Best U.S. Television Show of All Time Survey Results
A survey conducted as part of "Best in TV," a special installment of ABC's "20/20"
picked a winner that probably won't come as a surprise to most industry insiders. The survey named "I Love Lucy" as the best TV show of all time, UPI reports.
The five finalists were all comedies. Here's the Top 5:
1. "I Love Lucy"
4. "All in the Family"
Said Barbara Walters, who hosted the show: "We were not surprised Americans chose comedies as their favorites of all time. We all like to laugh and these shows still make us laugh today." The survey, conducted by ABC News and People magazine, also named the best drama series of all time, which went to "ER." Here are the Top 5 dramas:
2. "The Twilight Zone"
3. "The Sopranos"
4. "The West Wing"
5. "Mad Men"
An online component to the survey, found here, presents -- via video clips -- the results in a number of other categories, including best talk show host, best reality show, best TV theme song and best animated show. (Short-attention-span warning: It may take more time than you're willing to spend to get through these videos. At least, that's what happened to us when we went there.) We did make it through best animated series and can share this: "The Flintstones" beat out "The Simpsons" for the top spot in that category.
Highest-Paid TV Stars List
A new survey of the highest-paid stars on television has a name at the top that will probably come as a surprise to most observers. The survey by TV Guide, which lists the top earners in various categories, has a daytime syndication star well ahead of the pack. The runaway leader is Judge Judy -- Judy Sheindlin -- with an annual salary of $45 million. Other high-profile personalities in the daytime/syndication category come in well behind her -- such as Joe Brown and Kelly Ripa in a tie with a mere $20 million apiece. Some of the more obvious contenders from the scripted side -- such as Ashton Kutcher in the comedy category or Mark Harmon in drama -- don't come close. "Two and a Half Men" star Kutcher leads the scripted group with a salary of $700,000 an episode. Calculating it using the standard 24-episode season yields an estimated annual salary of $16.8 million -- a little more than one-third what Judge Judy makes. Harmon's $500,000 an episode for "NCIS" leads the drama category, but it calculates out to an annual estimate of just $12 million. The category king in late-night is CBS's David Letterman at $28 million a year -- better than the $25 million earned by his NBC rival Jay Leno. Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today" tops the news category with $21.5 million a year, while the reality category finds "American Idol's" Mariah Carey on top with her $17 million per season.