CBS’ ‘CSI’ Tops All-Time Favorite TV Poll

People who fear (or, for that matter, hope) that the age of the sitcom has passed will note with interest a Harris Poll released this week that asked adults to pick their “two or three favorite television shows of all time.” Among the 15 shows getting the most mentions, just four were sitcoms, with the biggest vote-getter among these–M*A*S*H, at No. 2 in the standings–having been off the air for decades.

On the other hand, 62 percent of respondents to the poll (fielded in March) mentioned one sitcom or another among their faves. By that measure, the genre was well ahead of drama (39 percent picked a show of that sort) and crime/mystery (32 percent), and even farther ahead of sci-fi/horror (25 percent) and reality (16 percent).

The top vote-getter in the survey was CSI. Ranked behind it and M*A*S*H were House, NCIS, 24, Seinfeld, Friends, Two and a Half Men, Lost, ER, Family Guy, Law & Order, Star Trek, The Simpsons and Grey’s Anatomy. CSI won the most mentions from the survey’s female respondents, while M*A*S*H led among the men.

In a breakdown of the responses by age group, CSI got the most mentions among the 33-44-year-olds and those 64-plus. House garnered the most votes among the 18-32-year-olds and M*A*S*H among the 45-63s. In a regional breakdown, CSI was No. 1 in the East, South and West, but M*A*S*H (with, some readers will recall, its frequent references to the Toledo Mud Hens) was tops in the Midwest.

Finally, this was one of the rare polls these days not to include a divide along party lines. CSI got the most mentions from Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as from independents.