Over the years the ratings have been steadily dropping for “American Idol” and the juggernaut is not what it used to be. But it still packs a solid punch when it comes to making money.

According to research by the Forbes Magazine, “American Idol” is the number one show when measured in ad revenue sales. For every half hour it broadcasts, the show makes $8.1 million purely out of ad sales. The research does not try to discover “which is the most profitable show?”, but rather which show has the most power in dictating ad prices.

The research broke the time slots into 30 minute segments so that sitcoms, dramas and reality shows could be compared with each other on an equal basis. It also disregarded all sports shows in its survey. The difference between the number one and two spots was a whopping $5 million. Sitting at number two was troubled actor Charlie Sheen’s “Two and a Half Men”. The sitcom is the only one from its genre to even make it to the top ten.

Taking the third spot with $3 million was “24″ the drama series from Fox. The show is in its final season, which probably accounts for the large ad revenue. The fourth spot is tied between an alien sci-fi and medical drama. ABC’s “V” and “Grey’s Anatomy” rake in $2.8 million each. The ad revenue ratings could play a great part in the future of certain shows. “V” is close to its season finale and so far no confirmation has been made of a second season.

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