Numbers Back American Idol Worship
From viewers to votes, box office to bank, no arguing Fox franchise is king
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 7:03 AM CDT
In this image released by FOX, American Idol contestant David Archuleta performs, Tuesday, March 4, 2008, in Los Angeles.    (AP Photo/FOX, Frank Micelotta)
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(Newser) American Idol—the highest-rated show of the 21st century—finishes its seventh season tomorrow, moving Portfolio to some Idol chatter:

  • Total number of episodes since its debut in 2002 (as of May 19): 270
  • Number of seasons ranked the No. 1 show on television: 3
  • Value of the Idol franchise, per Advertising Age: $2.5 billion

  • Approximate number of CDs sold by Idol winners: 24.5 million
  • Approximate number of CDs sold by runners-up: 6.5 million
  • Estimated number of viewers who watched the '08 season premiere: 33.2 million
  • Votes cast during the season finale last year: 74 million (Idol allows up to 10 votes per phone number)
  • Percentage of Americans who believe their Idol is as important as their vote for president, according to Fox News: 35 percent