30-second American Idol 5 commercial sells for a record-breaking $705,000

American Idol 5 has broken a television record by selling a 30-second ad for $705,000, the most expensive 30-second commercial ever for “a regularly scheduled prime-time network series,” Adweek reports.

That’s the average price for an ad during the Wednesday elimination episode; the Tuesday performance ads are going for $660,000. Thus, “For the second year in a row, the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of American Idol are the most expensive shows on network TV,” Adweek reports.

In other reality TV shows, ads for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart are going for $310,000. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ads are $355,000, which is twice what they were last year. Wife Swap is a cheap $105,000. And America’s Next Top Model ads are going for $118,000.

Survivor dropped its prices, but remains the most expensive CBS show at $350,000 per 30-second commercial. Since “The Apprentice also fell in the ratings last year, and the price dropped 13 percent to $350,000,” according to Adweek.

Overall, Adweek says this marks “the third in a row in which the most expensive network series is a reality show.” So yes, reality TV is totally dead.

American Idol No.1 With a $705K Bullet; Fox Breaks Prime-Time Pricing Record [Adweek]

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John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

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Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.