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Not surprisingly, NBC is the biggest product-placement whore on TV

It’s been an exceptionally good year for television, but you don’t need us to explain that exhaustively in gushing list form a few times over and sometimes with video. All you need to do is look around your homestead at all the many fine products that your TV introduced you to, either through seamless integration into plotlines or simply by contributing to the sense that your favorite characters inhabit the same, easily attainable world. Of course, this year—as in every year—the leaders in product placement remain reality shows, where barely a moment of televised life—as in real life—passes without being corporate sponsored. And in keeping with his previous gig at Coca-Cola Presents The Refreshing Taste Of American Idol, Simon Cowell’s new job at The Pepsi X Factor is the only newcomer to a list of veteran shills.

Yet while both of those shows pimp so much soda, we’re awaiting an episode where Simon Cowell starts lactating Pepsi out of his kneaded pectorals, Fox actually isn’t the most product placement-heavy network on the air. Not surprisingly, it’s dead-last NBC, where shows like The Biggest Loser, The Celebrity Apprentice, and America’s Got Talent helped keep the lights on by doing everything short of having Howie Mandel dress as a giant kernel of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, and selling scads of airtime to promoting Donald Trump. On the plus side, product placement helped pay for a final season of Friday Night Lights—the only fictional series to make the Top 10—and that was well worth all the times we heard the word “Applebee’s.” Here's the complete list from Nielsen with each show's total number of advertiser mentions. [via EW]


1. American Idol, Fox (577)
2. The Biggest Loser, NBC (533)
3. The Celebrity Apprentice, NBC (391)
4. Dancing With the Stars, ABC (390)
5. The X Factor, Fox (312)
6. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC (224)
7. America’s Got Talent, NBC (220)
8. Friday Night Lights, NBC (201)
9. America’s Next Top Model, The CW (178)
10. The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business, CBS (161)

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