Mark Harmon, the charming lead on CBS’s “NCIS” is the most popular TV personality, based on a Harris Interactive online poll of 2,331 adults last month.
He bumped Oprah Winfrey, who is the only personality who has remained on the list for its entire 18-year history. She has been No. 1 eight times. She tied for No. 2 with “House” lead Hugh Laurie.
Conan O’Brien is ranked No. 4. He became a cause celebre among younger viewers last year after NBC tried to force him out of the 11:35 p.m. “Tonight Show” slot a year ago to bring back Jay Leno. He is now on TBS. This is O’Brien’’s first appearance in the poll’s top 10 since 2006.
Leno, who was ranked No. 3 in 2009, disappeared off the list, probably because of all the publicity that tended to make him look like the bad guy.
Negative publicity has not hurt Charlie Sheen. He is tied with Jon Stewart at No. 5, his best performance ever on the annual survey.
O’Brien is tops among 18 to 33 year olds and tops in the Midwest. Laurie is tops among 34 to 45 year olds. It’s a tie between Sheen and Harmon among 46 to 64 year olds. Among the 65-plus crew, it’s a tie between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Harmon.
Fox News’ Glenn Beck, ranked No. 2 in 2009, also dropped off the list. Ellen DeGeneres, who was on “Idol” in 2010 but left after a single season, fell from4 to 7. Steve Carell, who is leaving “The Office” in late April, was back at No. 10. He was ranked No. 8 in 2009.
Here’s the top 10:
1. Mark Harmon (”NCIS”)
2. (tie) Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Laurie (”House”)
4. Conan O’Brien
5. (tie) Jon Stewart, Charlie Sheen (”Two and a Half Men”)
7. Ellen DeGeneres
8. Bill O’Reilly
9. David Letterman
10. Steve Carell
You can get more details from the Harris press release, which also includes the methodology of the poll.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog