The Wheel of Time on TV, When and how Much?


After a years wait, we finally know the Wheel of Time TV Series has a major studio behind it, Sony Pictures Television. We also know that they are still looking for a distribution/network partner. That will most likely be the next bit of major news we'll receive. How far away that is and when can we expect to see it on TV is a bit like "how long is a piece of string?". The network partner will also be a good indication of the size of the budget that the show may receive.

Narg has done a quick bit of research on timelines and budgets for past similar types of shows, to try and give us an estimate to go by:

Outlander: In July 2012, it was reported that Sony Pictures Television had secured the rights to Gabaldon's Outlander series. In November of 2012, Starz signed on to the project but didn't greenlight it until June of 2013. Filming began in September 2013 and the show premiered on August 9, 2014.

From rights deal to TV: 2 years
Estimated budget per episode: $4.69 million($75M over 16 episodes)

American Gods: In February 2014, Fremantle Media acquired the rights to adapt the novel as a fantasy drama series. Starz signed on in July of 2014 and Greenlit it on June 16, 2015. Filming started March 1, 2016 and the show premiered April 30, 2017.

From rights deal to TV: 3 years
Estimated budget per episode: $7.5 million($60M over 8 episodes)

The Shannara Chronicles: Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films acquired the TV rights to the Shannara in September 2012. In December 2013, MTV signed on. MTV greenlit the show in July of 2014. Filming began February 6, 2015 and the show premiered on January 5, 2016.

From rights deal to TV: 3 years 3 months
Estimated budget per episode: Let Narg know!

Game of Thrones: HBO acquired the rights in January 2007. A pilot was ordered in  November 2008 but was not filmed until late 2009. Game of Thrones was greenlit on March 02, 2010 and filming began July 26, 2010. The show premiered on April 17, 2011.

From rights deal to TV: 4 years 3 months
Estimated budget per episode: $6 million for season one, $10 million for season six(10 episodes)

Marco Polo: Netflix orders the series January 14, 2014. The show premiered on Netflix on December 12, 2014.

From rights deal to TV: 1 year(had been in development with Starz previously though)
Estimated budget per episode: $9 million($90M over 10 episodes)

That's just a small sample, but the average time from rights to TV is 2.7 years. Whether a pilot is ordered first or the show is ordered straight to TV will influence the timeline. If we err on the side of caution and so expectations aren't raised to much, Narg thinks we should all expect to see the show appear on our TV screens no sooner than 2019. If we see it sooner, Great! Just don't expect it anytime soon!

This is assuming the show gets picked up by a network and doesn't go the way of the last Wheel of Time rights deal with Universal(lasted 7 years and went no where).

Budget wise, well INO anything less than 9 or 10 million per episode just won't cut it. It needs to look as good as Marco Polo or Game of Thrones. Outlander looks great on its $5m budget but it's not VFX heavy like WoT will need to be if it's to look quality.

Some other quick figures for comparison:

Camelot(Starz) - $7M/Episode
Rome(HBO) - $10M/Episode
Spartacus: Blood and Sand(Starz) - $5M/Episode
Da Vinci's Demons(Starz/BBC) - $4M/Episode
The Last Kingdom(BBC) - $6.4M/Episode

As fans, most of us might settle for a cheaper version if the writing and acting is even close to the books quality, but Narg is sure we'd all also like to see it become a huge mainstream hit like Game of Thrones. For that to happen it needs to look spectacular as well as being entertaining! No one wants to see Narg being played by some random human wearing an animal shaped helmet! Looking good doesn't guarantee success(Marco Polo) but it helps.....


Narg is hoping for Netflix. HBO and Starz are pretty much ruled out(HBO has GoT spin offs and Starz/Lionsgate has King Killer Chronicles in development). AMC are cheap ass bastards. Amazon might work, but Narg is not willing to favor them over Netflix. Narg likes The 100, so CW could be feasible but they'd need to spend more than they currently do. Anyone else Narg doesn't even want to consider.....

Click the link below to request it on Netflix!


Update: Netflix have just announced they will be producing The Witcher series for TV. Although this doesn't totally rule out Netflix for WoT, it does make it less likely. That leaves AMC and Amazon as the only main contenders left INO.

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