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Mark Harmon tops on Harris Poll of most popular TV personalities; Conan is fourth

100502075_50d10ade-7c55-44f9-92ef-dc3c216730af-1Mark 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.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho,, AJCRadioTV blog

39 comments Add your comment

The Eggman

January 14th, 2011
11:10 am

Team CoCo!!! FTW!


January 14th, 2011
11:13 am

So happy fake, phony, money hungry, Jay Leno is not on the list. He did not even give Conan O’ Brien a call. David Letterman did and he did not have anything to do with the late night situation. Oprah, no shocker there. Wonder if Oprah will be on the list next year since her show is ending. All of these people have shows that viewers watch.


January 14th, 2011
11:15 am

Conan leads where it counts, the 18–33 demographic. The Conan commercial where he travels to India for silk curtains is the best. He’s throwing stuff off rooftops and flirting with 70 year old women and gossiping with 25 year olds. That commercial is off the chain.


January 14th, 2011
11:20 am

YES!!!!!!!!! Mark Harmon has always been #1 – hasta la vista, Oprah!


January 14th, 2011
11:29 am

"Obno" Conan

January 14th, 2011
11:46 am

I cannot stand Conan. He is an obnoxious, no-talent goof ball. No wonder he appeals to the the kiddies in school…. he is as immature as they are. All the comedy writers in the world can’t make Conan good.

Why isn’t Jimmy Fallon on the list? He has serious talent.


January 14th, 2011
11:53 am

Letterman is consistently the same and has been for about 30 years. He accepted responsibility when confronted in the personal issue last year and people appreciated his candor. Calling Conan, though unnecessary, was a considerate gesture.

ICE as in Matty ICE

January 14th, 2011
11:56 am

BILL O’REILLY???? That guy is a pervert sex predator. Give me a break.


January 14th, 2011
1:13 pm

For awhile Conan relied on John Rocker jokes even when the braves traded him to Cleveland. The guy is not that funny. Thank goodness Okra is dropping. There is a point of enough being enough and that definitely applies to Okra Windbag.

Love that Mark Harmon

January 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

I really do love Mark Harmon. The funny thing is, I was telling my dad about how much I love NCIS and he said, “Is that the one with Mark Harmon? Your mom had the biggest crush on him…”

His appeal is cross-generational!


January 14th, 2011
4:03 pm

Conan’s publicist must really be working overtime! Let’s face a little reality people. He took The Tonight Show, which was always a consistent ratings winner, and drove it straight into a firm hold on 3rd or 4th place in the late night ratings.

THAT’S why NBC canned him. He was running one of their cash cows into the dirt!


January 14th, 2011
4:06 pm

List weird. Bill O’reilly – REALLY???!!!???
Love Jon Stewart and Mark Harmon, and Ellen. The rest – pfffttttt.


January 14th, 2011
4:38 pm

I’ve never seen NCIS, HOUSE, 2 and a HALF MEN, or the OFFICE. I don’t even know who Hugh Laurie or Steve Carell is.

And I’m not missing ANYTHING cuz it’s all crap.

Rodney Ho

January 14th, 2011
4:41 pm

Tim isn’t being judgmental about things he knows nothing about, eh?

just sayin'

January 14th, 2011
4:57 pm

most TV is crap today…im sure these folks are talented but if you need lists and award shows to perpetuate hollywood worship that’s just sad. that’s the problem with the USA now is more folks care about who’s at the top of the list than what politicians are doing to screw up our lives. sorry, all of this cabin fever this week really has me cranky.

just sayin'

January 14th, 2011
4:59 pm

one other thing…i don’t watch ncis so when I see mark harmon i think of the ted bundy movie he did a while back…kinda creeps me out.


January 14th, 2011
5:04 pm


January 14th, 2011
5:30 pm

I don’t know any of those people on tv. I heard of oprah she is some fat whale something like that. Don’t know any of the other names though. I don’t watch tv….mainly because I am not a gay.


January 14th, 2011
5:33 pm

I always wondered how NCIS was still on the air. Apparently people watch it? Women watch it for Mark Harmon? Random.


January 14th, 2011
6:03 pm

Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson on Law & Order SVU) should be on this list. More so than washed-up Conan O’Brien!

Also A Kimmer Old Listener

January 14th, 2011
6:06 pm

@Ice as in Matty Ice: There’s an old saying that needs to be repeated: It takes one to know one. Stay away from my grandchildren, “ICE” man! And please, quit playing with …

The Grinch

January 14th, 2011
6:11 pm

SVU is a great show, but not because of Mariska Hargitay. She’s a former rape councilor basically playing a rape councilor. All she does is close ups of her looking concerned as she’s asking rape victims the same basic questions. Literally every other person on that show is a better actor, even Ice-T.


January 14th, 2011
7:24 pm

Mariska is HOT… enough said.


January 14th, 2011
7:39 pm

O’reilly! Yessss.


January 14th, 2011
8:50 pm

I’m pretty sure heterosexuals watch tv too.


January 15th, 2011
12:00 am

i like all of the above mentioned shows and I am most definitely heterosexual.


January 15th, 2011
12:15 am

don’t be silly though…. Gordon Ramsay should be there instead of Bill O’ Reilly LOL


January 15th, 2011
8:40 am

What does Charlie Sheen have to do before people stop watching that awful show? Does he actually have to kill someone? I have no respect for anyone who watches that show. The people who work on it don’t even care if he kills himself, as long as they get their big, fat paychecks.


January 15th, 2011
9:13 am

Have NEVER found ANYTHING funny about that goofball Conan! Leno is much classier and entertaining!


January 15th, 2011
9:38 am

Mark Harmon YES. Conan NO. Don’t blame Leno for this. Conan is not funny and never has been. Charlie Sheen’s show has seen better days and won’t be around much longer. Isn’t it funny how people are slamming Sheen. Wonder if they have looked in their mirror lately. Yes Sheen has big problems, but drinking goes on in the majority of households and the drinkers make fools out of themselves all the time. As far as Sheen beating his ex-wife and threatening her, it was her word against his and remember she was spaced out when she made the phone call to 911. Both of them have big problems and the children should have been taken and put into protective custody. But since big money was involved, nothing happened. If it had been ordinary people, the children would have been taken by DFAC until a complete investigation and determination was made. Money talks.


January 15th, 2011
12:58 pm

This is surprising. Harmon doesn’t seem to have any personality.


January 15th, 2011
6:26 pm

Agree – NCIS is a great show, Mark Harmon makes the show but has a good cast surrounding him. Oprah was good but time to bow out now she has made all her millions. Conan is funnier than Leno – and i am not 30 years old!

[...] Mark Harmon tops on Harris Poll of most popular TV personalities; Conan is fourth. [...]

Greene Hornet

January 16th, 2011
12:41 pm

I missed the Falcons game last night. I gotta look up the score… CRAAAAAAAPPPPP!!!!!


January 16th, 2011
1:52 pm

Just guessing, but Conan’s show is likely more profitable than any other late night comic (not counting Stewart+Colbert). I think the networks are NUTS for paying these guys mega-millions for such a small audience.
GH> my photog neighbor was telling me the score. I didn’t care, and was surprised she did. Then it hit me – the Falcons were going to take her to Dallas if she’d shoot some pictures. She wasn’t telling me the score – she was telling me she wasn’t going to Dallas!
This is the same week she went without hot water, when her heater died, and she couldn’t go see her old friends, Little Feat, because of the ice in Atl.

Mark Richt

January 16th, 2011
6:22 pm

This list is bogus. Harmon, O’Reilly and Conan don’t deserve to be on this list. Obviously, whoever took this poll only offered these names. These clowns don’t deserve to be on any favorite list. No one believes this. By the way, I may not be football savvy, but I know this is wrong, and, don’t forget, I hold myself up as a good man.

Damon Evans

January 16th, 2011
6:23 pm

I agree with Richt.


January 16th, 2011
9:30 pm

About the only person who thinks Conan is funny is Conan, and he thinks he’s really funny.


January 17th, 2011
2:27 am

I have always liked Mark Harmon.