Idol, Survivor, and Apprentice are three of the four most expensive shows on TV.
Here’s the real reason for the proliferation of reality television: Four out of the five spots on the most expensive television show list are held by reality TV shows.
Leading the pack is American Idol, which “costs on average $658,333 per 30-second spot, while the Tuesday edition is slightly cheaper at $620,000,” according to Advertising Age.
ER follows the two editions of the FOX series, but in fourth place is Survivor Vanuatu, which is charging “$412,833 for a 30-second spot, compared with $390,367 during the 2003-2004 season.”
The Apprentice is next, with an average cost of $409,877 for a 30-second ad.
Other reality TV series of note: NBC’s forthcoming The Contender charges $330,000 for half a minute, while UPN’s America’s Next Top Model gets $92,045 for the same amount of advertising time.
AdAge has a PDF chart of all fall series and their advertising costs.