7 Low Budget TV Shows Which Hit Harder Than Most Lavish Blockbusters

7 Low Budget TV Shows Which Hit Harder Than Most Lavish Blockbusters
Image credit: NBC, BBC Two, Dave

The great TV is so much more than just money.

With the rise of insanely expensive TV productions like Citadel, which spends $50 million per episode on the show, it feels like there's no place for good writing on a tight budget type of series. Although, as the reviews show, no amount of expensive CGI can make the dull story any more exciting.

If you are looking for something a little simpler, yet fun, intriguing and interesting, here are 7 shows with relatively small budgets that could give any overpriced production a run for its money.

Misfits (2009-2013)

It's one thing to make a sitcom or slice-of-life drama on a budget, but it's another thing entirely to pull off a sci-fi series. Yes, Misfits doesn't look as cool as a Marvel production, but it made so many people laugh, cry, get angry, and get inspired along with its characters that no one really seems to care about the wacky special effects.

Also, the cost of each episode went up to a maximum of $400 thousand, which in itself is a true miracle of budgeting, considering the large ensemble cast.

The Red Green Show (1991-2006)

The low budget of this Canadian hit is perfectly explained by the show's plot: all the sketches that Red Green performs are shot on the nephew's hand-held camera. It is funny, it is creative, and it brought so many people to their screens that it can be said to have raised a generation.

Considering how little it cost to produce, the show was a very long-lasting gift to the network, which continued to give only quality entertainment.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005-...)

The show has come a long way since its inception in 2005, but it wasn't always like this.

Earning the money for the promo and getting at least some marketing from FX was more than the team could have dreamed of. Back then, the pilot was made from scratch, almost like an amateur home movie, which only added to the charm of the show that It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia eventually became.

The Office ( 2005-2013)

Another show from the 2000s that was created with pure enthusiasm from everyone involved was The Office. Over the years, it has become one of the most popular sitcoms in the world.

And although the stars of it never got $1 million paychecks per episode like the cast of Friends did, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski definitely have The Office to thank for their big break. True talent will always shine through, low budget or not.

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Peaky Blinders ( 2013-2022)

The hit historical crime series starring Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy has managed to produce 6 seasons of high quality with a budget of around £7.5 million. If we divide this into 36 parts, using the number of episodes released, each episode would cost just over £200,000, which is an incredible figure considering how rich and eventful the series is.

On the other hand, with a cast like that, all the money could go to their salaries and the viewers would be just as entertained.

The Booth at the End (2010-2012)

Another Canadian show that proves you don't need a lot of film to make exciting television. What you do need is a concept that keeps all the characters in one place and engaged with each other. Brilliant acting seals the deal and ensures that no viewer can look away.

The Booth at the End does it all, following the story of a seemingly random group of strangers who each make a Faustian pact with a mysterious figure, The Man.

Red Dwarf (1988-1999; 2009-2020)

Just like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Red Dwarf made a name for itself and a budget to go with it, but the first couple of seasons are the strongest sci-fi you'll ever see, made practically out of nothing.

Not only did the show not have enough money, it didn't have access to the technology available today. For anyone who enjoys a good space story, Red Dwarf will always be worth watching.