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Cable Short Of Icons

Cable didn’t fair too well on TV Land and Entertainment Weekly’s list of the leading TV icons.

While the legendary Johnny Carson, the king of late-night TV, is the king of Entertainment Weekly and TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons, only three icons with strong ties to cable made the grade, when off-network syndication is factored out. The show, which will premiere on the baby-boomer-targeted network on Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), is produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions.

As such, the top 50 icons, who will also be profiled in Entertainment Weekly ’s DVD issue hitting newsstands on Nov. 16, only include three whose most notable TV roles originated on cable: James Gandolfini (HBO’s The Sopranos) at No. 42; Jon Stewart (Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) at No. 41; and Sarah Jessica Parker (HBO’s Sex and the City) at No. 31.

All told, the 50 greatest TV icons include a dozen from the medium’s classic era, 1950s-60s; 21 from the 1970s-80s; and 17 from the modern era, 1990s-2000s. By genre, there are 22 comedy icons, 10 dramatic ones, eight from variety shows, five from talk shows, two from news, and one each from soaps, game shows and sports. Twenty-nine men, 17 women, two non-humans, one animated character and one ensemble cast comprise the group.

A full list of the top 100 greatest TV icons is available on