NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Comedian and daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres ousted talk show queen Oprah Winfrey as the U.S.’s favorite television personality in a poll released on Monday.
The popular entertainer catapulted from the No. 8 spot last year to push Winfrey into second place. Winfrey had reigned the Harris Poll’s favorite television stars list for five consecutive years.
DeGeneres stirred an outpouring of public support last year when she sobbed on TV over a puppy she adopted that was taken back by an animal rescue group after she gave it to her hairstylist’s family without the agency’s permission.
Late night TV host Jay Leno, British actor Hugh Laurie, who stars in the series “House,” and comedian Jon Stewart rounded out the top five.
“When the 10 stars on this list are looked at more closely, a theme emerges. Seven of them have a talk show -- either late night, prime time or day time,” Harris said in a statement.
“Only one drama star, House’s Laurie, is on the list.”
Late night TV hosts David Letterman and Stephen Colbert tied for sixth place, followed by Bill O‘Reilly. Comedian Ray Romano and the animated television character Homer Simpson shared the No. 9 nine spot.
DeGeneres was the favorite of women in the online poll of 1,171 U.S. adults but men opted for Leno.
“Even among women there is a difference of opinion as single women say Ellen is their favorite while married women pick Oprah,” according to Harris.
Winfrey was also tops among baby boomers questioned in the survey.