'Idol' brings the fans - and the big bucks
March 18th, 2011
06:51 PM ET

'Idol' brings the fans - and the big bucks

In 2010, “American Idol” brought in the most money on television – a whopping $7.11 million every half hour, according to Forbes.

As successful as that sounds, the show is actually down 12 percent from 2009, but was still able to make the top of the list.

The future isn't looking too shabby, either. Although Simon Cowell has left “Idol" behind, Forbes notes that the show can still attract 24 million viewers. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez must be doing something right.

CBS' "Mike & Molly" has been a moneymaker as well, being the only new show to crack the top 10 of programs raking in the most cash. Created by Mark Roberts, "Mike & Molly" brought in $2.11 million per half hour in 2010, placing it at No. 10 in the rankings.

The top five earning TV shows shake out as follows, in revenue earned per half hour:

1. "American Idol" - $7.11 million

2. “Two and a Half Men” - $2.89 million

3. “Desperate Housewives” - $ 2.74 million

4. “Grey’s Anatomy” - $2.67 million

5. “Dancing With the Stars” - $2.67 million

For the rest of the list, visit Forbes.com.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Lori

    Better judges with real talent and performance abilities and the best musical contestants ever in one show. There have been a number of great contestants but they were scattered throughout the past seasons. This group composes voices we will hear for many years to come. My husband and I were great AI followers, even going to their concerts at our ages (60+) but after last year, we had thought we'd never watch it again. We decided to give this panel of judges and contestants a chance and boy are we glad...the AI team is redeemed. CONGRATULATIONS!

    March 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. D

    Stopped watching after the 2nd season...but I do watch NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Adventures! Yay!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Me

    Hmmm...ratings say it all. If the public likes it, it could be great, couldn't it? Soap operas have been on tv for 30 or 40 yrs, they must be doing something right.I'm with gma and potsy, those are good shows.

    March 21, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Potsy

    I'm from your planet gmama, I like the storylines from des house & greys, also! Soap op's last longer than any shows, even happy days! Sorry Ralph.

    March 21, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Me

    @ heidi ho, you are so right! I agree completly! @ lois lane, s tyler doesn't like being put on the spot by ryan, either. Have y'all noticed that? I still like the show. I don't bother voting, can't compete w/ "mass" voting!

    March 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lois Lane

    Ryans suits arent as annoying as his voice. And whats up with all those dumb questions hes always got to ask. Im sure he can think of something better than that.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. heidi ho

    I agree that the voting protocol for AI is unfair. They should do it like they do on DWTS. On that show you can only vote a certain # of times from one #. Would cut down on alot of voter fraud. Well as long as its a money maker, as it is now, I dont see much changing.

    March 20, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike Masters

    More cow bell!

    March 20, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. @daddy

    AI isn't rigged like you're thinking, it's rigged by the way people can vote. PCs and smartphones can use programs to send a ton of votes in, so in a way it is rigged by the way people can vote. Whoever the hackers like will get the most votes. I've watched someone who voted with 100's of texts in seconds multiple times on a dell streak with a program for mass texting.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Malcolm Kovitz

    Will Ryan Seacrest ever get a suit that fits? Fits like the one he wore to his tenth birthday party.

    March 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sunless

    only this http://www.SUPERSONIC.US.COM

    March 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. daddy

    Wonders still if AI is rigged. ex. adam lambert.

    March 19, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gmama

    To Bill and Ted. Desperate housewives and Grey's are good shows w/ great storylines. When your done watcing Bay watch, you should check them out. To each his own, I'm just sayng !

    March 19, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ralph

      Great STORYlines? What planet are you from? They are glorified soap operas. Yes, to each their own but let's not get carried away and say something is great just because the public likes it, LOL.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill & Ted

    Just proves that some people will watch anything. More action movies and bikini contests, please!

    March 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |

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