The five most expensive series in Netflix history
(Credits: Best of Netflix / Netflix)


The five most expensive series in Netflix history

With a seemingly bottomless pit of cash, Netflix has become very familiar with splurging exorbitant amounts of money on its original productions, with something as standard as a TV series now costing tens – if not hundreds – of millions of dollars to make.

Of course, not every one of the platform’s voluminous in-house exclusives necessitates such a hefty budget, but at least the bean counters have seen a return on their investment after all five of its most expensive series to date have not only done bumper numbers but have been renewed for additional seasons.

Netflix has a habit of cancelling dozens of shows annually, and it’s even more of a kick in the teeth when one of the costlier ones doesn’t take off. That being said, a single episode of television costing more than the majority of independent movies is ridiculous from any angle, but Stranger Things being arguably the streamer’s flagship original show gives it a certain amount of leeway.

Still, the fourth season of the sci-fi horror costing around $30million for each of its nine episodes is a mind-boggling amount, especially when that equates to $270million for the whole shebang. By extension, that puts the cost of Stranger Things 4 on a par with Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

Having recently been renewed for second and third seasons at once, Netflix will be digging deep into the coffers to fund the remainder of Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ 3 Body Problem, with the initial eight-episode run coming in at $20 million per episode. With another 16 instalments to go, should it remain in line with its predecessors, that’s an eye-watering total of nearly half a billion dollars.

Strangely, the second season of One Piece could realistically come in cheaper than its $18 million per episode opening run, if only for the fact the production team has already shelled out to construct a number of sets, backdrops, and digital models. Then again, bigger tends to equate to better in Netflix’s book, so don’t be surprised if the sophomore run is even more expensive.

Not to drop a bombshell on anybody, but creating opulent fantasy worlds doesn’t come cheap, especially when there’s plenty of visual effects required to add the finishing touches. As a result, Neil Gaiman adaptation The Sandman was a $15million per episode effort, and those numbers will probably be around the same for its currently-shooting second season.

That’s an ode to 1980s genre cinema, an existential sci-fi epic, a splashy manga adaptation, and an ominous comic book battle between good and evil, so it makes perfect sense that the next most expensive series in Netflix history would be a period drama revolving around the life and times of the Royal Family. The final season of The Crown came at a cost of roughly $13million per episode, ensuring that when it comes to the streamer’s costliest shows, one of those things is not like the others.

The five most expensive Netflix shows:

  • Stranger Things – $30 million per episode
  • 3 Body Problem – $20 million per episode
  • One Piece – $18 million per episode
  • The Sandman – $15 million per episode
  • The Crown – $13 million per episode