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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.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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