See might be the most intriguing original TV show Apple is making, but that comes at a price.
According to a new article on TV shows with budgets comparable to big budget movies, Apple is spending $15 million an episode on the show.
With 10x 60-minute episodes in the season, that means that See‘s total budget is $150 million. True, the respective runtime of a 600-minute TV season and a 150-minute movie means it’s not an exact comparison. But it does show that, when it comes to things like big VFX sequences, actors, etc. Apple’s not afraid to splash the cash.
The Wall Street Journal article (paywall) notes that Disney’s own Disney+ streaming service is also spending big bucks. Its Star Wars show, The Mandalorian will cost around $15 million per episode. Amazon is additionally spending heavily on its own programming. It brokered a $250 million deal to make its own Lord of the Rings series.
As one other data point, the last season of Game of Thrones cost $15 million to make per episode. Since shows typically get pricier to make the longer they run, that should give a further indication of how much Apple is spending.
Back when it first announced its original TV ambitions, Game of Thrones was apparently the model for the kind of “scope” Apple hoped to achieve. In total, Apple’s budget for original TV shows was said to “blow past” $1 billion.
What to expect from See?
See is created by Peaky Blinders showrunner Steven Knight. It stars Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa as lead character “Baba Voss”. Hera Hilmar, Christian Camargo, Shalyn Ferdinand and Lauren Glazier will also act on the show.
Its plot takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where Earth has been devastated by a deadly virus. The few million people who survived emerged blind. The show is set centuries later when the human race has lived for so long without sight that it is not clear whether it even ever existed.
It’s a big high concept hook, and it’s got the potential to be either a massive hit or a big flop for Apple. Obviously, the company’s hoping for the former. If See can pick up the kind of momentum Game of Thrones enjoyed at its height, this could be absolutely massive.