NCIS is America’s Favorite TV Show

May 4, 2011

NEW YORK, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — It’s that time of year again – May sweeps. This is the season where television writers give viewers cliffhangers, births (who is the father of Shirley’s baby on Community?) and weddings (Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy). It’s also the time of year where viewers learn if their favorite show will come back next season (Fringe, How I Met Your Mother), fade into the sunset (Smallville, Stargate Universe) or be on the dreaded bubble (Chuck). But one thing is for sure, people have their favorite show and this year, to go along with having America’s Favorite TV Star Mark Harmon, NCIS is also America’s Favorite TV Show, jumping up from the number 4 spot in 2009.

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CSI, the number 1 show in 2009 lost Gil Grissom and also lost one spot and is now number 2 on the list. M*A*S*H, a show now only seen in reruns also dropped one spot and moved from number 2 to number 3. Charlie Sheen may have a few issues and his future on the show may be in doubt, but viewers like Two and a Half Men moving it from number 8 to number 4 this year. Also only in reruns now, the show about nothing, Seinfeld, rounds out the top five favorite shows.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,379 adults surveyed online between March 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Diving a little deeper into the list of favorite shows, people are still wondering about the ending of the 6th show on the list – Lost, while a new movie franchise may have moved Star Trek up the list from number 13 in 2009 to number 7 this year. In a tie for the 8th spot on the favorite show list are two shows that couldn’t be more different – Friends (down from number 7) and Criminal Minds which is new to the list this year.

Two more shows which are quite different are tied for the 10th spot – I Love Lucy/The Lucy Show, which is new this year, and Law and Order up from the 12th spot. Three shows tied for the 12th spot on the list: an animated show Family Guy; a show based on a popular series of books, Bones, which is also new to the list this year; and a cranky doctor, House, which delved into the disastrous Cuddy/House relationship and dropped from 3rd on the list in 2009. In 15th place and holding the same place as two years ago, Grey’s Anatomy.

Looking at the type of shows people gravitate to, it’s clear that people like escapism. Of the top 15, six shows are sitcoms or animated shows. Five shows are crime and mysteries which present a nice clear result at the end of the hour. Two shows are medical dramas and while on occasion, people don’t make it at the end of the show, most of the time the medical mystery is solved. Finally, two shows are science-fiction.

So What?

Watching television used to be easy – there was just one way to watch a favorite show. Now, with DVRs, downloads, streaming shows and other ways to watch, a favorite television show can easily be something that isn’t even in reruns any longer, but with a full series on DVD, it’s easy to sit back and catch up on that show you haven’t seen in 20 years. This is why some shows may come and go off this list – in 2009, ER, 24, and The Simpsons were on this list, but others like M*A*S*H may always be on it.

                                   TABLE 1
                              FAVORITE TV SHOW

    "What are your two or three favorite television shows of all time?"
    Unprompted responses

    Base: All adults
                                               2009    2011
    NCIS                                          4       1
    CSI                                           1       2
    M*A*S*H                                       2       3
    Two & A Half Men                              8       4
    Seinfeld                                      6       5
    Lost                                          9       6
    Star Trek                                    13       7
    Friends                                       7    =8
    Criminal Minds                                -    =8
    I Love Lucy/The Lucy Show                     -    =10
    Law & Order                                  12    =10
    Family Guy                                   11    =12
    Bones                                         -    =12
    House                                         3    =12
    Grey's Anatomy                               15      15
    - signifies not in the 2009 top 15.
    Dropped out of the top 15 this year
    (2009 rankings)
    24 (No. 5), ER (No. 10) and Simpsons (No. 14)

                              TABLE 2
    AMONG:                                 2009               2011
    Men                            M*A*S*H              NCIS
    Women                            CSI                NCIS

    Echo Boomers (18-34)            House             Friends
                                                  NCIS, Seinfeld,
    Gen X (35-46)                    CSI                Lost
    Baby Boomers (47-65)           M*A*S*H              NCIS
    Matures (66+)                    CSI                NCIS

    Republicans                      CSI                NCIS
    Democrats                        CSI         Two & A Half Men
    Independents                     CSI                NCIS

    HS or less                       CSI                NCIS
    Some college                     CSI                NCIS
    College grad                   M*A*S*H            Seinfeld
    Post grad                      M*A*S*H            Seinfeld

    Under $35k                       CSI                NCIS
                 $35k-$49.9k         CSI                NCIS
                 $50k-$74.9k       M*A*S*H              NCIS
                 $75k-$99.9K      M*A*S*H**           M*A*S*H
                      $100K+          --                NCIS

    East                             CSI                NCIS
    Midwest                        M*A*S*H              NCIS
    South                            CSI                NCIS
    West                             CSI                NCIS
    **Represents favorite for $75k+; --indicates it was not evaluated in


This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 7 to 14, 2011 among 2,379 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.



The Harris Poll® #54, May 4, 2011

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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SOURCE Harris Interactive

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