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How much does the average American 1/2 hour sitcom cost, to produce?


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Old 08-06-2010, 19:17
Lowes of London
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How much does the average American 1/2 hour sitcom cost? Are animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons more expensive then a live action such as Cougar Town or Modern Family.
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Old 08-06-2010, 19:19
Charnham
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How much does the average American 1/2 hour sitcom cost? Are animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons more expensive then a live action such as Cougar Town or Modern Family.
well alot depends on how much the cast are paid, the longer hte show goes on, the more the cast are paid,
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Old 08-06-2010, 19:35
Cent
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From a UK perspective, TV roughly works out like this...

Drama - 700,000 per hour
Comedy - 500,000 per hour
Light Entertainment - 200,000 per hour
Factual - 100,000 per hour

Obviously, as has been said, the more popular the show the more everyone is paid and the higher the costs. X Factor and Britain's Got Talent are now way over 1m per hour.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:30
hendero
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How much does the average American 1/2 hour sitcom cost? Are animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons more expensive then a live action such as Cougar Town or Modern Family.
According to this, as of 2007 a Simpsons episode cost about $2 million to produce:

http://blog.cleveland.com/top_entert..._price_of.html

I would imagine the cost for a typical live action sitcom would be less, unless there were very highly paid stars.
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Old 09-06-2010, 16:57
Nilrem
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According to this, as of 2007 a Simpsons episode cost about $2 million to produce:

http://blog.cleveland.com/top_entert..._price_of.html

I would imagine the cost for a typical live action sitcom would be less, unless there were very highly paid stars.
I wouldn't be surprised if many LA sitcoms with a reasonable size regular cast in the states cost about the same/more - whilst it costs a fair chunk to animate the Simpsons much of it is from memory done in the far east where it's not uncommon for them to manage to do it extremely cheaply.

The main costs for the simpsons are likely to be the VA's and writers rather than the animation (the same sort of situation as many LA sitcoms where the big costs are the actors/writers), and the cost of the animation will be largely off set by the fact that they don't need any "sets" or many extras*.



*IIRC most of the simpsons VA's do a lot of the "extras" rather than just doing one or two main characters (which is I understand common with dub work).
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Old 09-06-2010, 20:07
michael777
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For comparison, how much would half an hour of EastEnders or Coronation Street cost to make?
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Old 09-06-2010, 20:19
Charnham
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For comparison, how much would half an hour of EastEnders or Coronation Street cost to make?
there was a figure for EE, but forgive me if I dont recall it correctly, it was either 30,000 or 300,000

ive done a google search and cant find anything to back it up, or even confirm it, so dont take either figure as fact.

No clue how much a Corrie episode costs.
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Old 09-06-2010, 20:39
Lowes of London
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EastEnders budget is on average 600k a week or 150k ep. but some cost much more some cost much less depending on stunts and locations.
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Old 09-06-2010, 22:38
Charnham
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EastEnders budget is on average 600k a week or 150k ep. but some cost much more some cost much less depending on stunts and locations.
turns out I was wrong then.

Does not seem like a bad cost, when you compare with

Cent

Drama - 700,000 per hour
first you divide that to half hour, giving you 350,000 per half hour, which is twice as much as an episode of EE.

It goes to show what ive said about soaps benefiting from ecnomines of scale.

Heck that is 600,000 per week, is 2 hours, compared to 1,400,000 for two hours, for a unique drama, with none of the cost cutting you get with soaps.
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Old 10-06-2010, 00:10
WLB
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How much does the average American 1/2 hour sitcom cost? Are animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons more expensive then a live action such as Cougar Town or Modern Family.
For a pilot sitcom, the networks are usually willing to pay $1 - $2 million dollars per episode. A notable exception was Veronicas Closet, which was romoured to have cost NBC $6 million per episode in its first season. The reason being it came from the writers of Friends, and had several big known personalities. Networks are willing to pay big bucks for a comedy from a successful writer.

The price is usually kept quite similar for the first five years of episodes, if a series last past that point, you then usually see a big explosion in the cost. Probably the most costly sit-com ever was Friends which cost NBC $10 million per episode in its final series (But the cast were taking home $6m per episode alone). Frasier peaked at $8 dollars, IIRC Seinfeld went out at $8m, and Will & Grace was at $6-8 million dollars near the end.

In comparison the most expensive series was er, at $13 million per episode, which is only $6.5 per 30 minutes, and L&O: SVU i think $8m per hour.
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