Television

Oprah Winfrey voted as most popular TV personality

LOS ANGELES: Who is the most popular TV personality in the US? George Bush? Bill Clinton? No, your guess is way off the mark. The correct answer is Oprah Winfrey, who got her name when the original name "Orpah" chosen by her Aunt Ida was wrongly spelt in her birth certificate. An online survey conducted by Harris Interactive between 21 January and 27 January 2003 on a sample of 2,201 adults, in the US rated Oprah as top of TV stars. 



The Big Shots of American Television

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2003

Oprah Winfrey

2

2

3

3

3

1

2

1

3

1

Ray Romano

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

=7

5

2

David Letterman

6

6

4

5

7

*

*

6

4

3

Katie Couric

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

9

4

Bill O’Reilly

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

7

5

Jennifer Aniston

*

*

*

*

*

*

6

*

*

6

Dr. Phil McGraw

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

7

Tom Brokaw

*

*

*

*

*

10

*

*

*

8

Jay Leno

*

8

10

=10

8

=6

*

=7

6

9

Dan Rather

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

10

Oprah, regained the position she had held earlier in the 1998 and 2000 Harris poll. Ray Romano, the star of Everybody Loves Raymond, who was in fifth place at the end of 2001, has moved up to second place; and, David Letterman has also inched up from fourth to third. Others in the top ten TV personalities list are Katie Couric (#4), Bill O’Reilly (#5), Jennifer Aniston (#6), Dr. Phil McGraw (#7), Tom Brokaw (#8), Jay Leno (#9) and Dan Rather (#10).



Today co-anchor and Dateline NBC contributing anchor Katie Couric is the fastest riser on the Harris charts shooting up five places from #9 to #4. while Bill O’Reilly climbed two places from #7 to #5. Amongst the newbies in the Harris ranking are Jennifer Aniston, Dr Phil McGraw, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather who were not in the top ten last year.

   

The Harris poll has thrown up some interesting demographic likes and dislikes. Oprah Winfrey is number one with women, people aged 40 years and over, Hispanics and (equal to Bill Cosby) among African-Americans. Ray Romano is the most popular TV star among white Americans. Conan O’Brien, who doesn’t make the top ten overall, is tops with young people aged 18 to 24 years. David Letterman, third overall, is the most popular star among people aged 30 to 39.

Oprah Winfrey: Darling of millions the world over with celebrities on her show

The poll also showed how fragile popularity can be for TV stars. Today's star may end up being tomorrow's nobody. In addition to Drew Carey and Regis Philbin, Kelsey Grammer (formerly #8) and Rosie O’Donnell (formerly #10) vaporised from the top ten this year. 

How they stacked up amongst various demographics

Demographic

2001

2003

Men

Drew Carey

David Letterman

Women

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Age 18-24

Drew Carey

Conan O’Brien

Age 25-29

David Letterman

Jennifer Aniston

Age 30-39

Drew Carey

David Letterman

Age 40-49

Regis Philbin

Oprah Winfrey

Age 50 and over

Regis Philbin

Oprah Winfrey

White

Regis Philbin

Ray Romano

African-American

Drew Carey

Bill Cosby/Oprah Winfrey

Hispanic

David Letterman

Oprah Winfrey

Indiantelevision.com's poll during The Indian Telly Awards had ranked Aman Verma as the TV personality of 2001-2002. Wonder who will emerge numero uno this year?

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