JMS: Budget breakdown?

b5jms-owner at b5jms-owner at
Mon Nov 20 07:35:12 EST 1995

Subject: JMS: Budget breakdown?
+  1: Nov 14, 1995: koreth at cadge.Hyperion.COM (Steven Grimm)
*  2: Nov 19, 1995: straczynski at


From: koreth at cadge.Hyperion.COM (Steven Grimm)
Lines: 12

I'm curious about where the money for each episode goes.  The consensus
seems to be that B5's budget is about $800,000 an episode -- how much of
that goes to set construction, to special effects, to the actors, and so

I imagine much of that information isn't for public consumption, but it
can't hurt to ask.  Obviously I don't care about Bruce Boxleitner's exact
salary; I'm just interested in a rough breakdown, since that figure seems
simultaneously like a huge sum of money and not nearly enough to do what
you're doing.



From: straczynski at
Lines: 13

     I can't give you specifics, because that stuff is generally
considered private.  One thing I can say...there's what called "above
the line" and "below the line;" above the line includes the total
costs for cast, producers, writers, directors, and the like; below the
line is construction, art department, makeup, costume, and so on.

     On the average show, the above the line is as much as two thirds
of the total budget, in large measure because the producing staff is
large, and the producers take out huge budgets.  In the case of B5, the
above the line is less than *half* the total budget.  Every penny of
our budget is up there on the screen.


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