1923's Price Tag is No Joke: Episode Costs as Much as an Yellowstone's Entire Season

1923's Price Tag is No Joke: Episode Costs as Much as an Yellowstone's Entire Season
Image credit: Paramount

This franchise is yee-hawing its way into the competition for the world's most expensive shows just like that.

If you think that only shows like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Stranger Things, or Game of Thrones can flex huge budgets, then Taylor Sheridan, the creator of the Yellowstone franchise, is about to prove you wrong.

The latest Yellowstone spinoff, titled 1923, has already drawn 7.4 million total viewers across Paramount+ and other platforms after premiering earlier in the week.

Spearheaded by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, the show was filmed in at least three different African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa), and relies heavily on practical effects. This means a lot of money; but when Sheridan revealed to Deadline just how much, many were left impressed — and fearful for The Rings of Power's title of the world's most expensive TV show.

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According to Sheridan, each episode of Yellowstone's 1923 costs between $30 million and $35 million. Just a heads-up: Netflix 's mega-hit Stranger Things has that exact price tag per episode, and Amazon's The Rings of Power boasts a budget that is only twice as big — $60 million per episode.

"I would argue that 1883 was the most expensive first season of a TV show ever made. [1923] was much more expensive. Much more expensive. I don't know what the 'Game of Thrones' budgets were, but I don't know how they could have been more than this," Sheridan told Deadline.

Technically, Sheridan is correct — his 1923 actually is more expensive than Game of Thrones, with its first season spending only $60 million on ten episodes, and season 8 enjoying a now-not-so-huge $15 million price tag per episode.

According to the Yellowstone creator, his budget requests were granted with no hiccups, because Paramount is so confident in the franchise — and, given the whopping ratings of the 1923 premiere, the confidence is understandable.

Meanwhile, Yellowstone is also not really modest in spending. According to estimations by The Salt Lake Tribune, Yellowstone spent about $80 million when filming its first three seasons in Utah (where approximately 75 percent of production took place). This might imply that each of the three seasons cost around $35 million to make.