“It was Vegas before Vegas was invented. It’s this adult playground, it’s eye candy… It had everything from highbrow to lowbrow… It’s just such an incredible palette to draw stories from.”
It’s also a hell of a risk for HBO, which has been on a winning streak since launching vampire drama True Blood back in 2008, guiding it to massive ratings and Zeitgeist-grabbing influence. The pilot for Boardwalk Empire alone allegedly cost $18 million to produce, a sizable sum that dwarfs other expensive pilot endeavors, like the $10 million ABC spent on Lost. The show itself is shot on a specially constructed 300-foot Jersey Shore boardwalk set—itself said to cost $5 million—which is then expanded with CGI. (Reports have indicated that the budget per episode hovers around $5 million per installment, which is on par with other HBO dramas.)
Read more at The Daily Beast.