Amazon’s Citadel reportedly cost $250m – but flopped with viewers

(Image credit: Amazon)

A streaming report reveals Amazon spy series Citadel was a massive flop on Prime Video.

Starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jones as a Citadel agency duo, the globetrotting thriller debuted in April to a muted response. Bloomberg reports that the first season "failed to chart as one of the 10 most-watched streaming programs in the US in any week since it debuted" according to Nielsen's metrics.

It was also revealed that Citadel cost $250m to make, putting it in the upper echelons of the most expensive TV series of all time. A fellow Prime Video show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, tops the list at a reported cost of $465 million.

Previous reports had indicated that Citadel’s budget had ballooned to $200m due to a combination of factors, including extensive reshoots and COVID-19 measures. Bloomberg also reported that a team led by executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo re-cut the series and submitted it to Amazon alongside the original cut, a decision that – thanks to requiring additional photography – ended up costing the project another $80 million.

Despite the costs, Citadel isn’t one and done. A second season – directed by Joe Russo – is in the works, while multiple international spin-offs (including series set in India and Italy) are planned.

"Citadel is a truly global phenomenon," Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said after the season 2 renewal. "Our goal was always to create a new franchise rooted in original IP that would grow Prime Video's international audience. This show has drawn an outsize number of new international customers to Prime Video."

For more from the streamer, check out the best Prime Video movies to watch right now.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.