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March 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Fox’s American Idol remained far and away TV’s biggest moneymaker in 2010. Although revenue was down 12 percent from 2009, the show still ended up with an average of $7.11 million for every half hour on the air, according to Forbes magazine, which cited figures from Kantar Media. CBS’s Two and a Half Men was a distant No. 2 with $2.89 million. But, except for occasional fill-in reruns, the CBS sitcom aired just one-half hour per week, while Idol generally accounted for five half-hours per week on Fox’s schedule — or $35.55 million per week. Third on the list was ABC’s Desperate Housewives with $2.74 million per half-hour — or $5.48 million per show. Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research at Kantar, told Forbes that, given the ouster of star Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men was not likely to return to the list after this season. “The show is built around the interplay between two contrasting characters,” Swallen said. “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.”