This year’s crop of the priciest TV shows include a few surprises, a couple of older shows that still have life in them, and a perennial favorite.
Advertisers negotiate advertising rates before the TV season starts, with their experts forecasting which shows have the most staying power with viewers. TV shows with bigger audiences tend to get bigger ad rates, while those that are suffering viewer declines see their ad rates wither.
Only one new TV show cracked the top 10 earners this fall. Advertisers tend to be skeptical of new shows, which is understandable given new programs’ spectacular failure rate. Seventy percent of new TV series are canceled or end within one season, while another 11 percent end after two seasons, according to The New York Times. One stunner is the success of the Fox drama "Empire" with both viewers and advertisers, with the second season of the show gaining near-record rates this year.
The prices, which were gathered by industry publication Advertising Age, reflect ad rates for broadcast TV shows; the publication says comparisons with cable can be difficult given that cable ads are bought to include multiple airings. Still, the top-rated cable show “The Walking Dead” can cost as much as $500,000 for a package of ads, putting it on par with some of the big broadcast shows.