Sunday, November 28, 2004


This past week, Bravo ran a five-night series which had a rundown of their picks for the top 100 TV characters for all time.

Surprisingly, for a list of this nature, I had not problems with their choices for the top ten. And I'm not going to get into nitpicking as to the standings in the list for other characters, although I think Ed Norton, Rob Petrie, Mr. Spock, Barney Fife, and Bret Maverick all should have been much higher on the list than where they ended up.

There were a handful of characters, however, whom I think should have been in the next group of twenty below 100. And I had some suggestions as to who would have replaced them in the top 100.

Here's the list as chosen by Bravo's panel of "experts":

Day 1
100. Xena
99. Monk
98. Steve Urkel
97. Dr. Smith
96. Artie
95. Doug Ross
94. Vic Mackey
93. Maynard G Krebs
92. Agent Dale Cooper
91. Caine
90. Herman Munster
89. Lt. Castillo
88. Jamie Somers
87. Gomez & Morticia
86. Maxwell Smart
85. Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin
84. Bob Hartley
83. Vinnie Barbarino
82. Gil Grissom & Catherine Willow
81. Cast of Will & Grace

Day 2
80. Jack Tripper
79. Charles Ingalls
78. Rob & Laura Petrie
77. Dr. Craig
76. Eleanor Frutt
75. Ally McBeal
74. Beaver
73. Dr. Johnny Fever
72. Dick Soloman
71. Dan Fielding
70. Niles Crane
69. David Addison/Maddie Hayes
68. Benson
67. Jim Ignatowski
66. Carla Tortelli
65. John Boy
64. Jessica Fletcher
63. Andy Taylor
62. Francis Xavier Pembleton
61. Crockett & Tubbs

Day 3
60. Mork
59. Al & Peg Bundy
58. Barney Miller
57. Rhoda Morgenstern
56. Mick Belker
55. Capt. Picard
54. Rocky & Bullwinkle
53. Pres. Josiah Bartlett
52. Emma Peel
51. Murphy Brown
50. Sam & Diane
49. Maude Finley
48. Ted Baxter
47. Carmella Soprano
46. Cast of Friends
45. Marshall Matt Dillon
44. Cliff Huxtable
43. Thomas Magnum
42. Laverne & Shirley
41. The Barone Family

Day 4
40. Fred Sanford
39. Kojak
38. Sgt. Ernie Bilko
37. Marcus Welby
36. Barney Fife
35. Lou Grant
34. Kermit & Miss Piggy
33. Maverick
32. Scully & Mulder
31. Samantha Stephens
30. Det. Lenny Briscoe
29. Alex Keaton
28. Perry Mason
27. Ann Marie
26. Frasier Crane
25. Joe Friday
24. Louis DePalma
23. Andy Sipowicz
22. Richard Kimball
21. Mr. Spock

Day 5
20. Ed Norton
19. Eric Cartman
18. Roseanne
17. Jim Rockford
16. George Jefferson
15. J.R. Ewing
14. Hawkeye Pierce
13. Buffy
12. Edith Bunker
11. Carrie Bradshaw
10. Tony Soprano
9. Capt. James T. Kirk
8. Mary Richards
7. Lt. Columbo
6. Seinfeld Cast
5. Homer Simpson
4. The Fonz
3. Lucy Ricardo
2. Ralph Kramden
1. Archie Bunker

So. We know they allowed cartoon characters. They allowed puppets. They allowed characters from foreign TV shows. They allowed couples to be chosen as one. They allowed multiple choices when you couldn't choose one character over the others from a particular show; sort of an ensemble vote.

In the above list, you'll see there are several names in blue. Those are the characters whom I think should have been in the grouping for 100-120.

And here are my candidates for those characters who should have been included in the top 100:

The Lone Ranger/Tonto
Batman and Robin
Hoss Cartwright/The Cartwrights
Mr. Ed
Big Bird
Captain Kangaroo
Number Six
Carl Kolchak

I even had two other choices who were merely recurring guest stars:

Uncle Tonoose
Dr. Miguelito Loveless (My personal all-time favorite TV character!)

But I won't press the issue on them.

Were daytime characters even considered? How could they then pass up the Captain? Or Big Bird?

What was so special about Charles Ingalls that he would be chosen rather than the more impressive Little Joe and the rest of his Cartwright family on the Ponderosa?

I think a choice like Doug Ross was more to honor the entire roster of a powerhouse show like 'ER'; or perhaps to make sure they got in good with an actor who's become a major movie star since then.

Why Jamie Sommers? Why not Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man? Because cybernetic chicks are hot? At least they didn't follow that line of thinking and choose April Dancer over Solo and Kuryakin!

The whole thrust of 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigators' has been to put the story ahead of the characters. There hasn't been enough about Grissom and Catherine to make them crack the top 100; it's been the outrageous nature of the crimes and their up-close forensics that have been more memorable.

And Lt. Castillo? One speech deriding the view of Hispanics by the upper echelons of the police department does not make for enough of a reason to be included.

I could go on, but I know you'd rather I'd stop.

At any rate, this is the whole nature of lists like this. They are created with the intention of sparking comments and dissent. So I'm hoping I'll be hearing from you about my opinions as well.

And then next week, we can move on to TV Land and their list of the Top 100 Greatest TV Moments.....


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