Thought it might not look like it, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell’s new AppleTV+ drama The Morning Show is among the most expensive TV shows ever made. The show's price tag features a number that even exceeds the staggering per-season expense that Netflix spends on The Crown. If you thought what it takes to put the royal family on camera was expensive, wait until you learn how much moolah AppleTV+ spent on The Morning Show.
For those unaware, AppleTV+'s most established new drama The Morning Show boasts mega-stars of screens big and small, such as Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon. (Yes, Aniston and Witherspoon are re-teaming on television.) The Morning Show has already gotten picked up for two seasons, which means breaking down the huge number it cost to make.
Combined, The Morning Show’s first two seasons will reportedly cost AppleTV+ around $300 million, per Bloomberg. That puts a single season of the drama ringing up to around $150 million. The series is set to run for 10 episodes a season, putting the average price tag per episode at $15 million. Pilot episodes tend to cost more, due to sets being built and what not, but that is a ton of money by any stretch.
To put The Morning Show’s per-episode budget in perspective, let’s turn to the spectacle that was Game of Thrones. The expense it took to bring the fantasy drama's controversial final season to the screen was nearly $14.5 million per episode (via On Stride). Keep in mind, Game of Thrones had six episodes in its final season, compared to The Morning Show’s ten.
Regardless, that is a lot of money to spend on a single show, especially one without 40-minute battle sequences. AppleTV+ is clearly betting big on the controversy-minded series. When you have the stars of Friends, The Office, and Big Little Lies all coming together for a show, it seems like a good bet that any money spent will be worth it. And those stars themselves likely had a bit to do with the skyrocketing costs.
Still, what could happen in an episode of The Morning Show for it to cost almost as much as the special-effects-loving Game of Thrones? HBO had to account for Daenerys’ mass destruction of King’s Landing and her dragons as a whole. Will Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell’s drama require similar fantastical renderings? It seems doubtful, although it'd be cool if everyone lived in castles.
Fans will have a chance to see what all of the money was spent on soon. The Morning Show centers on Jennifer Aniston’s Alex Levy, the co-host of a popular morning show. Her co-host and romantic partner, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), is fired following a sexual misconduct scandal.
In the aftermath, Alex has to fight to keep her job. She eventually finds herself facing off against Reese Witherspoon’s younger Bradley Jackson as a potential replacement. You can check out the trailer below:
The Morning Show clearly has all of the gloss and sheen of a hard-hitting feature film. Is that where the money went? Not sure. In the streaming wars, every contender is putting their best foot forward. Competition from Disney+ and veterans such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, means pulling out all of the stops. AppleTV+ is clearly hoping that The Morning Show’s price tag pays off.
The Morning Show will premiere this fall on Apple TV+, alongside many other fall premieres.