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America's favorite TV personality is... Mark Harmon? Also: Who is Mark Harmon?

By Clayton Guse

We are currently in a period that is widely referred to as the "Golden Age of Television." From recent hits like Breaking Bad and Mad Men to the rise of Netflix original series, there is a seemingly endless amount of good TV content these days. But nothing makes Americans tick like NCIS star Mark Harmon (wait, what?). 

According to a recent survey from The Harris Poll, Harmon is the country's favorite TV personality, somehow outranking the ever-popular Ellen Degeneres, who was ranked second in the poll. Jimmy Fallon, Steve Harvey and Stephen Colbert rounded out the top five. 

Harris surveyed more than 2,200 adults in the U.S. between December 9 and 13 of last year, and asked them—without prompting—to name their favorite TV personality. Somehow, respondents most commonly responded with Mark Harmon, the guy who plays sniper-turned-special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in the hit CBS series.

Oddly, they did supply their answer Jeopardy style, as we might have. 

In the same poll, Harmon was also found to be America's most popular TV personality in 2010 and 2011, before falling to second place behind Degeneres from 2012 to 2014. His popularity doesn't come from hip, young folks, though, but rather from an older generation that loves military-oriented crime dramas like the one in which Harmon stars. According to the poll, he was the first choice among respondents older than 50, and didn't even rank among the top three choices for respondents who haven't yet hit the half century mark.

The data also shows that he's beloved in every region of the country except the Midwest, presumably because America's landlocked population couldn't give a hoot about the Navy.

So while NCIS and Harmon might not be the best representation of the best that TV has to offer, at least he's maintaining the country's older population faith in justice and, well, freedom. 

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