When Netflix hired lavish Romeo + Juliet director Baz Luhrmann to make a show about hip-hop history, it clearly knew it was going to be a pricey endeavor. Between hiring Grandmaster Flash to handle musical duties, recruiting veteran actors to buoy up a cast of relative unknowns, and the occasional production shutdowns, the streaming service’s new series The Get Down was reportedly running at $11 million per episode. (For reference, the most recent season of Game Of Thrones cost roughly $10 million per episode, a series high.)
Now, Deadline is reporting that The Get Down’s cost was even higher than originally believed. Factoring in the millions the company paid to acquire the exclusive international intellectual property rights for the show, the series appears to have cost Netflix $16 million for each of its six episodes. (Again, for comparison: NBC could have doubled the famous $1 million per episode it was paying each cast member for the final seasons of Friends, and still have cost less than Netflix is shelling out right now.)
Netflix hasn’t directly commented on this latest report on the show’s costs, although CCO Ted Sarandos did acknowledge, “It’s an expensive piece of television” during the company’s quarterly earnings call. Deadline does note, though, that the show matches Netflix’s goal of targeting under-served demographics and drawing them in. While the service keeps its ratings secret, as ever, sources inside the company have said that the show performs well among African American and Hispanic viewers, and also among the young.