Here Are The 10 Most Profitable Shows On TV

Photo: American Idol

The most lucrative TV show of 2011 was (surprise!) American Idol. Looking at data from adspend measurement company Kantar Media, Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes found that American Idol generated an average of $6.64 million in ad revenue for every half-hour it was on air.The networks that cracked Forbes’ top 10 list of the most lucrative TV shows are ABC (4), CBS (3), and Fox (3). Of course, that means NBC missed the cut entirely. Ouch.

Mad Love, a CBS comedy, cracks the list as the ninth highest earning TV show of 2011, even though it was canceled last May. The discontinued sitcom received high ad revenue because of its favourable timeslot between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men on CBS.

Forbes and Kantar Media got their ad revenue estimates based on how much ad buyers would pay for 30-second spots before a show’s premiere. From generic CBS comedy sitcoms to singing (and dancing) reality contests, check out the 10 highest earning TV shows of 2011.

10. Modern Family – $2.13 million per half hour.

9. Mad Love – $2.49 million per half hour.

8. The Big Bang Theory – $2.57 million per half hour.

7. Desperate Housewives – $2.61 million per half hour.

6. Dancing With The Stars – $2.72 million per half hour.

5. Grey's Anatomy – $2.75 million per half hour.

4. Glee – $2.83 million per half hour.

3. Two And A Half Men – $3.24 million per half hour.

2. The X Factor – $5.55 million per half hour.

1. American Idol – $6.64 million per half hour.

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