Emmys reveals 75 ‘most impactful television moments’ ahead of awards show

In celebration of the upcoming Emmy Awards' 75th Anniversary, the academy has released 75 of the most impactful television moments in history. 

According to a press release issued Thursday, academy members were invited to review several hundred programs and news moments submitted by their Peer Group Executive Committees and then vote on those they felt have had the greatest impact on the viewing public over the past 75 years.

"The Top 75 Most Impactful Television Moments is an exciting look at the television experiences that have shaped our culture and society, selected by members of the Television Academy – and a first for our organization to present this type of recognition," the Emmys wrote. 

Apollo 11’s 1969 first landing on the moon, when Neil Armstrong declared the event a "giant leap for mankind," ranked first. Coming in second was coverage of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Beatles’ 1964 appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" ranked third.


From the TV finale of "M*A*S*H" to Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, Academy members voted on the most impactful TV moments in history. (Credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times, NASA/Newsmakers, Hulton Archive via Getty Images)

Other notable moments included Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech delivered in 1963, which ranked No. 6, the finale of the long-running show "M*A*S*H," which landed in the 8th spot, and live coverage of the slow-speed car chase of O.J. Simpson and his white Ford Bronco which was No.16.

Events in the 2020s included the release of the video of George Floyd’s murder (No. 20), Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards (No. 33), live coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol (No. 23), and the last moments of Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett on HBO's "The Last of Us" (No. 56).

Emmys top 10 most impactful television moments

  1. (1960s, News Item) After Apollo 11 landed on the moon, astronaut Neil Armstrong proclaims "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
  2. (2000s, News Item) Live coverage of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.
  3. (1960s, "The Ed Sullivan Show") The Beatles performance.
  4. (1970s, "Roots") "Part I" Premiere episode where we see the newborn Kunta Kinte being held aloft by his father, an image of freedom and possibility.
  5. (1960s, News Item) Walter Cronkite announces the death of President John F. Kennedy.
  6. (1960s, News Item) Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his iconic "I have a dream" speech at the March on Washington.
  7. (1960s, "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood") "Episode 1065" Mister Rogers (Fred Rogers) invites Officer Clemmons (Francois Clemmons) to share a wading pool on a hot day.
  8. (1980s, "M*A*S*H) "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" B.J. (Mike Farrell) gives Hawkeye (Alan Alda) a ride to his chopper, saying he left a note this time. As the helicopter takes off, Hawkeye sees the word "goodbye" spelled out with rocks.
  9. (1980s, MTV) First music video airs, "Video Killed the Radio Star," by The Buggles
  10. (1970s, "Saturday Night Live") Premiere, hosted by George Carlin.

You can see the full list here.

This year’s Emmy Awards were delayed four months- due to Hollywood’s actors and writers strikes. It was the first time the show had been postponed since 2001.

RELATED: Emmy Awards watch guide: Who you'll see and who's nominated

Anthony Anderson, who was nominated seven times as the star of "Black-ish," will be the host of the show. Fox announced Anderson following the premiere of his new show on the network "We Are Family," which premiered in early January.

"Succession," "The Last of Us" and "White Lotus" hold the most nominations. 

The Emmys will air Monday, Jan. 15 on FOX.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.