Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Your Turn

Nielsen and Sony teamed up to determine what were the most impactful moments ever show on television. I think this is an age thing. The winner was by far 9/11 followed by Katrina and OJ. People who were around in 1963 also picked the assassination of JFK. I would say that 9/11 wins just because so many people watched it live and then we watched it over and over. The OJ chase was interesting, but I'm not sure how impactful it was. What do you think was the most impactful moment on television?

102 comments:

EmEyeKay said...

9/11

zen2475 said...

9/11--it changed the world.

parissucksliterally said...

Is impactful a word? some sites say yes, others say no. It is awkward.


I say 9/11. That still horrifies me.

Cathy said...

In my life, I'd definitely say 9/11. I was pretty young during the OJ chase, so I found it pretty boring just staring at the tv, watching a white bronco and the assassination of JFK was definitely before my time.

Seachica said...

9/11, without doubt. It completely changed our world.

The other big impactful moments are largely related to real life, because what impacts things more than reality?

- Reagan assassination
- Kennedy being shot
- Moon landing
- Rodney King/LA Riots
- OJ verdict
- MASH finale
- Seinfeld finale
- Who shot JR

These polls are *always* biased toward recent events, though. Fewer people are living that remember 40 years back, and time eases the emotional impact of big events.

At least they're not saying 'JLo's debut on American Idol' or some other dreck.

Enty, how about a link to the list of impactful moments?

rejectedcarebear said...

9/11

Rose said...

9/11 was absolutely the most horrifying, especially because it caught the second plane live.

luckylass said...

agreed that it is an age thing. 9/11 for sure, but I will also never forget the Challenger crash either. Was in Elementary school, at the time. Everything stopped for the TV broadcasts.

*karen* said...

The Fonz, jumping the shark.

Okay, not really. It's 9/11, hands down. I hadn't been at college for a month when that happened, and my dormmates and I couldn't tear ourselves away from the TV.

nolachickee said...

9/11, but Katrina coverage is a close second for me. Because that nightmare was mine and friends reality at that time.

Krab said...

OJ chase or the OJ trial? I'm sure they must mean trial.

JJ said...

Definitely 9/11. I think Diana's funeral and JFK Jr's plane crash (and search) should be in the top 40.

FSP said...

9/11

luckylass said...

@nolachickee - I am with you on that, but it was Hurricane Andrew in Miami for me.

lazyday603 said...

I would think the big OJ TV moment would be the verdict & the reaction, not the go cart racing down the 405..

Vicki Cupper said...

9/11

JFK Assassination

Katrina

Challenger should be up there, too.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

9/11

But to be sure, the OJ Bronco chase and subsequent trial, and the LA riots would have been my answer before 2001.

Tempestuous Grape said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Em Cue Em said...

I will never forget sitting in US History (as ironic as it sounds), watching the coverage when the second plane hit. It was surreal, and scary, and absolutely terrifying. They had us stay in the class we were in for the rest of the day. I remember going home in an absolute daze, immediately turning the tv on when I walked in the door. I curled up in a ball on the couch while I watched, waiting for the rest of my family to come home. I was pregnant at the time, and absolutely petrified. I think we all felt pretty gutted that day, no?

There are a lot of notable moments in history for me, but that one is still so vivid, and stirs so many memories up. I'll never, ever forget it.

Frances Parker said...

yeah 9/11 and watching peter jennings cry.

Kimberly said...

I remember that. Fourth grade. I remember the oklahoma city bombing too. College..I think sophomore year..driving to somewhere but then just going to my sorority house in shock

Tempestuous Grape said...

Most impactful for me personally was the Riots and 9/11

Kimberly said...

Yes.

Turkish Taffy said...

I have to agree with 9/11 and I was living on the other side of the planet.
I'm old enough to remember JFK Sr.s funeral, especially since my parents were hard-core Democrats. I would place that second. It was bigger than the president himself-it was the end of the dream of "Camelot".

rejectedcarebear said...

Columbine and Virginia Tech were also big in my memory. I was in college during VT, very scary.

Em Cue Em said...

@Kimberly: I remember the bombings, too. I was in elementary school, but I very clearly remember the aftermath on television, and I cried because I have always, even since I was one myself, been very sensitive concerning child tragedies. To know that all of those children died was so disturbing, and my mom was very upset, but once I got upset, it really drove it home to her. She was depressed for weeks, and we live nowhere near Oklahoma City.

I also remember the OJ chase and trial. I was in elementary school, and when the verdict was read, my class was the ONLY one in the school that didn't get to watch. We were pissed. I remember the janitor sticking her head in the door and shaking her head, and then my teacher got really mad and told us all the read silently. She was really, really pissed.

Jennifer said...

I was thinking the space shuttle explosion from 85-86 also. Now, I didn't read the original article, but when they mention OJ, were they talking just the chase, or the whole Court TV thing? It was probably the first major court case ever where we got to see the whole thing. (we meaning somehow everyone but me - don't know how I didn't ever end up watching it... must have been busy in college)

pilly said...

9/11
Moon landing
John Lennon murder
Fall of the Berlin Wall

amh.producer said...

I would say the Challenger exploding because I remember being in grade school and watching it and seeing it happen. freaky, especially when I was so young. And it truly has stuck with me to this day.

I'm from OKC so the bombing here had a profound impact us, and seeing it on TV made it almost surreal.

9/11 was huge too.

abc has a similar poll about tv shows, characters and impactful (coming up like it's spelled wrong ;-)) moment on tv.

Lisa said...

Life impacting, I'm not sure, but 'glued to the tv' to watch it unfold...Columbine. The rescue of Baby Jessica had us all glued to the tv. But on a lighter note, the wedding of Princess Diane to Prince Charles was pretty memorable, too.

Redheat said...

9/11 - it changed so many things. I still get chills and well up anytime I see that sight.

For me personally the death of JFK Jr. and Princess Di, had an impact only because they were my age, and I sort of grew up with John, and my kid is the same age as Prince Wm.

Missjenny619 said...

Princess Dianas wedding as well as her death.

JJ said...

I forgot the OKC bombing. My parents lived there at the time and my father was a govt employee. I lived on the east coast and freaked for those hours that I could not get a hold of him.

Sorta OT - I totally miss Peter Jennings.

califblondy said...

The only one I was going to add was the funeral of Princess Diana, but I see someone mentioned it.

9/11, Katrina, moon landing, and Challenger explosion are all ones I remember vividly. I remember bits of JFK's funeral and seeing even my Republican Mum getting teary. I don't remember seeing the Magruder video of the assassination until years later.

seaward said...

9/11 for sure. I was taking my state's standardized testing, so we (the sophomores) didn't know anything till a few hours after. I remember the teacher in the room with us just looked DEVASTATED when we left, and I was thinking, "Wow, he's really sad to see us go." Found out a few minutes later what happened.
There were kids in school who thought it was really cool because the explosions, I yelled at them.
My 8th period math teacher said to us, "It's not a big deal, we need to get on with the lesson." Still hate that bitch for that.
The people who jumped out of the bildings still haunt me. I remember it so vividly. Tearing up right now thinking about it.

luckylass said...

You all have stirred a lot of memories in me. The Waco cult disaster is now coming to mind too.

goheels83 said...

9/11 for me. I remember exactly where I was (Mrs. Griffin's AP English class). We watched the towers fall. I saw people waving shirts from the windows, then jumping out and just disappearing. I will never forget that.

Melissa said...

Another vote for the fall of the Berlin Wall -- we watched the whole day at school.

I'll add that the Tianenmen Square massacre was horrible to watch on TV.

I still can't speak about the 9/11 broadcasts without bursting into tears.

Lian said...

Without a doubt 9/11. We were living in Northern Virginia, my mom worked for the government (they had to shut all government buildings in the area up for fear they'd get hit), my dad was a tour guide who had just left a few days ago to take a group up to NYC. On their itinerary that day? Visiting the WTC.. .yeah, when I realized that (after the shock of seeing the 2nd tower fall), I was frantic. Thankfully, they'd gotten delayed and was on the ferry from Jersey when it happened.

But those hours of wondering if my dad was okay, and just spending hours glued to the TV (I think 1/3 of my high school at the time had parents working in government jobs, so it was a very nerve-wracking time for all of us).

I still shudder at the memories of what we saw on TV, the pictures of people jumping from the buildings, etc. And I still can't watch any of the specials on TV or movies about it.

And I remember where I was - first period, AP Literature, discussing "Agamemnon." My teacher rolled his eyes when the principal came on the loudspeaker, assuming she was interrupting his class again. And then we all just went into shock and he turned on the TV.

Pog_Mor said...

The coverage of the Boxing Day Tsunami is another, it was just so stunning to think that hundreds of thousands of people were wiped out so quickly, and in the first clips that aired it didn't even look so bad!

shopgirl said...

Man on the Moon for sure.

Oddly, I didn't turn on my tv on 9/11. On my way to work I heard NPR and thought they were talking about another country. I didn't turn my tv on for days after so I only saw footage of the tragedy during the first anniversary. I don't know what I would say had I watched the event as it unfolded.

Pog_Mor said...

The coverage of the Boxing Day Tsunami is another, it was just so stunning to think that hundreds of thousands of people were wiped out so quickly, and in the first clips that aired it didn't even look so bad!

jg610 said...

9/11...nothing has impacted our society as a whole as this horrible act of terrorism. Our world, as a result of this act, will never be the same.

Dulcinea said...

For me, 9/11 first and foremost. Then it would be the OKC bombing (I lived in Tulsa then; was horrifying), and the Reagan assassination attempt.

BreeB714 said...

the Diana funeral made an impact on me

Lioness70 said...

9/11 and the Challenger explosion. I'll never forget where I was - a sophomore in HS, watching live, then there was nothing but that fireball.

Another Josh said...

Soy Bomb. Then the moon landing.

Saffron said...

* Nelson Mandela's release from jail.
* Fall of the Berlin Wall
* 9/11
* Tahrir Square protests

CrazyCatLady said...

9/11 definitely but the space shuttle explosion as well. I was in 3rd grade watching with classmates when it happened. The Oklahoma City bombing is way up there too because nothing like that had ever happened in the US, with the exception of Pearl Harbor perhaps.

Lisa (not original) said...

Live Aid
9/11

Jade, That Girl said...

i wouldn't say it's the most impact moment ever on television, but Janet Jackson showing her nipple. It completely changed FFC's regulations, and required that a lot of live shows now have a time delay.

Topper Madison said...

Nixon resignation.

Topper Madison said...

@JJ I miss Peter Jennings, too. He was awesome.

SusanB said...

9/11
Moon landing
JFK assassination
Nixon resignation
Challenger explosion

These events CHANGED things!

The OJ chase - really? Pathetic.
Diana's funeral? Really? Sad but not a major impact on my life, or the life of anyone I know.
As for the finale of a TV series, all I can do is just shake my head.

Turkish Taffy said...

@Saffron: I live in Egypt. Odd that I didn't consider Tahrir Square. For me, it was personal, not global. My daughter had a mid-term exam, and we were more concerned whether Alexandria University was going to be closed.

I remember waking up the next morning, nagging my husband to go out in the deserted streets to buy powdered milk and dry beans. I thought we were in for a long siege. I still have packets of beans!

Cara said...

I was a senior in high school when 9/11 happened, and the thing that freaked me out about it was that pretty much every channel on TV had picked up the live feed from CNN or a national network, or wasn't broadcasting at all. There were so many channels with screens that said, "Such and such channel extends their thoughts & prayers to everyone involved in today's tragedy" or something like that. I think that impacted me more than anything. It was literally impossible to watch anything but the news for a couple of days, which was a completely foreign thing.

Vicki Cupper said...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/11/entertainment-us-memorablemoments-idUSBRE86A0EG20120711

A link to the top twenty for whoever asked.

figgy said...

No, impactful is not a word. My eyes hurt just seeing it. The way to say that is "what moment on television do you think had the greatest impact?"

Topper Madison said...

@SusanB Ooo! Moon landing. Good one!

B. Profane said...

I'm one of the rare class of people for whom 9/11 had little personal impact (in my case because I was going through a bad divorce at the time). The Boxing Day Tsunami was worse. One of my kids was terrified that a tsunami would come and drown us, even though we quite literally lived at the top of a mountain.

Sonics winning the championship in '79 will always be in the Top 5 for any Northwest native son.

Abby said...

I read this list, and it includes Whitney Houston's death. Really??? That's complete crap. @seachica's list is way better.

jax said...

9/11. I will never forget the feeling of absolute helplessness and fear of seeing the second plane hit live on CNN.

Princess Di's funeral. So much emotion and mourning for a woman none of us knew. It was the game changer for a World in Mourning.

Reese said...

Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. 9/11 was horrifying, I'm sure the two Kennedy assassinations were horrifying, but seeing human beings land on, and then walk on the moon, would get my vote.

auntliddy said...

I wld go with the coverage of the Vietnam war. Without thise images on the news every night, the people wld not have risen up as they did to try and stop it as they did.
Also, I remember being absolutely glued to the watergate coverage. I hoped it wld be a cleansing of the corrupt and an ushering in of better ideal and behavior. Still waiting.

Cook said...

9/11.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

whomever said Diana's funeral. I agree. That was heartbreaking.

And the second would be 9/11 for me. As what was unusual about it is, I NEVER watch morning tv, but a friend of mine came to stay as I was about to drop baby #3, and he was a morning tv/coffee drinker, and I will never forget him saying with a real morose voice, come here. And as I entered the room, I saw the first building burning, and all I could think of was how those in the above floor were done. As there wouldn't be enough top time helicopter anyone out, even if they could. Then the second plane hit, and I don't know why but my first thought was osama bin laden. And to this day I don't know how I knew that. Even though afterward, I did find it troubling to watch the dateline report on the Mossad agents in the white van who were busted filming the towers PRIOR to the crashes (and they were the "middle eastern men" described dancing after the first plane hit...research it, it's out there IN police reports as people called them in, countless police reports, btw). So they DEFINITELY knew what was about to go down.

VeeBee said...

Of course 9/11- I remember waking my brother up to come out to the living room and we just sat there in shock.

I was in elementary school when Challenger exploded. We were all watching it together at an assembly. It was horrifying.

I was living with my girlfriend in our first apartment when the OJ chase happened. We were so broke that for the first 4 months we lived there we didn't have any TV- just a VCR. We FINALLY get the cable hooked up and BAM!! White Bronco on every effing channel.

0_0 said...

9/11 changed the US, not the world.

I was driving to work for 9/11 and heard on the radio that a plane had hit one of the towers. I told my driver "no big, it's designed to take a 707, and the Empire State bldg took a B-25".

The worksite closed because they were freaked that they might be a target (ha) and sent us away.

I saw Challenger in person, so again no TV.

Leviathan said...

Neil Armstrong's "One Small Step."

I was born in 1961, and in my lifetime, the moon changed from a light in the sky, to a _place_, a real place where humans could bounce along the dusty ground like Kangaroos in bulky, comical, padded suits.

Humans left this world, and walked on another, and it was on television for the world to see.

Honorable Mention to Live Aid, in which over a billion human voices were raised in song, in unison, on television.

Comma Chaser said...

Lee Harvey Oswald getting assassinated by Jack Ruby on a live feed. I don't think people could entirely think of TV as a source of purely scripted entertainment after that. I think it's the seminal moment, from which a lot of other acts of violence could claim inspiration, including Munich 1972, Columbine, and 9/11, among others.

I don't think the JFK assassination was actually on TV. What most of us remember is the Zapruder film, which was discovered a couple weeks after the fact. I think that's why it was so critical in the conspiracy trial. I could be wrong, though.

Del Riser said...

9/11
Moon landing
Challenger explosion
Nixon resignation
Fall of the Berlin Wall

On a personal note seeing the Seattle Seahawks lose the Superbowl to a blown call.
Husband is a VA Tech grad so the shootings there.

Shirter said...

The start of the first Gulf war. It showed us war as shock and awe, it was dramatic, it made war look easy, and had to have been on the government's mind when we got into the next.

anongkhla said...

"Impactful" is an atrocity that should be stricken from the vocabulary of everyone on the planet.

sussique said...

when elle came out on her comedy show. just sayin.

Lizzymagoo22 said...

Def without a doubt the breakup of Jennifer Anniston and brad Pitt . America has never recovered

iheartgoss said...

I agree the people jumping out made me really nauseous. I still remember watching that documentary of the people who were following a fire crew and videoed the whole thing and hearing the bang over their heads of bodies falling. When I was a teacher a lot of my students wanted to talk about it on the anniversary and they seemed to not understand how significant that event was and I actually started crying as I gave them my own detailed account of my experiences with it.

iheartgoss said...

I agree the people jumping out made me really nauseous. I still remember watching that documentary of the people who were following a fire crew and videoed the whole thing and hearing the bang over their heads of bodies falling. When I was a teacher a lot of my students wanted to talk about it on the anniversary and they seemed to not understand how significant that event was and I actually started crying as I gave them my own detailed account of my experiences with it.

HolidayinCambodia said...

People at the top are just so young that I stopped reading the comments.

For anyone over 50, it's probably the Kennedy assassination weekend.

B. Profane said...

"On a personal note seeing the Seattle Seahawks lose the Superbowl to a blown call."

TWO blown calls!

Fuck Pittsburgh, we won that damn game.

EmEyeKay said...

Didn't realize we have such a crazy range of ages here!

baan said...

The attack on Reginald Denny in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict. Watching my city burn.

Del Riser said...

@B. Profane, Yes we did!!!!!!!

feraltart said...

I think the impact will be reflected in the age and location of the respondents. As an Aussie my moments are:
9/11 - woke my now husband up and told him there had been a terrorist attack on American soil
Tianenman Square massacre, particularly living in the Asia Pacific region
The rescue of Stuart Diver after the Thredbo disaster- if you want nightmares read about that.

Mooshki said...

I can't decide between 9/11 and JFK. I don't think OJ was impactful for the real world, but definitely was hugely impactful for television. I think the chase and trial changed the way we watch television, and probably played a large part in bringing on the current age of reality television and 24/7 celebrity gossip. Yet another reason to hate him.

Mooshki said...

Also, I don't know if I've told this story before, but my parents were both in the Peace Corps in Liberia in '63, and that entire country came to a halt as well. I'm sure it was the same all over the world. They didn't have televisions there, but everyone was gathered around the radios.

Mooshki said...

Feraltart, I just read about it on Wikipedia, and I can think of at least 2 or 3 tv episodes that I'm sure were based on that story.

redronnie said...

Thanks for all the memories, it is obvious we have a diverse age group here. I remember the march on Washington - Martin Luther King Jr. being Canadian - the Oka Crisis- the fall of the Berlin Wall, I have a chunk of it on my mantel. the moment MTV went on air..music has never been the same, as they said video killed the radio star. 9/11 - it didn't change the world but it changed our perspective on the world. We became your friendly neighbours and then the US security tightened the border crossings as politicians accused Canada of allowing terrorist a gateway in the US. The FLQ crisis, Katrina, Lockerbie and Nelson Mandela - the night of the US presidential election - your president rocks -

AlexT said...

Katrina and the Tsunami were right up there for their terrible destruction and cost of human life over days. My in-laws were in Texas for Katrina and Rita and they were trying to evacuate and it was a huge fruitless nightmare. They were on the road at the same time that bus full of seniors burnt up, and they decided to ride it out. That was tense!

The Challenger and Columbia were both very sad- I still remember when they cut to the shots of the parents when the Challenger went, and how confused they looked after it happened. Heartbreaking. But I guess it's easy for me to say this since I didn't know the astronauts personally, but I think that something so inherently dangerous as space exploration has a certain amount of acceptance when the worst happens.

But 9/11 was the worst. It was 2 hours of high definition horror. The people trapped on the roof and jumping out of the buildings...there aren't even words for that. I still can't watch the opening credits of Mad Men without feeling a little bit of that same horrified feeling. (I'm in advertising too, and as morally relative as anyone else in that field. But I personally think the opening segment of Mad Men is a travesty of horrible taste. Talk about "too soon.")

AlexT said...

Here's another one that sticks in my head- the Columbine shootings. With that Dylan Klebold and that other kid. That was horrible- seeing the school cameras showing those two going around with guns while kids are trying to jump out the windows. Yeesh.

I'm not sure why the Oklahoma bombing doesn't resonate as much for me anymore. It was horrible at the time, but (not to be crass) I think 9/11 topped it.

Then again, I "forget" about the 35W bridge falling down here in Minneapolis a few years ago, and my husband and I both missed being part of that by about 15 minutes apiece because we only live about 5 minutes away and drive it every day. It was weird- I'd totally forgotten about it until today when I was crossing the bridge on my way home and it was hot, sunny, and heavy traffic, and a big heavy truck went by and sent a vibration through the street and it was like, whoa. Flashback.

Robert said...

@figgy and anongkhla: Absolutely!
9/11 by far had the biggest overall impact on life, especially inside the United States. All the others have been covered well here...remember them all.

Hootspa said...

Waking up on a Saturday morning to watch the Olympics and, instead, seeing a man hooded in black, on a balcony in the Olympic Village. Watching police officers, disguised as athletes, carrying weapons. And the heartrending words of Jim McKay: "They're all gone."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9HArGWgsm4

The Black Cat said...

I remember watching the first moon walk but I could care less, as a child I found it pointless all the money that was spent to get to the moon was at the expense of what I deemed more important - the health and welfare of poorer Americans. I grew up in a socialist country so the mere thought that Americans had to pay to see the doctor was so backward to me.
The Appollo "we're not sure if we can get you back" mission was like a bad soap opera to me. I knew they would return safely and I smelled a conspiracy back then. It seemed like a refreshing change to all the dark Vietnam coverage that went on night after night.
Then the Munich Olympics, then the airport at Entebbe, the death of Elvis, The 70's were rough!
I'd have to say the Event that had the most impact was 9/11 likely because I happened to see the second tower hit right over Bryant Gumbel's left shoulder. I never watch morning TV but a friend I was messaging told me to turn on the TV. That was a horrible, horrible year.

Henriette said...

For me it is 9/11 and the LA Riots in 1992, since I was living in LA at the time. It was pretty horrific.

Henriette said...

By the way, "impactul" is not a word. How much "impact" something has. In the sentence Enty used it should read as: "The OJ case was interesting, but I'm not sure how [much impact] it [had]."

Henriette said...

@The Black Cat
Do you mean over Matt Lauer's shoulder? Bryant Gumball left the Today Show in 1997. It was Couric and Lauer in 2001.

Mooshki said...

AlexT, I could see the collapsed bridge from my window at work, and the girders they laid out to try to find the cause were below us for months and months. I think of it every time I go over the new bridge.

NYCGirl said...

September 11. I watched the coverage for 15 hours straight.

The Black Cat said...

Henriette, google Bryant Gumbel's 9/11, I think it was the Early Show he was on. But it was def. him.

Sarah said...

September 11
London bus and tube bombings the day after the Olympics win
Boxing Day tsunami
Aftermath of Diana's death, plus funeral
Coverage of Louise Woodwood's trial. In the UK it was the first time that a trial was shown in full on tv, kind of like entertainment

O_O September 11 definitely impacted the world, not just the US. For example in the UK more British people died in it that in any other terrorist attack

Rose said...

My other post didn't show up so I'll just list the others I mentioned.

Challenger explosion, like many I was in grade school watching.
OKC bombing
Columbine shootings
Katrina coverage
Finding the unabomber
Finding Laci & Connor Peterson's bodies on Good Friday & Easter
Scott Peterson verdict

cinephreak said...

I definitely remember being 9 home sick from school, watching cartoons, and it switching to that. It was so crazy to watch, I didnt understand it at all

NYer said...

9/11
moon landing
fall of berlin wall