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.

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.