The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson & More on TV Academy’s List of 75 Most Impactful TV Moments


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Ahead of the Primetime Emmy Award on Monday (Jan. 15), the Television Academy released a list of the 75 most impactful television moments. Music moments are well-represented on the list.

MTV has three moments on the list – the channel’s debut in 1981, the debut on the channel of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video in 1983 and the debut of The Real World in 1992.

The Super Bowl and The Ed Sullivan Show are both responsible for two of the top music moments. The Super Bowl is represented by Whitney Houston’s iconic performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” and by a certain wardrobe malfunction. Sullivan is represented by the first performances on the show by Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

The top two moments are not music-related. Neil Armstrong landing on the moon in 1969 and proclaiming “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was No. 1, followed by live coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The TV Academy assembled a list with several hundred programs and news moments that had been submitted by its peer group executive committees. It presented that list to its members, who voted on those they felt have had the greatest impact on the viewing public over the past 75 years.

The Academy settled on 75 moments because Monday’s broadcast will be the 75th annual Primetime Emmys. The show was originally scheduled for September, but was delayed because of strikes by Hollywood writers and actors.

Here are 18 music-related moments (broadly defined, in a few cases) from the TV Academy’s list of 75 Most Impactful Television Moments. Check out their full list here.

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