Multi-million-dollar epic productions featuring prestigious actors and costly special effects aren't just for multiplexes any more.
Television now serves as home to programming that rivals anything Peter Jackson — the guru behind "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit — can put on the screen, with the budgets to prove it.
What drives these huge budgets? According to Shari Anne Brill, president and CEO of Shari Anne Brill Media, it comes down to location, talent and CGI, and that's just for starters.
"The sets and costumes can drive up the price [of] historical dramas," the advertising veteran said in an interview. "Stunts can be expensive." She added that budgets run into deficits when unforeseen problems rear their heads.
"Sometimes you'll go into extra money if the show doesn't test well, or if you have issues with talent and you have to re-shoot entire scenes," she said. "Sometimes there are creative differences, or someone was a prima donna and had to be replaced."
So is it worth spending millions of dollars to create a television show with no guarantee that it will be successful? According to Brill, if the show is a hit, the answer becomes an emphatic 'yes'.
What are some of the most expensive television productions of all time? Read ahead to find out.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 15 Jan. 2013