Jay Leno, who was No. 1 last year (Winfrey was No. 4), dropped to No. 3, but
representatives from Harris clarified that the poll was conducted
before the recent late-night melee.
One of the joys of watching television is seeing characters and over-sized
personalities; in fact, one station even has a whole marketing campaign
centered on characters. Each year, new television
personalities are added to the list of favorites and others drop off,
showing another joy of television watching – it is never the same, year
This year, likely due to her announcement that she will be discontinuing her show in September 2011,
Oprah Winfrey is America’s favorite television personality, up from No.
4 last year. Brand new to
the list and debuting at number 2 is Fox News’ personality, Glenn Beck,
while last year’s number one, Jay Leno drops to number three. One thing
to note is that this survey was conducted before the change on NBC,
dropping the 10pm Jay Leno show and moving him back to the Tonight Show.
Six Guys and a Girl
The only female on the rest of the list comes in at a tie for fourth place, talk show host and new American Idol judge, Ellen DeGeneres, down from no. 3 last year. The new and maybe
improved Dr. House, or rather Hugh Laurie is also tied for fourth, down
from no. 2 last year.
Next on the top ten list are The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart at number 6, Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Sheen (no. 7), NCIS’s Mark Harmon (no. 8 ) and making his own top ten, David Letterman at
number 9. Returning to the list after dropping off last year is Fox
News’ Bill O’Reilly at the tenth spot.
On the Fringe
This year, two news personalities, both conservatives are new to the list. One is making a first time
appearance (Glenn Beck) and the other is returning after a one year
absence (Bill O’Reilly). This means two
television personalities have dropped off the list. One is a fake
television conservative, and Daily Show alum, Stephen Colbert who was tied for number 9 last year. The other is also a Daily Show alum, but he plays a bumbling Office manager, Steve Carrell, who was number 8 last year.
There are different number ones for different groups. Men say Jay Leno is their favorite, while for women
it is Oprah. Generations also have their favorites. Echo Boomers (those
aged 18-32) are about to be
disappointed as Conan O’Brien is their favorite, while for both Gen
Xers (aged 33-44) and Baby Boomers (aged 45-63) it is Oprah. Another
talk show personality is tops for Matures (aged 64 and older) – Glenn
There are definitely some partisan differences. Glenn Beck is the favorite for both Republicans and for
Conservatives, but, interestingly, also for Independents. Oprah Winfrey
is number one for
Democrats and Moderates, while Jon Stewart is the favorite for Liberals.
While there may be different favorites for different groups, there is one consistent theme. Of the ten on the
list, seven of them are talk show personalities. Just one is a sitcom
star and two are from dramas.