Friday, November 16, 2007

TV's Greatest Icons

Though coincidental, it's entirely appropriate for we Middle Georgians that TVLand is airing the two-hour special, "The 50 Greatest TV Icons" tonight at 8 p.m.

After all, one of the arrived in town yesterday when Oprah Winfrey landed at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport. (I know this because Oprah has unwittingly controlled my life all week.)

I haven't seen the entire list yet, but I'm fairly certain that Oprah, the queen of daytime TV, is on there.

Numero Uno on the list is Johnny Carson, a hard choice to dispute, since he was the king of late night TV for so many years. I know fellow late-night hosts David Letterman and Conan O'Brien also made it, but Jay Leno didn't.

What is a TV icon anyway? There's no real surefire definition, but I'd say it's when a name or face is so recognizeable that anyone knows who the icon is, no matter if you watch the show or not.

Someone like Andy Griffith would be an icon as Sheriff Andy Taylor (as would Don Knotts for Barney Fife), but Griffith wouldn't be for Matlock, for example. Andy Taylor is a character that will be remembered well into the next century, even by Gen Y'ers.

Same thing with Lucy, the Fonz and Mr. Spock.

It's probably easy to pick most of the icons from TV's golden era for this list, as well as modern icons like Oprah or Letterman. But which characters from now might make it the next time someone does a list, in 50 years or so?

A 'CSI'-er perhaps? One of the "Heroes," or the "Lost"? "Ugly Betty?"

With the advent of DVDs and the internet, modern characters are much more likely to become part of the American culture than their counterparts from bygone eras.

Who is your favorite TV icon?

THURSDAY RECAP: It was great seeing Mercedes McNab playing a different type of vampire last night on "Supernatural," way different than her character of Harmony on "Buffy" and "Angel."

R.I.P. JOE NUXHALL: The Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, who has the distinction of being the youngest player ever to appear in a Major League Baseball game, died Thursday night from cancer. He was 79.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Some "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 9 p.m.) fans have complained about the under-use of Smash Williams (Gaius Charles) this season. (Clearly, the producers don't favor the run-oriented offense that the former Panthers coach did). But be happy - recruiting season has begun and the Smash begins to look to his collegiate future. It's followed by a new "Las Vegas" at 10 p.m.

Fans will get their second dose of a new "Women's Murder Club" (ABC, 9 p.m.) tonight, following a new "Men In Trees."

CBS is all-new with "Ghost Whisperer," "Moonlight" and "Numb3rs."

On Saturday, most people will get to see Georgia's critical game with Kentucky (WGXA, 12:30 p.m.) Me, I'll be at the City Auditorium for Oprah's show, and I don't even have a ticket. Why? Because I want to keep my job!

At least I should be able to see some good viewing Saturday night, with an all-new "Torchwood" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) as well as the HBO original movie, "PU-239," (HBO, 8 p.m.), a thriller about black market nuclear materials from Russia, produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Peter Berg.

Everything is also new on Sunday, including Fox's animated lineup, CBS' crime-oriented lineup of "Cold Case" and "Shark," and Showtime's one-two punch of "Dexter" and "Brotherhood."


Anonymous said...

Oprah operates a closed set. Will you be the doorman?

hotspur said...

Sorry aboutthe Georgia game. I am shocked one of the women reporters would not swap with you

Phillip Ramati said...

The doorman has better access than I will.

I'll ignore the sexist nature of talking about women reporters covering Oprah and just say that I'm one of several people on Team Oprah tomorrow.

zodin2008 said...

Wow, Phillip, if you have to miss our beloved Bulldogs to see Oprah, it's TIME to get a new job. That sucks.

It may have been sexist what hotspur said, but it's an honest answer - is there any male reporter ever that would care to cover Oprah being in town?

I will expect your disagreement, but I like Jay Leno and LOATHE Dave Letterman - I have never ever thought Letterman was funny. I thing he's a miserable, snark. Conan, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Leno - they are all funny and funnier than Letterman.

Letterman maybe funnier than Carson Daly, but that's not saying much. I even like Craig Ferguson better. Jimmy Kimmel - not funny.

As for FNL tonight, I was not complaining about lack of screen time for Smash (I only saw 1 letter of complasint on Matt Roush's site on TV Guide). Personally, I am more interested in anything w/ Landry or Matt-Julie stuff.

Hotspur said...

I did not like being called a sexist. Obviously you are just being PC.

For a test stop 20 men at the mall and ask them whether they would prefer to watch Georgia or see Oprah. Then stop 20 women I would be willing to bet you $50 dollars that the results would bear me out !!!

hotspur said...

Re Zodin I agree with him re Leno is the best. Letterman and O'Brien are the worst late nighy hosts

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, Hotspur, I never accused you of being sexist, but said your remark might be taken as such.

And if you or Zod don't understand why Letterman should be among the Top 50 icons, then I can't really explain it to you, but he's had more influence on Gen X-ers than any other talk show host.

Finally, for more about the top 50 icons, visit this Web site: