American Idol, X Factor made more money than any other shows last year

Despite lower-than-expected ratings, Fox’s music competition series were the top two money-making series on television last year.

In 2011, American Idol made $6.64 million per half hour, while X Factor made $5.55 million per half hour, according to a Forbes report that used estimates from Kantar Media. The only other reality show in the top 10 was Dancing with the Stars, which came in at number six and earned $2.72 million per half-hour.

Kantar’s head of research, Jon Swallen, said that advertisers “overpaid” for Simon Cowell’s show, which was expected to do better in the ratings than it did; advertisers buy most ads in advance.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

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

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

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.