earning nearly $1 billion, American Idol is “a diversified money machine.”

earning nearly $1 billion, American Idol is “a diversified money machine.”
American Idol “is the undisputed champion of television,” USA TODAY reports, but the show is also a huge money-making machine. Creator Simon Fuller doesn’t deny this: “I’m on the cutting edge of entertainment and how you exploit it.” A chart shows the nearly $1 billion in revenue generated by the series and where it goes; the paper estimates that the series “generated more than $900 million last year in sales of TV ads, albums, merchandise and concert tickets.” USA TODAY gets specific with numbers; for example, the paper reports that “Fox should see at least $444 million this season from national ads. It sells about 10 minutes an hour at an average price of about $600,000 per 30-second spot, says Jon Nesvig, president of sales for Fox.” Additionally, it reports that Simon Cowell is the highest-paid judge. Simon “makes about $8 million a season, far more than fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson see, according to an executive familiar with the contracts.”

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.