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Which Shows are TV's Biggest Moneymakers?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Mar 17th 2011 9:20AM
'American Idol' judgesForbes has unveiled its annual list of TV's Biggest Moneymakers, and it contains some really good news for Chuck Lorre -- three of his shows are in the Top 10 -- and some really bad news for NBC: None of their shows made the cut.

The top spot goes yet again to Fox's ratings juggernaut 'American Idol'. Pulling in $7.11 million of advertising revenue for each half hour it's on the air, 'Idol' is way ahead of its closest competitor, CBS's hit comedy 'Two and a Half Men.'

'Men' has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, and the future of the show is uncertain. Star Charlie Sheen's been fired, creator Chuck Lorre's said "I'm so outta here," and production's been stopped.

However, given that Forbes estimates it makes $2.89 million per half hour, the suits at CBS may want to think of a way of keeping it on the air. The Top 3 is rounded out by ABC's 'Desperate Housewives,' now in its seventh season, which makes $2.74 million per half hour.

The list is for shows that aired in 2010 and contains two extremely lucrative assets that have now ended: 'Lost' (ABC) and '24' (Fox). Although one new show did made the list -- Chuck Lorre's 'Mike & Molly' -- some buzzworthy new shows didn't make the cut. Forbes places 'Glee' in 11th place and 'Modern Family' in 16th.

The Forbes Top 10 in full:

1) 'American Idol' (Fox) $7.1 million
2) 'Two and a Half Men' (CBS) $2.89 million
3) 'Desperate Housewives' (ABC) $2.74 million
4) Grey's Anatomy (ABC) $2.67 million
5) 'Dancing With the Stars' (ABC) $2.67 million
6) 'Lost' (ABC) $2.6 million
7) 'The Big Bang Theory' (CBS) $2.5 million
8) '24' (Fox) $2.45 million
9) 'Private Practice' (ABC) $2.32 million
10) 'Mike & Molly' (CBS) $2.11 million

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Evelyn

How could NCIS be overlooked. It is the best, cast, story lines, TV at it's best. Where did this list come from? Forbes is making a big, big mistake with the top 10.

March 20 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Evelyn's comment
Jesse Haun

Forbes is looking at the concrete facts of which shows make the most money, not giving their opinions on casting or storylines or anything. As for why it's not on the list, NCIS's audience probably skews a bit older and thus earns fewer lucrative advertising dollars.

March 22 2011 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aajgriffin

NCIS is the best but money talks very loud and money listens.

March 20 2011 at 4:37 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

Don't watch any of this tripe. I think that it is a sad list.

March 20 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rmartin96

I agree NCIS is the best.

March 20 2011 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
geneseesal

NCIS...the best!!!

March 20 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Gayle

So sad.....

March 20 2011 at 1:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bob

Out of your top 10.... I can only watch 1 for about as long as it take to change the channel.

March 20 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kitharris1

NCIS, THE GOOD WIFE, THE MENTALIST, BURN NOTICE, WHITE COLLAR, ROYAL PAINS, CASTLE, AND JUSTIFIED..... ARE BUT A FEW OF THE REALLY GOOD PROGRAMS ON TV. IF I WAS TRYING TO SELL SOMETHING THAT'S WHERE I WOULD ADVERTISE! SPONSORS ARE YOU LISTENING?

March 20 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
mikey

NCIS tops

March 20 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
simplme9

Most reality star shows survival shows and 8 family children shows are totaly brainless moronic episodes . Who in their right mind wants to see their spoiled tryaites and bad attitudes on tv. Their are alot of people out their who have no lives at all to watch that kind of CRAP on tv. What a waist of quality time. LIFE is so short to waist time watching these morons on tv getting millions OF DOLLARS for being total MORONS .

March 20 2011 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

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