‘Idol’ Ranks as TV’s Top Revenue Generator

American Idol rakes in $8.1 million in ad sales each half-hour it is on the air, making it TV’s biggest revenue generator, according to the list makers at Forbes magazine and data from Kantar Media.

Because the intention of Forbes is to determine which shows are commanding the most ad dollars, it makes no claim as to how profitable each show is. Forbes broke everything into 30-minute increments to ensure that half-hour sitcoms and hour-long dramas and reality shows are compared equally.

The analysis stripped out sports and included all prime-time broadcast TV shows.

Coming in a distant second place was Two and a Half Men, which Forbes and Kantar say brings in $3.1 million during each half-hour episode. The show starring Charlie Sheen is the only sitcom to crack the top 10.

In third is the Fox drama 24, which is generating $3 million every 30 minutes in its final season.

Rounding out the top 5 is a tie between a couple of ABC shows: Grey’s Anatomy and V, each boasting $2.8 million per half-hour.

ABC, in fact, appears on the list more times than any other network.

The entire list can be found here.