budget Budget for T.V. Series

I made a T.V. pilot and have a sales agency interested in pitching it but they want three budget numbers from me for either per episode or season... minimum, middle range and bigger. Anyone have any experience on this or ideas? Thanks.
 
Basically, it's an impossible question to answer without a lot more information, and even then I can only give you an educated guess.

Half hour or hour?

how many episodes in a season?

What type of show?

How big does it need to be to work? (Star Trek has a higher minimum than The Office for example)

How many cameras? Some shows are shot on one camera, keeping costs lower.

Where is the show set? Shutting down parts of NYC for car chases has a very different budget than buying guest chairs for Dr Phil episodes.
 
Budgeting for film is always complicated. More so if you have no previous experience. Bottom line, the lower their per episode cost, the more likely they are to profit. Set the cost too low, and you're working for nothing. Try to save money on your main star and the show fails, try to get the best possible star and the show becomes topheavy.

The best advice I can really give you (without spending 20 hours looking over every aspect of your planned production) is to consult with an experienced specialist, and hire them to give you a detailed appraisal.

Budgeting your show is definitely not something you can do for free online.

If you just wanted a ballpark, and you're a newcomer with no following, I'd guestimate that you'd want to come in pretty cheap, like 200k an episode or less. It depends a lot on your target network as well. Sci Fi channel for example pays extremely low for their in house movies, like 110k for a 90 minute film. Netflix, at the height of it's money printer phase, was giving a million dollars to anyone who could spell "sitcom". So there are many factors that would contribute to even a ballpark estimate.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
I have quite a bit of experience in budgeting TV series.

You have a lot of work ahead of you. I suggest you hire someone.

Union or non union will make a huge difference. Name stars will make
a huge difference. And the number of regulars, guests and extras will
make a huge difference. Putting together three reasonable budgets it
labor intensive, and experienced based.

With no knowledge other than half hour, 8 episodes to shoot in Palm
Springs I can say you're looking at $250,000, $500,000 and $1,250,000
per episode.
 
Budgeting for film is always complicated. More so if you have no previous experience. Bottom line, the lower their per episode cost, the more likely they are to profit. Set the cost too low, and you're working for nothing. Try to save money on your main star and the show fails, try to get the best possible star and the show becomes topheavy.

The best advice I can really give you (without spending 20 hours looking over every aspect of your planned production) is to consult with an experienced specialist, and hire them to give you a detailed appraisal.

Budgeting your show is definitely not something you can do for free online.

If you just wanted a ballpark, and you're a newcomer with no following, I'd guestimate that you'd want to come in pretty cheap, like 200k an episode or less. It depends a lot on your target network as well. Sci Fi channel for example pays extremely low for their in house movies, like 110k for a 90 minute film. Netflix, at the height of it's money printer phase, was giving a million dollars to anyone who could spell "sitcom". So there are many factors that would contribute to even a ballpark estimate.
I have quite a bit of experience in budgeting TV series.

You have a lot of work ahead of you. I suggest you hire someone.

Union or non union will make a huge difference. Name stars will make
a huge difference. And the number of regulars, guests and extras will
make a huge difference. Putting together three reasonable budgets it
labor intensive, and experienced based.

With no knowledge other than half hour, 8 episodes to shoot in Palm
Springs I can say you're looking at $250,000, $500,000 and $1,250,000
per episode.
Thanks guys, this would be my second series. My first series was non-union unfortunately and produced by a cable network in Canada. This is my first time having to deal with a sales agency. I appreciate your feedback.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
Thanks guys, this would be my second series. My first series was non-union unfortunately and produced by a cable network in Canada. This is my first time having to deal with a sales agency. I appreciate your feedback.
Don't you think you kinda buried the lead...

That you've done this before and you have access to the budget of your previous
series would have been very helpful when asking if anyone here has experience.
I know my answer would have been different.
 
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