Baz’s “Get Down” Is TV’s Most Expensive Series?

Like various other auteurs, when you hire Baz Luhrmann – don’t expect him to do what he does for cheap. The Aussie filmmaker is often acclaimed for his lavish visuals and style, but also known for going over budget and not being great with deadlines.

Case in point is Luhrmann’s upcoming Netflix series “The Get Down” which has already earned a nickname from the various crew involved – “The Shut Down”. Variety has posted an extensive report on the series which has not only become Netflix’s most expensive series to date but likely the most expensive TV show in history.

The twelve-episode first season has reportedly come in at a budget of approximately $120 million, that’s around $10 million per episode and that’s after tax rebates from shooting in New York City. Previous record holders include the final season of “Friends” ($10M per ep), “Rome” ($9M per ep) and “Game of Thrones” ($6M per ep).

Why? The report essentially indicated a bunch of behind-the-scenes problems with two showrunners coming and going quite early on. Luhrmann was only expecting to play a smaller role on the series, but soon wound up becoming completely involved with the streaming giant sticking to him when the show’s co-producers Sony Pictures Television tried to get another onboard.

Luhrmann almost nearly bailed on the show entirely due to all of its moving parts, the director saying: “I would never have believed two years ago that my days and nights, seven days a week, would have been absorbed in this gigantic collaboration. I’ve never worked with so many people, and I’ve done a lot of things.”

Writer Nelson George says: “It’s very challenging getting the balance of music and story right. It’s not like doing a regular [scripted] TV show. We have full-on dance production numbers in every episode. That all took a lot more time than everyone thought.”

The first half of the first season arrives on the streaming service on August 12th.