Still from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4

“Game of Thrones” is ushering in the era of $15 million per hour TV

$15 million

The first season of Game of Thrones cost $6 million an hour, but episodes of the final season will cost more than twice as much when they air in 2018 or 2019.

Published   |  Photo by HBO
Still from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4
$15 million

Other series have had individual episodes that cost even more. (The pilot of Westworld cost $25 million.) But this is the first time that an entire series is that expensive.

Still from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4
$15 million

Super-premium production values and special effects have roughly doubled the cost of TV episodes over the last five years. A typical high-end hour-long drama costs $5-7 million per episode, and a half-hour show costs $1.5-3 million.

Still from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4
$15 million

Another big factor is competition: Big money is coming in from companies like Netflix and Amazon, and Hollywood is more focus on bringing in subscriptions, rather than advertisers.

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