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What events made the list of the most memorable TV moments of the past 50 years?

Earlier this week, Nielsen released a survey which reveals the most memorable TV moments of the past 50 years. Not surprisingly, the number one event cited by the American respondents was the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The other TV moment that came close to this one was President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its aftermath in 1963, mainly amongst the people aged 55 and over who experienced those events as they happened instead of replayed as an historical artifact,” the story reports. 

The survey, which ranks events by their impact on viewers, is a collaboration of Sony Electronics and the Nielsen television research company. It takes into account whether people remember watching particular events on television, whether they remember where they were at the time, who was with them and whether they discussed what they had watched. That being said, a Sony executive said that a good marketer should come up with ways to have a good product that strikes an emotional chord with consumers just like those events did.

Here are the other most impactful TV events collected from the survey:

  • The 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina
  • The 1995 verdict in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial
  • The Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986
  • The death of Osama bin Laden last year

Do you see a pattern here? People seem to have a better recollection of major news events than any other type of event. “Brian Siegel, vice president of television business for Sony, said he expected entertainment events to rank higher, but instead the study found that TV coverage of news events had the greatest impact on viewers.”

Other memorable moments in entertainment cited were:

  • Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction (No. 26)
  • The final episode of “M*A*S*H” (ranked No. 42)
  • The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (No. 43)
  • The famous “Who shot J.R.?” episode of “Dallas” (No. 44).

The report shows differences between what men and women considered to be their most memorable TV moment.

  • Women ranked the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana as the fourth most memorable event, while men put that at No. 23.
  • Women ranked the death of Whitney Houston at No. 5, with men judging it No. 21
  • The 2003 bombing of Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War was seen as the No. 14 most impactful moment by men, and No. 37 among women.
  • Men were also far more struck by boxer Mike Tyson biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear.”

Finally, the younger generations were keen to remember Barack Obama’s Election Night speech in 2008, ranked at No. 3 compared to 24 for the other generations. The oldest event to appear in their rankings was the 1980 shooting of John Lennon.”

And you, what is your most memorable TV moment of all time?

Here are the top 20 events, according to the survey:

1. September 11 tragedy (2001)
2. Hurricane Katrina (2005)
3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)
4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986)
5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011)
6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)
7. Earthquake in Japan (2011)
8. Columbine High School shootings (1999)
9. BP oil spill (2010)
10. Princess Diana’s funeral (1997)
11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012)
12. Capture and execution of Saddam Hussein (2006)
13. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech (2008)
14. The Royal Wedding (2011)
15. Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963)
16. Oklahoma City bombing (1995)
17. Bush/Gore election results (2000)
18. L.A. riots (1992)
19. Casey Anthony verdict (2011)
20. Funeral of John F. Kennedy (1963)

Source: TVBizwire, July 11, 2012.

Study Lists Most Memorable TV Moments of the Past 50 Years 

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