Ellen DeGeneres is America’s Favorite TV Personality for the Third Year Running

New York, N.Y. – January 13, 2015 – The reigning queen of daytime TV, best known for her dancing skills and prank-playing antics, Ellen DeGeneres is America’s favorite TV personality for the third year in a row and the only woman to make the top ten. NCIS‘ Mark Harmon is hot on Ellen’s trail, following at number two on the list, also for the third year in a row. Trailing Gibbs, we have a fresh face on the top ten: the new host of the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, has lip-synced his way past his counterparts to land the number three spot.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,255 adults surveyed online between December 10 and 15, 2014.

The Following

Rounding out the top ten, Americans’ choices include five additional TV hosts, one sitcom star and one drama star as their favorite TV personalities. Comedian, actor, author, and most importantly for this poll, TV host Steve Harvey jumped a whopping five spots from last year’s position to rank number four in America’s eyes. Jim Parsons, best known as The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, drops one spot to number five, equal with his 2012 ranking. Jon Stewart may have dropped from the number three spot for the first time in four years, but stays strong in sixth place.

Stephen Colbert may have recently wrapped up his Colbert Report in advance of his upcoming Late Show gig, but he isn’t ready to drop off the list again just yet (as he did in 2012), though his ranking decreases slightly from sixth to seventh this year. Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck falls one spot as well, from seventh to eighth. Rounding out the top ten in the ninth and tenth spots, respectively, are two hosts making their comebacks to the list, Bill O’Reilly and David Letterman. Both fell off the list in 2013, but O’Reilly ranked sixth and Letterman ranked ninth in 2012.

The Blacklist

With two old flames making a comeback and one newcomer on his way to the top of the chart, three personalities were forced to take the back seat to the top ten. Jay Leno, who received a commendable fifth place spot on last year’s list, was given the boot. The ex-queen of daytime TV herself, Oprah Winfrey, is off the list again, knocked from her spot in eighth last year. And finally, on a somber note, the late Robin Williams, who ranked number nine last year, has exited the top ten as well.

Face Off

While last year’s numbers revealed that Ellen’s popularity spanned generational and regional divides, this year shows a bit more variety between groups. Women continue to favor Ellen DeGeneres, while men have jumped on the Mark Harmon bandwagon. Ellen remains popular with Millennials, while Gen X’ers favor Jimmy Fallon and both older generations (Baby Boomers and Matures) show the most love for Mark Harmon.

Both whether you have children in the house and where you live might affect your favorite TV personality choice as well. While those with children prefer Ellen, those without prefer Mr. Harmon. Those in the East and Midwest prefer Ellen while the Southerners and Westerners have a hankering for Harmon.

Educational differences exist as well. While those with some college and a post graduate degree prefer Ellen, Jimmy Fallon is popular among college graduates and Mark Harmon speaks to those who have completed high school or less. Republicans and Conservatives both favor Mark Harmon while Democrats, Independents, Moderates, and Liberals alike all favor Ellen.

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TABLE 1

FAVORITE TV PERSONALITY

Who is your favorite TV personality?

Base: All adults

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

Ellen DeGeneres

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

=10

Mark Harmon

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Jimmy Fallon

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Steve Harvey

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Jim Parsons

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Jon Stewart

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

=6

Stephen Colbert

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Tom Selleck

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Bill O’Reilly

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

7

5

3

David Letterman

6

6

4

5

7

*

*

6

4

3

2

The 2002 survey was conducted in January 2003.

* = means there was a tie for that position

 

TABLE 1 (continued)

FAVORITE TV PERSONALITY

Who is your favorite TV personality?

Base: All adults

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Ellen DeGeneres

7

6

=8

1

3

=4

7

2

1

1

1

Mark Harmon

*

*

*

*

=9

8

1

1

2

2

2

Jimmy Fallon

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

3

Steve Harvey

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

=9

4

Jim Parsons

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

9

5

4

5

Jon Stewart

=2

2

2

5

6

6

=5

3

3

3

6

Stephen Colbert

*

*

*

=6

=9

*

*

10

*

6

7

Tom Selleck

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

10

7

8

Bill O’Reilly

8

=4

3

8

*

10

8

4

6

*

9

David Letterman

2

3

5

6

5

9

9

6

9

*

10

* = means there was a tie for that position

 

DROPPED OFF OF LIST IN 2014

Jay Leno (was No. 5), Oprah Winfrey (was No. 8) and Robin Williams (was No. 9)


TABLE 2

FAVORITE TV PERSONALITY AMONG DIFFERENT GROUPS

AMONG:

2014

Men

Mark Harmon

Women

Ellen DeGeneres

Millennials (18-37)

Ellen DeGeneres

Gen X (38-49)

Jimmy Fallon

Baby Boomers (50-68)

Mark Harmon

Matures (69+)

Mark Harmon

Republicans

Mark Harmon

Democrats

Ellen DeGeneres

Independents

Ellen DeGeneres

Conservatives

Mark Harmon

Moderates

Ellen DeGeneres

Liberals

Ellen DeGeneres

Household with children

Ellen DeGeneres

Household without children

Mark Harmon

East

Ellen DeGeneres

Midwest

Ellen DeGeneres

South

Mark Harmon

West

Mark Harmon

High School or less

Mark Harmon

Some College

Ellen DeGeneres

College Graduate

Jimmy Fallon

Post Graduate

Ellen DeGeneres


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between December 10 and 15, 2014 among 2,255 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, The Harris Poll 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 Poll 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 our 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 The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #4, January 13, 2015

By Allyssa Birth, Senior Research Analyst, The Harris Poll