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Top TV earners: 'American Idol,' 'Two and a Half Men,' 'Desperate Housewives' top list

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Forbes has tallied its annual list of the biggest TV moneymakers and, no surprise, Fox’s American Idol led the list for 2010.

Idol delivered $7.11 million every half hour last year (wow, even the padded results shows?), which was down 12 percent from 2009.

That was followed by CBS’ Two and a Half Men, with $2.89 million per half hour (which gives you an idea why few think the show is going away despite Charlie Sheen exiting). In fact, showrunner Chuck Lorre has three shows in the Top 10.

In third was another series going through some cast issues, ABC’s Desperate Housewives with $2.74 million, which has some actors in contract negotiations. Here’s the Top 10 from last year:

1. American Idol (Fox) $7.1 million

2. Two and a Half Men (CBS) $2.89 million

3. Desperate Housewives (ABC) $2.74 million

4. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) $2.67 million

5. Dancing With the Stars (ABC) $2.67 million

6. Lost (ABC) $2.60 million

7. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) $2.50 million

8. 24 (Fox) $2.45 million

9. Private Practice (ABC) $2.32 million

10. Mike & Molly (CBS) $2.11 million