20 to 1’s Greatest TV Moments

Here's the list of TV's most defining moments according to 20 to 1. But do you agree?

20 to 1 last night offered up its list of “Greatest TV Moments,” a roll call of the best ‘Made for TV’ moments from the last 50 years.

There were a lot of nostalgic, memorable moments on the list, which steered clear of news and sport. Those that made the list were constructs from drama, comedy, reality, lifestyle and current affairs. While the list was predominantly Australian, a few American, and one British moment also made the cut. Clearly television from other corners of the world was banished…

As with all the 20 to 1 lists, it’s actually producers who decide the rankings, possibly based on what clips they can get the rights to. Presumably moments that have featured in other 20 to 1 editions were also a non-priority. One entry on the list even includes host Bert Newton himself (but all things considered, it’s a fair call). Nine did well not to award itself the top prize (see below) and it’s somewhat ironic that it claimed the greatest locally produced Nine moment was the same one that so incensed its owner, Kerry Packer.

Yet while there are indeed some fabulous moments remembered here. But where was I Love Lucy? No Simpsons? Nothing from The Sullivans? Big Brother’s “Truman Show” moment when Sara Marie faced her audience for the first time and realised she had reached pop culture status, was chosen over Merlin’s “Free the Refugees” moment. And what about Happy Days’ “jump the moment?” TV Tonight wants to know what they left off the list.
20. Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah Winfrey’s couch.
19. Big Brother (Sara Marie faces the live audience).
18. Number 96 (first full frontal nudity).
17. Martin Bashir’s interview of Princess Di.
16. Gordon Ramsay drops the C Word on a “French pig.”
15. Bea Smith burns Lynne Warner’s hand in the Prisoner iron press.
14. Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer is found “wrapped in plastic.”
13. Survivor’s Susan Hawke lets fly after a naked Richard Hatch rubs up against her.
12. Bert says “I like the boy” to Muhammed Ali at the Logies.
11. Kimberley blows up Melrose Place.
10. Strop makes a hangover cure for Paul Hogan.
9. Jennifer Aniston dons her hair do on Friends.
8. Sylvania Waters arrives.
7. The Block’s first auction.
6. Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos is taken off air.
5. The Seinfeld friends make a bet to become master of their own domain.
4. MASH says Goodbye Farewell and Amen.
3. Michael J. Fox says goodbye to Spin City and a television career.
2. The wedding of Scott and Charlene.
1. Who shot J.R.?

So how about it….. what “made for TV” moments are conspicuous by their absence?

30 Responses

  1. Good to see Prisoner make it in television’s most memorable moments – Kerry Armstrong in her earlier years getting slammed under the steam press, unforgettable scene!

  2. Another 20-1 list by Nine (how man of these have they got ?)

    Most of the entries are cringeworthy and probably on half deserve a mention.
    Ramsay & Bock are total joke.

    How Graham Kennedy & Mike Walsh don’t get gig is shocking and as has been said, must be only UK,USA or Aus shows they considered.

    Mind you (mock shock mode) None of the following got mention –
    Tench,Yasmin,ACA bra or weight loss stories, etc etc

    David, Any chance you could do a list of 20 –
    Most shafted/moved shows
    Most over hyped shows

    or just plain 20 worst shows in past few years (bet there would be loads to consider)

    and what about the 20 worst slogans foisted on us viewers like –
    Brand new timeslot = show sucked so we trying this slot
    Encore/ by special request = repeat

  3. Yep totally agree where on earth was molly’s death on a country practice when that went to air on Wednesday 5th June 1985 it quite literally stopped Australia

    I had been waiting for 9 to finally do a show on TV moments and they go and stuff it up by not putting the most memorable moment in history on it but then again it is channel 9 isn’t it

  4. Sex and the City used it nearly 10 years before Ramsay.

    As for Survivor, I would have thought the season 1 finale where Susan did her infamous “Rats and Snakes” speech would have been a more appropriate pick.

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