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These are the TV shows airing the most political ads in 2018

Posted: 10:15 AM, Nov 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-02 15:15:19Z

If you're trying to avoid political ads in the closing days of the campaign, you might want to avoid morning shows and daytime TV. Using data provided by the data firm Kantar Media / CMAG, Cover/Line looked at the TV shows that have aired the most political ads in 2018 as of October 30, about how much was spent to air them, and who aired the most.

The top buyers for these shows were all either the Republican PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, the Democratic group Senate Majority PAC, or Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat whom President Trump has campaigned to replace with Republican Matt Rosendale and who was able to air more ads on top shows for a much lower rate in Montana.

Here's the top ten:

10. "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"

Ads aired: 25,866

Estimated amount spent on ads: $8.3 million

Top buyer: Congressional Leadership Fund

Stephen Colbert talks about politics frequently on his CBS show and has had several current and former politicians on in recent months, including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker.

9. "Big Bang Theory"

Ads aired: 26,052

Estimated amount spent on ads: $10.8 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" was the second biggest show on TV this year, behind only "Roseanne," with 18.7 million average viewers, according to Nielsen.

8. "Family Feud"

Ads aired: 28,516

Estimated amount spent on ads: $7.1 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

Senate Majority PAC bought 6.32% of all political ads on "Family Feud," the highest percentage of any show on the list. Hosted by Steve Harvey, the show premiered its 20th season in September.

7. "Jeopardy"

Ads aired: 28,565

Estimated amount spent on ads: $23.9 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek tried his hand at politics this year, moderating the Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate. He called it a "learning experience" and said he was "naive going into" the debate. Trebek will host the game show through at least 2022.

6. "Dr. Phil"

Ads aired: 28,567

Estimated amount spent on ads: $8.5 million

Top buyer: Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester

Phil McGraw signed a deal with CBS this year to extend his show through a 21st season in 2023. The host told Colbert last month the Trump administration's proposal to define gender was "the absolute height of arrogance."

5. "Wheel of Fortune"

Ads aired: 30,907

Estimated amount spent on ads: $31.3 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

"Wheel of Fortune" is the top game show on the list and the most expensive one, with an estimated cost-per-ad of $1,359.

4. "Judge Judy"

Ads aired: 38,538

Estimated amount spent on ads: $10.2 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

"Judge Judy" is the top daytime show on the list, and managed to air more ads than "Wheel of Fortune" despite being estimated to cost about three times less.

3. "Today" show

Ads aired: 46,227

Estimated amount spent on ads: $22 million

Top buyer: Senate Majority PAC

The number of ads jumps up when you get into the top three, which are all network morning shows. Of the three, NBC's "Today" show is the most expensive of three morning shows, with an estimated cost per ad of $676.

2. "Good Morning America"

Ads aired: 51,269

Estimated amount spent on ads: $19.4 million

Top buyer: Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester

ABC's "Good Morning America" comes in second, narrowly edged out of first place by a few thousands ads.

1."CBS This Morning"

Ads aired: 53,172

Estimated amount spent on ads: $14.1 million

Top buyer: Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester

CBS's morning show typically trails its competitors in the ratings, but it tops the list of political ads, airing more than 53,000. Tester has aired 2,496 ads on the show, more than any other candidate or group on any show on the list.