973 movie of the same name.

6. Westworld

Westworld, most expensive TV shows
John P. Johnson/HBO

Estimated production costs: $10 million per episode, says Screen Rant
Run dates: 2016 to present
The TV program did experience a rocky start, but it became one of the most popular HBO shows. Production shut down in the beginning for a bit but the $25 million (yes, you heard that right) pilot was well received.

The first season reportedly spent $100 million. By that logic, Screen Rant estimates that individual episodes spent between $8 to $10 million each. The third season is expected to premiere in 2020.
NEXT: When you need special effects, pyrotechnics, and big ensemble casts, you’re going to be spending as much as this miniseries did.

5. Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers, most expensive TV shows
HBO, Getty Images/Dreamworks SKG, HBO

Estimated production costs: $12.5 million per episode, says Insider
Run dates: September to November 2001
Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s book of the same name, this miniseries follows a band of American soldiers in World War II Europe. Despite it only being 10 episodes, Band of Brothers dropped $125 million for the entire production.

Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the show’s high costs were due to “significant special effects and pyrotechnics and, because of the nature of the stories, big ensemble casts,” wrote Marisa Guthrie in The Hollywood Reporter.
NEXT: This show’s high costs were mostly due to its A-list cast.

4. ER

ER, most expensive TV shows
NBC/Getty Images via IMDb

Estimated production costs: $13 million per episode (at its peak), says Marketplace
Run dates: 1994 to 2009
Not unlike Friends, it started out as a not-so-expensive show to produce, but then became pricey due to actor salaries (e.g., George Clooney). Seth Kelley writes in Marketplace that renegotiations in 1998 helped Warner Bros. get $13 million per episode from NBC.

One producer reportedly called this deal “the half-a-billion-dollar blunder,” as it cost the network $440 million over two years. But the show lasted 15 seasons (331 episodes) — doesn’t sound too much like a blunder! Sounds like ER had lasting power.
NEXT: Re-creating this royal’s wedding dress added $35,000 to production costs.

3. The Crown

The Crown, most expensive TV shows
Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Estimated production costs: $13 million per episode, says Business Insider
Run dates: 2016 to present
This period drama covers the life of current reigning royal, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. (Wonder if she’s a fan of the show?) Business Insider attributes the big costs to the cast, set, filming locations, and costumes.

Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress re-creation cost around $35,000 — and that was just one of 7,000 costumes, says Business Insider. Add on a replica build of Buckingham Palace, and it’s easy to see why Netflix needed $13 million per episode …
NEXT: Some were very disappointed with the ending of this long-running show.

2. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, most expensive TV shows

Estimated production costs: $15 million per episode (final season), says Business Insider
Run dates: 2011 to 2019
Here’s another wildly pricey HBO production. By comparison, the average cable show costs $2 million per episode, writes Seth Kelley in Marketplace. Its $8 million second episode made headlines with its high costs. (What happened to splurging on the pilot?)

Game of Thrones’ earlier seasons cost $6 million per episode, reports Business Insider, but creators asked for more money to do the second season. Season six saw costs of $10 million per episode. The last and final season of the series saw costs of $15 million per episode.
NEXT: This miniseries cost nearly double its predecessor.

1. The Pacific

The Pacific, most expensive TV shows
Andrew Cooper/HBO

Estimated production costs: $21.7 million per episode, says Business Insider
Run dates: March to May 2010
Like Band of Brothers, this is also a miniseries about World War II, but set on the other side of the world — the Pacific (hence the name). However, each of the 10 episodes cost nearly double those of Band of Brothers.

A follow up to Band of Brothers, Business Insider says that the show’s complex battle scenes attempted to make the show as historically accurate as possible. This, however, added to The Pacific’s sky-high costs. One scene in particular cost $5 million — when character Sledge lands on Peleliu island alone, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.