India's most expensive TV show cost Rs 500 crore, even more than Brahmastra, Baahubali, Jawan, Tiger 3; had no big star

The most expensive TV show ever made in India had a budget of Rs 500 crore, more than most Indian films.

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India's most expensive TV show cost Rs 500 crore, even more than Brahmastra, Baahubali, Jawan, Tiger 3; had no big star


The production budgets of Indian films have been steadily going up in the last two decades. From a time when a Rs 40-crore film was considered big, we are now in a time where big films routinely cost over Rs 200 crore. What is surprising is that Indian television shows have caught up too, and some even, surpassed Indian films. For instance, the most expensive Indian TV show ever made cost more than all but three Indian films.

The most expensive TV show from India

Aired from 2017-18, the historical drama Porus is widely regarded as the most expensive TV show ever made in India. The series, which comprised of 249 episodes, cost a humungous Rs 500 crore to make and market, the highest budget in the history of Indian television. The high production cost largely came down to the elaborate sets, VFX, and large-scale battle sequences in outdoor locations. The show told the stories of two rulers – Porus of India and Greece’s Alexander the Great.

How Porus beat Baahubali and Jawan’s budgets

At the time, Porus began airing, the most expensive Indian film ever made was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which had a production budget of Rs 250 crore. Porus cost twice as much. By the end of its run, 2.0 had taken over the tag of the most expensive Indian film with a budget of Rs 400 crore. But Porus still reigned supreme. Over the years, several big films have had budgets smaller than Porus. These include Brahmastra (Rs 430 crore), Jawan (Rs 300 crore), Tiger 3 (Rs 300 crore), and Leo (Rs 250 crore). The only Indian films with higher budget than Porus are Adipurush (Rs 550 crore), RRR (also Rs 550 crore), and Kalki 2898 AD (Rs 600 crore).

Porus’ absence of stars

When Porus was cast, the most notable thing about the show was the absence of big names. The show starred Laksh Lalwani in the titular role. The actor had not played lead role in any TV show till then. Rohit Purohit, who played Alexander, was a known name in the TV industry but certainly not a huge name. Yet, the show was a huge success prompting Sony TV – the channel that aired it – to launch a spinoff after it ended. Chandragupta Maurya, a sequel/spinoff aired from 2018-19.

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