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August 8, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

There once was a time when television networks loved reality shows because they were so much cheaper to produce than scripted shows. That may no longer be the case. Producers of the X Factor, the upcoming talent show on Fox, said Friday that the winning contestant will take home $5 million, the biggest cash prize in the history of television. That amount will come directly out of the show’s budget, unlike (presumably) the fee the winner will receive that comes along with another prize — starring in a commercial for Pepsi that will be broadcast during the Super Bowl. Then there’s the matter of the first show of the season, which will run — live — for 2 1/2 hours, preempting a half hour of the news shows that Fox affiliates air at 10:00 p.m. It’s not clear how the stations will be compensated for the loss of revenue from that half hour, but its likely that the money will come out of X Factor’s budget.