Forbes has released its annual list of the biggest TV moneymakers — and when it comes to selling ads, it’s pretty hard to beat American Idol.
Despite dropping 12 percent from last year, the Fox show was No. 1 with $7.11 million.
Charlie Sheen's former CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men was second, delivering $2.89 million. The show is now in limbo, as CBS and Warner Bros. determine whether to bring in a new star. But Forbes notes that the show could continue to attract advertisers but probably not at the same high ad rates.
"The show is built around the interplay between two contrasting characters," says Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research at Kantar, tells Forbes. "If you remove one, it fundamentally makes it a different show. If it comes back on the air there will be a curiosity factor but after a few episodes it will have to rise or fall on its own merit."
At $2.74 million, ABC's Desperate Housewives is in third, followed by ABC's Grey’s Anatomy, with $2.67 million.
Rounding out the top 5: ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which also was at $2.67 million.
Mike & Molly is the only new show to crack the top 10. At No. 10, it earns $2.11 million per half hour. It is the second show from Chuck Lorre to be on the list. Lorre also is behind Men.
Missing from the list: Fox's Glee and ABC's Modern Family.
Glee brings in $2 million per half hour, which would rank it No. 11, and Family earns $1.6 million, which would rank it No. 16.