August 23, 2014

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Top TV Moments: News Trumps Entertainment

In fact, hardly any entertainment moment made the top 25.

Add to those long list of "favorite" things surveys; the top television moments of all time.

It's a just-released survey, conducted by Sony and Nielsen research.  And there are a few surprises.

For instance, while the most memorable moments vary according to gender and age groups, they tend to favor news events more than entertainment programs.

Some of the top events in entertainment history, such as sports events, the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, TV series finales; etc., failed to make the top 25.

Some reflect the short attention spans of those surveyed.  The sudden death of Whitney Houston last winter, for instance, made the top five, while the sudden death of Michael Jackson just three years ago was out of the running.

A lot favor celebrities, such as the O.J. Simpson trial and the death of Princess Diana.

And of all the memorable TV sports events, none made the top selections. The only one related to a sports event-which just missed the top 25-was the "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.

Of the news events, the assassination and funeral of President Kennedy and the JFK funeral rank numbers 15 and 20, respectively. One would think, with the discussion of how it happened still going on nearly 50 years later, it would have been higher on the list.

But I have no arguement with the TV moment chosen the greatest of all time: the September 11, 2001 attacks.

What is significant about that is that people realize that, even though that was more than ten years ago, it still impacts our lives today.  And, even though it happened just as the internet was coming of age, it still had people running to their TV sets, just as the JFK assassination did in 1963.

There are other events I would have on the list: the moon landing in 1969, the return of the American hostages in 1981, and the Persian Gulf War in 1991 (not because of the war itself, but because it established CNN as a force in television news).  And one sports event: the U.S. hockey team winning the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics; an event punctuated by Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles" exclamation.

But, all in all, it's a credible list.  And it proves that, when it comes to television, people can still separate news from entertainment.

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