THE COSTLIEST SEASON EVER
A few years ago it cost anywhere between 1,5 and 2 million dollars to produce one episode of a new TV series (older shows are usually more expensive due to salary demands of their popular cast members). Now, the cost has skyrocketed to about 3 million. And that's the standard cost.
Some of the more sophisticated pilots with higher production values cost a lot more. NBC has, for instance, confirmed it spent 7 million dollars to produce pilots for "Kidnapped" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip".
And just a couple of years ago, the famous series premiere of "Lost" cost as much as 12 million dollars. If most of the new shows fail, this may be one of the costliest TV seasons in Hollywood, yet.
For this reason, there are fewer midseason replacements (most of the budgets were invested into the fall line-up of shows). And the networks are using other platforms, such as the Internet, to promote their shows and expose them to larger audiences, before they are certain they want to take a show off the air.
Finally, there seems to be saturation in the field of serialized dramas. The viewers are still fully committed to "Lost", "Desperate Housewives", "Prison Break", "Grey's Anatomy" and "24" and there is little space for additional viewer commitment. Self-contained stories such as those told via "CSI" and "Law & Order" franchises are much easier to follow. Despite not seeing the pilot you are still able to enjoy an occasional episode.
The lesson learned is that the viewers want more compelling and original stories. Copying what others have already done, or throwing expensive special effects or celebrity guest stars will simply not do the trick.
Labels: New Shows