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July 12th, 2012
06:04 AM ET

9/11 attacks, O.J. Simpson verdict top list of powerful TV moments in last 50 years

Real life tragedy and drama topping a list of the most powerful TV moments of the past 50 years. Nielsen and Sony electronics conducted the survey.

The top five moments on the survey are:

* September 11 terrorist attacks

* Hurricane Katrina

* O.J. Simpson verdict

* Challenger space shuttle explosion

* Death of Osama Bin Laden

On "Early Start" this morning, Ashleigh pointed out two major events that weren't on the top of the list: The moon landing and the JFK assassination.

What TV moments would you add to this list? Share your submissions in the comments below.


Filed under: History • Trending
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Daryle

    Certailnly the moon landing would make the list, along with the Space Shuttle's Columbia and Challenger accidents. The Kennedy assassination and 9/11 would round out the list.

    July 15, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply
  2. JP

    Although not surprising I'm concerned how quickly events like JFKs assassination, the 1969 moon landing, the Vietnam war and even the killing of Lee Havey Oswald on live television are forgotten. But that was more my era then generation X.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  3. jimmy

    this list is one of the saddest indictments of american culture i have seen in a long time.

    You have to see the entire top 20 list. the jfk assassination is on the list...but way down near the bottom. unbelievably missing are the moon landing, nixon's resgination and the fall of the berlin wall.

    some of the items are of course no-brainers: 9/11, oklahoma city, katrina, the challenger, and i'll even give you OJ.

    but unbelievably on the list are also such trivialities as the casey anthony verdict and the death of whitney houston. it is easy to complain about americans' obsession with celebrity non-news (that's something for a future post), but even conceding that, americans have an amazingly short attention span. why whitney houston over michael jackson? michael jackson was much more newsworthy even because of the subsequent trial of dr murray. william and kate's wedding over charles and diana's? william is only second in line, not the heir apparent like his father. the list is way too overloaded with very recent events.

    and some of the items on the list had little or nothing to do with tv or live tv broadcasting. whitney houston did not die on tv. osama bin laden and saddam hussein were not captured on tv. things like the gulf oil spill took place over a protracted long period of time so it's hard to see how tv coverage was that dramatic or powerful.

    i'm more of a news junkie than the average american, but what makes live tv compelling to me is when a discrete or sudden event occurs and you don't know how it is going to play out. remember the abortive russian coup in 1993 with tanks shelling the parliament building? clinton's impeachment in 1998? high drama that we could watch unfolding live. same thing that makes sports thrilling (incidentally the miracle on ice could have been on the list too).

    i'm not saying everyone should find important the same things i find important. but i a saying that a lot of things that everyone else seems to find important are pretty moronic.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  4. Josh

    I don't think that the death of Osama Bin Laden was a "visual" TV moment.

    Though, I think Michael Jackson climbing up onto this vehicle in triumph after he was acquitted, is a TV moment.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  5. Yeah Yeah Yeah

    Here's two...

    The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the assassination of John Lennon.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  6. opining

    I would have included the Reagan assassination attempt over the Osama killing.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  7. Renee

    The death and funeral of Michael Jackson was all compelling as well. But 911 was definitely top of the list followed by the devastation after Hurricana Katrina!

    July 12, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply

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