i'm planning to become extremly rich in the near future. just wondering just exactly how much money should i put aside. so, how much money does it take to make a b5 mini series, say ten two hour episodes..
The reference point that I know off the top of my head (or at least the figure that was widely bandied about on the net) was that production cost for Farscape, averaged across a 22 episode season (since some eps cost more than others to produce due to things like varying amounts SFX etc.), was approximately $1.5 million per 1 hour (less commercials) episode.
Using that as a benchmark, 20 hours of broadcast time (less commercials) would cost about $30 million to produce.
I'm not sure what the overall effect on costs would be due to differences such as having vs. not having animatronic characters, many of Farscape's alien races appearing to need more time consuming makeup, the fact that Farscape was produced in Australia, .....
Of course, the budget for Legend of the Rangers would probably be a more direct "comparable" (at least assuming the mini-series would be produced in Canada), but I don't remember their budget off-hand.
The TV movies produced for TNT cost something over $3 million, about 1 1/2 times the roughly $900,000 cost of an episode in 1999. IIRC Rangers cost more like $4 million - and it was shot in Canada, which saved considerable money. TV movie bugets are a better yardstick than episode budgets, because all of the Hollywood union contracts treat TVMs and minis differently than series episodes. (Meaning that everybody's price goes up on a TVM. )
To be on the safe side, figure $100 million to produce 20 hours of material. $2.5 million an hour to allow for inflation and the unexpected.
BTW: How do you plan to talk Warner Bros. into selling you the rights, and forcing some TV network or cable channel to carry the mini?