Television

Oprah is America's favourite TV personality for fifth year in row

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MUMBAI: For the fifth year in a row, Oprah Winfrey has topped a Harris Poll in the US which asked people who their favourite television personality is.

Jon Stewart who hosts the satirical new show The Daily Show is in second place for the second year, while Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly moves up one notch to third place.

Next is a newcomer to the list -- Hugh Laurie whom stars in the television show House who debuts in fourth place. He won a Golden Globe for his role last week. Veteran late night talk show host David Letterman drops from number three to fifth place.

Letterman's arch rival, Jay Leno, is number six on the list (dropping from 2005 when he was tied for fourth place). In the Harris Poll 1,162 US adults were surveyed online from 12-18 December, 2006 by Harris Interactive.

Besides Laurie, there are two other new TV personalities who make it into the top 10 list, one for the first time and one from previous years. Ray Romano returns at number seven while the star of 24 Kiefer Sutherland, who plays counter terrorism agent Jack Bauer makes his debut on the list, tied for eighth place. Rounding out the top 10 are Ellen DeGeneres who will host the Oscar Awards and Conan O'Brien, who are also tied for eighth place on this list.

DeGeneres dropped from number six while O'Brien dropped from number seven. Three people dropped off the list: Jerry Seinfeld , George Lopez and comedian Tim Allen. Interestingly, the list lost three sitcom stars and gained two drama stars and one sitcom star. This might be an indication of what types of television shows viewers are watching.

Not surprisingly, there are differences in favourite television personality when it comes to some demographic breaks. Women cite Oprah as their top television personality, but men choose O'Reilly. There are also interesting age breaks: Echo Boomers (ages 18 to 29) say that Conan O'Brien is number one. GenXers (ages 30 to 41) turn away from talk shows and say that Laurie is their favorite television personality. Baby Boomers (ages 42 to 60) say that Oprah is their favourite while Matures (ages 61 and over) say that it is O'Reilly.

Finally, even with television stars, political boundaries are drawn. Conservatives say that O'Reilly is number one while liberals say that Stewart is their favourite.

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