The 10 Most Profitable TV Shows

How do you judge a successful show? Series like Friday Night Lights, Veronica Mars and Breaking Bad may have received all the acclaim, but the bottom line is that, their cult following aside, none o

How do you judge a successful show? Series like Friday Night Lights, Veronica

Mars and Breaking Bad may have received all the acclaim, but the bottom

line is that, their cult following aside, none of those shows actually turned a huge

profit for the production companies. It is still the bottom line that matters and these

are the series that have done it. Here are the 10 most profitable TV shows based on their

advertising revenues for every half hour on television.

10 Modern Family - $2.13 million

ABC’s Modern Family is a comedy series that debuted in 2009. It features three

related families and the everyday trials that they face. It has proven to be both

commercially and critically successful. It has won Emmy Awards for Outstanding

Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The show stars Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara,

Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, among others.

9 Mad Love - $2.59 million

CBS’s Mad Love was a television series that ran for only one season in 2011. It

was a replacement show that debuted in the middle of the season. The show was

about two couples and how they fall in love but in drastically different ways. It starred

Jason Biggs, Sarah Chalke, Judy Greer and Tyler Labine. The show benefitted

tremendously from its timeslot in between the hugely popular shows How I Met Your

Mother and Two and a Half Men.

8 Desperate Housewives - $2.61 million

ABC’s Desperate Housewives was a drama-comedy and mystery series that

aired from 2004 to 2012. It was about the lives of several women who lived in a

seemingly perfect neighborhood. Underneath the idyllic setting, however, were

struggles, crimes, secrets and mysteries behind the doors of their homes. The

show won several recognitions from the Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and Screen

Actors Guild. At its peak in 2007, it was considered as the most popular show in its

demographic in the entire world with a viewership of more than 120 million people.

7 Dancing with the Stars - $2.72 million

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars is a dance competition show that has been on air

since 2005, with 17 seasons already under its belt. It is the U.S. version of the British

series called Strictly Come Dancing. It features several celebrities and famous

people being paired with professional dancers, with one couple getting eliminated

each week. The couples are given scores based on the points given by judges and

the votes by the audience and viewers.

6 The Big Bang Theory - $2.75 million

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is a comedy series that debuted in 2007. It

features the lives of four nerds whose geeky behavior and social awkwardness are complemented by the skills and common sense of a pretty waitress. CBS has already signed the show until 2014. The series stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco. It also features Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar.

5 Grey’s Anatomy - $2.75 million

ABC’s Grey Anatomy is a medical drama that debuted in 2005 as a replacement

in the middle of the season. It is about the lives of several surgical interns and

residents as they train to become experienced doctors. It stars Ellen Pompeo,

Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane and Chandra Wilson. The

show has been considered a cultural phenomenon, with some observers comparing

its impact to the popular 90's sitcom called Friends. It popularized the use of the

Mc-prefix as a result of a couple of its character’s nicknames, namely McDreamy

and McSteamy. It is the highest earning drama show because of its standing as the

top-ranked show in the key 18-49 years old demographic.

4 Glee - $2.8 million

Fox’s Glee is a musical comedy-drama series that debuted in 2009. It features

members of the New Directions, the glee club of William McKinley High School.

Other students ostracize the club’s members and the show focuses on how they

deal with relationships, social issues and even their burgeoning sexualities. It stars

Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith, Mark

Salling and several others. It twice won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television

Series – Musical or Comedy. Lynch and Colfer have also been given Golden Globes

for their supporting performances.

3 Two and a Half Men - $3.24 million

CBS’s Two and a Half Men is a sitcom that first broadcasted in 2003. It was

originally about a hedonistic song writer who lives in a house in front of the beach in

Malibu. He shared his house with his uptight brother and the latter’s son. Charlie

Sheen played the writer, but after a meltdown during the eighth season, Sheen was

fired and his character was killed off. Ashton Kutcher came in as a millionaire who

purchased the house. The show also stars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones, though

Jones was demoted to recurring status in season 11. The New York Times considers

it as the biggest comedy show of the past decade.

2 The X Factor - $5.5 million

Fox’s The X Factor is a reality singing competition based on the British show of

the same title. It features aspiring singers, whether solo or in a group, who are at

least 12 years old battling it out for a $5 million-dollar recording contract with Syco,

the record label of Simon Cowell. The contestants are drawn from public auditions,

with the survivors getting advice from the judges on choosing songs, styling and

performing on stage. Telephone, Internet and text voting determine the winners.

1 American Idol - $6.64 million

Fox’s American Idol is a reality singing competition based on the British show

called Pop Idol. It is considered as one of the most successful shows in television

history. It debuted in 2003 and the show has consistently ranked number one in

U.S. ratings. The show focuses on solo artists, with the winner being determined by

telephone, Internet and text voting. It has launched the careers of music artists like

Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry.

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The 10 Most Profitable TV Shows