Upcoming Apple TV+ Sci-Fi Drama 'See' Reported to Cost $15 Million Per Episode

Apple has several original TV shows in the works for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, and a new report by The Wall Street Journal looks at the big budgets involved in these productions as competition hots up among rival streaming services eager to win over audiences in a market dominated by the likes of Netflix and HBO.

see
According to the report, Amazon and Netflix have increased budgets for original content in the last few years. Netflix originally spent $4.5 million per episode on "House of Cards," but now many newcomers are having to spend between $8 million and $15 million per episode on original content to compete with established services.

For example, Disney's Star Wars spinoff "The Mandalorian" costs nearly $15 million per episode, according to people who spoke to WSJ. As for Apple, it is said to be spending nearly $15 million per episode to produce sci-fi drama "See," which stars Jason Momoa of "Game of Thrones" and Aquaman fame.

In the case of Apple's "See," the cost has neared $15 million for each roughly 60-minute episode, according to a person familiar with the matter. That is more than the cost of a typical independent feature film.

"See," set centuries in the future after a virus has wiped out much of Earth's population and left survivors blind, appears to be taking cues from the "Game of Thrones" playbook of cinematic world-building. Footage shown at Apple’s programming event featured Mr. Momoa ready-set for battle alongside dozens of actors in sweeping vistas filmed in the fields and forests of British Columbia.

These kinds of figures per episode mean shows can easily exceed $150 million per season – or as much as a typical big-budget movie. One driving factor, according to the report, is that high-profile TV shows are offered up next to theatrical films available to stream on the same service, so "original programming can't risk looking like B-material next to the movies."

Apple is working on dozens of original TV shows and movies with high-profile directors, producers, and actors. The company was reported to have a budget of about $1 billion for its original content and TV shows in 2017.

It's unclear if Apple's budget has risen since that time, but as the WSJ report concludes, a certain power comes with paying big money for A-list actors, since it signals to other top actors and directors that Apple is committed to writing big checks for its top shows.

For example, Apple has signed a deal for two seasons of morning talk show drama "The Morning Show," starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. According to a report in January 2018, the two key stars are set to earn $1.25 million per episode.

‌Apple TV+‌, Apple's new streaming television service, is coming this fall. It will be available on all devices where the TV app is available, which includes iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV, along with the Mac. There's no TV app for Mac right now, but Apple plans to introduce one later this year.

Apple has not yet announced pricing for the service, but it is ad free and shows will be available to watch on demand. For more information on ‌Apple TV+‌, make sure to check out our Apple TV+ guide.

Top Rated Comments

Skeith Avatar
21 months ago
This isn't the Apple TV service we asked for......
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
radiology Avatar
21 months ago
Apple is about to learn a hard business lesson...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
21 months ago
It will fail. This is a lot of money spent on something they’ve never done before.
Based on that logic, you would have predicted the failure of the iPod, iPhone and iPad too.

Fourth time’s the charm?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Khedron Avatar
21 months ago
Some of the shows sound good, like the space race one, but "See" just seems like an expensive train wreck
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BenGieCruz Avatar
21 months ago
This isn't the Apple TV service we asked for......
When does Apple gives us what we ask for? LMAO
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruceEBonus Avatar
21 months ago
Fifteen Million? That’s almost as much as a Mac Pro!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
scott forstall original iphone

Epic Games 'Attempting to Locate' Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall to Testify in Ongoing Legal Battle with Apple

Tuesday February 23, 2021 4:22 am PST by
As part of its ongoing legal battle, Epic Games is now seeking testimony from Apple's former iOS software chief, Scott Forstall. Forstall left Apple in 2013, in what was widely reported at the time to have been a forced exit, largely because of the botched early launch of Apple Maps. Since then, Forstall has kept a very low profile and has only made a few media appearances in the past few...