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TV Guide's 100 Most Unexpected Moments List

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TV Guide's 100 Most Unexpected Moments List

Old 11-30-05, 07:03 AM
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TV Guide's 100 Most Unexpected Moments List

I won't get into the silliness of many of their picks (many weren't "unexpected" at all, since viewers knew in advance what was going to happen), but they made a flat out error in #17 on the list when they claim that Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" in 1972 sent the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Super Bowl.

As any NFL fan knows, the victory only sent the Steelers to the AFC Championship game, where they LOST to the Miami Dolphins - who went on to win the Super Bowl that year in the NFL's only perfect season (so far).

How the writers at TV GUIDE didn't know this, is anyone's guess!
Old 11-30-05, 07:11 AM
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For those who don't have the US TV guide, can you provide a link to the list?
Old 11-30-05, 07:19 AM
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Can't find the complete list online, but here's the Top 10
From sudden death to a flash of flesh, get ready to relive those super-surprising events that made stunned viewers say, "I can't believe what I just saw!" Get a taste of the 10 biggest jaw-droppers, in chronological order, below. Then see the full list in order in the Dec. 5 issue of TV Guide magazine and tune in to TV Land at 10 pm/ET, Dec. 5-9, for an in-depth look at The 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments.

The Who Blows Up on the Smothers Brothers (Sept. 17, 1967)
The Who wanted to finish with a bang after its U.S. performance of "My Generation" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, but when too many explosives were inadvertently put inside Keith Moon's drums, some band members nearly died before they got old. "I don't remember much about it," says guitarist Pete Townshend. "I was kind of in shock."

The Heidi Bowl (Nov. 17, 1968)
NBC cut away from a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game that was running long. Why? To allow the TV-movie Heidi to start on time at 7 pm/ET. While the goat-herding girl traipsed through the Alps, Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final 65 seconds to win. Says Jennifer Edwards, who played Heidi, "My gravestone is gonna say, 'She was a great moment in sports.'"

A Dallas Dream (May 16, 1986)
How in Southfork's sake did the Dallas folks explain the resurrection of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) one year after his death? It took Bobby's wife, Pam (Victoria Principal), discovering him in the shower — hot and unbothered — to establish that the entire previous season had all been pretty Pam's dream. After the show, an incredulous nation rose from couches wondering, "Huh?"

The St. Elsewhere Finale (May 25, 1988)
This offbeat hospital drama ended its run by shaking everything up: The series was but a dream of Dr. Donald Westphall's autistic son, who in the show's final seconds held a snow globe containing a model of the Boston hospital. Snow kidding. "It sent a shock wave through the entire viewing community," says St. Elsewhere costar Howie Mandel.

The Newhart Finale (May 21, 1990)
TV legend Bob Newhart parodies — and perfects — the "dream sequence" finale when his entire Newhart series turns out to be the dream of Dr. Bob Hartley, his old Bob Newhart Show character. When a stunned Bob wakes up his first TV wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), it's pure double-take genius. Says Newhart costar Tom Poston, "It has proven to be one of the great endings of all time."

Tonya Harding's Olympic Meltdown (Feb. 25, 1994)
Months before the Lillehammer Olympic games, Tonya Harding had reportedly paid a friend to try to break the leg of her rival, Nancy Kerrigan. But at the games, Harding's skate expectations were dashed when a last-minute loose lace turned her from lutzing contender to klutzy pretender.

Sudden Death on Seinfeld (May 16, 1996)
Sure, it's a show about "nothing," but is nothing sacred? When George's fiancée, Susan (Heidi Swedberg), died from licking toxic glue on the cheap envelopes he forced her to buy for their wedding invitations, it was Seinfeld at its black comic best. George never cared a lick for Susan, anyhow.

Tyson Bites Holyfield (June 28, 1997)
After repeated head butts from Evander Holyfield in their heavyweight title rematch, Mike Tyson put his career where his mouth was, taking not one but two bites of Holyfield's right ear before the fight was called. "It was such a shock," Holyfield says of Tyson's aural fixation. Recalls actor Bryan Callen (Fat Actress), "The look on Tyson's face was true madness." Eerie, even.

The Dean Scream (Jan. 19, 2004)
Why did one comical scream meant to rally his supporters after finishing third in the Iowa caucus turn former Vermont governor Howard Dean from Democratic hope to enigmatic dope? Well, TV audiences found it weird ("the scream of a wounded beast," says California pol Tom Hayden) and it sounded anything but presidential. What the yell?

Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction (Feb. 1, 2004)
Never mind those erectile dysfunction commercials: After Janet Jackson's sudden exposure on the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, everyone from outraged parents to Laura Bush to the FCC threw the red flag. While the moment became the stuff of late-night jokes and instant-replay legend, its effect still lingers. Says Family Guy's Alex Borstein, "[Janet] changed censorship."
http://www.tvguide.com/TV/CoverStory/
Old 11-30-05, 07:23 AM
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Thanks Chew!
Old 11-30-05, 08:02 AM
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How they left the pilot of "The Shield" off of this is beyond me.
Old 11-30-05, 08:55 AM
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I'm assuming Jack's wife getting killed in the first season of 24 is on there. If not, it should be.
Old 11-30-05, 09:12 AM
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Also missing: the revelation about the wheelchair on Lost.

Last edited by Groucho; 11-30-05 at 04:27 PM.
Old 11-30-05, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
How they left the pilot of "The Shield" off of this is beyond me.
What was so special about it? I watched it but don't recall anything rememorable.
Old 11-30-05, 09:15 AM
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I didn't exactly memorize the complete list, but I could've sworn Jack's wife was in the latter portion (on the two pages with about 60 items).
Old 11-30-05, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
What was so special about it? I watched it but don't recall anything rememorable.
Spoiler:
The main character killing a fellow cop
wasn't memorable?

Edit: obviously, I should've spoilerized that. Just in case.

Last edited by Chew; 11-30-05 at 09:19 AM.
Old 11-30-05, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
What was so special about it? I watched it but don't recall anything rememorable.
Spoiler:
Vic shoots Terry in the face!

Last edited by Groucho; 11-30-05 at 04:27 PM.
Old 11-30-05, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Spoiler:
The main character killing a fellow cop wasn't memorable?
It was memorable...it just wasn't rememorable.
Old 11-30-05, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cdollaz
I'm assuming Jack's wife getting killed in the first season of 24 is on there. If not, it should be.
Actually it IS on the list.
Old 11-30-05, 01:08 PM
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surprised at no season 2 alias cliffhanger as well
Old 11-30-05, 01:54 PM
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Well, I haven't seen the whole list, but I would've thought Henry Blake's fate on MASH would be in the top ten.
Old 11-30-05, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by flagstone
Well, I haven't seen the whole list, but I would've thought Henry Blake's fate on MASH would be in the top ten.
It's number 15.

Here's the whole list:
Spoiler:

1. Newhart "Dream" Finale (Newhart)
2. Tyson bites Holyfield
3. Pam finds Bobby in the Shower (Dallas)
4. Wardrobe Malfunction
5. The Who blows up on the Smothers Brothers
6. The Heidi Game
7. Howard Dean's crazy scream
8. Susan's Death (Seinfeld)
9. Tonya Harding's Olympic meltdown
10. St. Elsewhere Finale (St. Elsewhere)
11. Al Campanis' Nightline Faux Pas
12. Dr. Romano amputation by helicopter (E.R.)
13. Muhammad Ali lights Olympic torch
14. Dick Cavett vs. Lester Maddox
15. The Death of Colonel Blake (M.A.S.H.)
16. Cal vs. Stanford: Band on the field
17. The Immaculate Reception
18. Nate goes Six Feet Under (Six Feet Under)
19. Tube top falls down (The Price is Right)
20. Streisand crashes Coffee Talk (SNL)
21. Walter Cronkite's verdict on Vietnam
22. "Senator, You're no Jack Kennedy."
23. Mike Skupin falls in the fire (Survivor)
24. Drew Barrymore flashes Letterman
25. Serena's "Is this because I'm a Lesbian" (Law & Order)
26. William F. Buckley vs. Gore Vidal at 1968 DNC
27. thirtysomething bedfellows (thirtysomething)
28. "City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek)
29. Zola Budd bumps... Mary Decker decked
30. Johnny Carson's tomahawk incident
31. The Turkey Drop episode (WKRP)
32. Murder of Jack Bauer's wife (24)
33. Kimberly's scar reveal (Melrose Place)
34. Sacheen Littlefeather refuses Marlon Brando's Oscar
35. Diana Ross gropes Lil Kim
36. Leo becomes Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee (The West Wing)
37. Elvis serenades a hound dog
38. A Child in Blackface (Gimme a Break)
39. Twin Peaks' Dancing Dwarf (Twin Peaks)
40. Sinatra reunites Martin and Lewis
41. Hatch's naked ass (Survivor)
42. Admiral Stockdale's "Who Am I? Why am I here?"
43. Clinton answers the question: "Boxers or Briefs?"
44. "Once More With Feeling" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
45. Letterman reunites Sonny and Cher
46. Mayor Daley's '68 convention meltdown
47. Sharpton gets shoved on Morton Downey, Jr. show
48. Diana Ross concert in Central Park
49. I Married Dora: The Final Episode
50. Jack Benny's Password classic
51. Andy Kauffman is Tony Clifton on Dinah!
52. Jose Canseco aids a fly ball with his head
53. Cop Rock
54. Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow on What's My Line?
55. Jimmy Swaggart begs for forgiveness
56. Adriana gets whacked (The Sopranos)
57. Ralph Kramden crashes Here's Lucy
58. The One Where Monica and Chandler are discovered in bed (Friends)
59. The Star Wars Holiday Special
60. David Duchovny does Larry Sanders (The Larry Sanders Show)
61. The Moldavian Massacre (Dynasty)
62. Marie's Sculpture (Everybody Loves Raymond)
63. Tiger's put on 16 at The Masters in April
64. Phyllis' brother comes out (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
65. Get Christie Love!
66. The Felicity Haircut Incident (Felicity)
67. John Lennon And Yoko Ono co-host the Mike Douglas show
68. The Walnut Episode (The Dick Van Dyke Show)
69. Al Gore kisses Tipper
70. Jessica Simpson and Chicken of the Sea (Newlyweds)
71. Death by Chicken Soup (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)
72. Zell Miller challenges Chris Matthews to a duel on Hardball
73. Seven disappears (Married with Children)
74. New President Bush Dances with Ricky Martin
75. Jacko and Lisa Marie kiss
76. William Shatner sings "Rocket Man"
77. Family Feud's Biggest Board Bust
78. Lorne Michaels bribes The Beatles (SNL)
79. 20/20's John Stossel vs. The Wrestler
80. William Hung on American Idol
81. Coy and Vance (Dukes of Hazzard)
82. Panel protest on the Match Game
83. Tammy Faye and Ron Jeremy bond (The Surreal Life)
84. Paul Lynde lights up the Dating Game
85. Madonna, Britney and Christina kiss
86. Steambath airs on PBS
87. Susan Lucci finally wins an Emmy
88. Soap and the Davil (Soap)
89. Courtney Love vs. Madonna
90. Karen says "Eat me" (Will & Grace)
91. "Big" John revealed (Sex and the City)
92. The Flying Nun
93. The S--- Show (South Park)
94. Jim Carrey dons a fig leaf
95. Family Guy Returns
96. Jackie Gleason apologiaes for "You're in the Picture"
97. Roseanne's stash from the past (Roseanne)
98. Battlestar Galactica's Frist Season Finale (Battlestar Galactica)
99. Debbie Downer cracks up (SNL)
100. Hogan's Heroes

Last edited by the big train; 11-30-05 at 03:29 PM.
Old 11-30-05, 03:26 PM
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Where's Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch?
Old 11-30-05, 03:41 PM
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What about Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald?
The second plane flying into the WTC?
The Challenger exploding?

Didn't all those things happen live on TV?


Oh and they forgot Lace: "Which one of you bitches is my mother?"

Last edited by Jadzia; 11-30-05 at 03:44 PM.
Old 11-30-05, 04:21 PM
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Pretty weak list. There are a lot of things that were more unexpected on Twin Peaks than a dancing midget. As a matter of fact, there is nothing unexpected about that at all.
Old 11-30-05, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cdollaz
Pretty weak list. There are a lot of things that were more unexpected on Twin Peaks than a dancing midget. As a matter of fact, there is nothing unexpected about that at all.
Yeah, I wondered about that, too.

Out of all the things on Twin Peaks, they chose the dancing midget as unexpected? I would have thought that maybe Laura's killer would have been more unexpected.

Why not the dancing baby on Ally McBeal? That was more unexpected than anything on Twin Peaks.

I didn't see Rosalind Shays falling down the elevator shaft on LA Law on the list either. That should definitly be on there.

What happened during the finale of I Married Dora? I thought I was the only person who remembered that show.
Old 11-30-05, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
I didn't see Rosalind Shays falling down the elevator shaft on LA Law on the list either. That should definitly be on there.

Nothing tops that as far as I'm concerned. The Dallas dream and Newhart endings are as close as it gets.
Old 11-30-05, 04:29 PM
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Wow, that was totally unexpected!
Old 11-30-05, 04:39 PM
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I would have thought JR getting shot would have been more unexpected than Bobby showing up in the shower.

What about when Fox Mulder "committed suicide"?

Or when Bobby Simone died on NYPD Blue?

Heck...seems to me that LOST has already had a half-dozen or so moments that top most on this list!

And as already pointed out, there are dozens of live TV moments and events that qualify as "Unexpected".

My biggest gripe was the one about Muhammad Ali...not that that wasn't a great TV moment...but EVERYONE knew he was going to be carrying the torch!!! So how exactly was that "unexpected"?!

Anyway - every time TV GUIDE does one of these "TOP LISTS" it only goes to show how young and uninformed their writers are.
Old 11-30-05, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Or when Bobby Simone died on NYPD Blue?
You're kidding. What was unexpected about his death. They built up to it over several episodes.
Old 11-30-05, 04:51 PM
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I kidof hate these list's because it spoils shows I intend to watch, and there is no way to avoid knowing before hand which to read and which not.

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