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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "American Idol" is the darling of TV advertisers, dwarfing other TV shows by raking in an estimated $7.11 million every half hour last year for the Fox network, according to a Forbes.com survey.
The singing contest topped Forbes.com's list of TV's biggest moneymakers in 2010, despite sliding ratings last year and generally lackluster talent.
Far behind "Idol" was America's most-watched TV comedy "Two and A Half Men", with an estimated $2.89 million in advertising revenue for CBS per half hour show, according to Forbes.com.
Forbes.com used data from Kantar Media who surveyed all regularly scheduled prime time shows in 2010, excluding sports events, to compile the list based on estimated ad revenue per average 30 minutes.
ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" came in third and fourth respectively with an estimated $2.74 and $2.67 million.
Reality show "Dancing with the Stars", also on ABC, rounded out the top five with an estimated $2.67 million.
The CBS comedy "Mike & Molly" was the only new TV show to make the top 10. It ranked 10th on the Forbes.com list, earning $2.11 million per half hour.
The full list can be seen here
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte