Dancing with the Stars, Survivor have the most expensive ads among fall reality TV shows

Of the reality shows airing this fall, Dancing With the Stars earns more per 30 seconds than any other show: $178,687 for its performance shows, and $172,570 for its results shows. Those blocks of television are followed by Survivor: Samoa, which earns $152,246 every half minute. That’s all according to a report in Advertising Age, which surveyed media buying firms.

As much money as that may seem like, it’s well below what scripted and sports shows get: The most expensive fall show is Sunday Night Football, which earns $339,700 per 30-second ad, while the rest of the top nine are all scripted series; Grey’s Anatomy, for example, gets $240,462 for each 30-second ad.

That will change in the spring when American Idol 9 is expected to draw $360,000 and $490,000 per ad.

Here are the fall’s network reality shows (and one midseason show) and what they earn every 30 seconds during commercial breaks, in order of how expensive their commercials are:

  1. Dancing With the Stars (Monday/performance): $178,687
  2. Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday/results): $172,570
  3. Survivor: Samoa: $152,246
  4. The Bachelor: $139,500
  5. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: $136,743
  6. So You Think You Can Dance (Tuesday/performance): $132,558
  7. The Amazing Race 15: $109,736
  8. So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday/results): $105,421
  9. America’s Next Top Model: $93,343
  10. Shark Tank: $67,960
  11. Supernanny: $52,050
  12. America’s Top Model (repeats): $17,961
‘Sunday Night Football’ Remains Costliest TV Show [Ad Age]

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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.