Must-See TV: True Reality

by Melissa Brunner

Neilsen put out a list of the most powerful television moments. Reviewing the top 20, I'd have to say it's no surprise that Number 1 is the 9/11 attacks. Who doesn't recall seeing the second plane crash into the Twin Towers or watching the towers fall or viewing the gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon? The attacks and the days following provided many examples of television news at its best, bringing a nation together in a time of tragedy.

Items further down in the top 20 might have some rolling their eyes - William and Kate's royal wedding from last summer is 14th (just before JFK's assassination) and the Casey Anthony verdict is 19th. OJ Simpson has two in the top 10 - the verdict at his trial is 3rd while the white Bronco chase is 6th.

Nielsen and Sony teamed up to create the list. Events were scored based on the number of people who watched it live, how many could recall details about where they were when it happened and whether people discussed what happened with others.

Here's the complete top 20 list. Do you agree? What's missing? What shouldn't be there?

1. Sept. 11 tragedy (2001)
2. Hurricane Katrina (2005)
3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)
4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986)
5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011)
6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)
7. Earthquake in Japan (2011)
8. Columbine High School shootings (1999)
9. BP oil spill (2010)
10. Princess Diana's funeral (1997)
11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012)
12. Capture and execution of Saddam Hussein (2006)
13. Barack Obama's acceptance speech (2008)
14. The Royal Wedding (2011)
15. Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963)
16. Oklahoma City bombing (1995)
17. Bush/Gore election results (2000)
18. L.A. riots (1992)
19. Casey Anthony verdict (2011)
20. Funeral of John F. Kennedy (1963)

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