Taking your TV temperature: NBCU assesses how shows make you feel

December 23, 2010, 12:40 AM UTC

by Patricia Sellers

If you’re a TV fan or any sort of media maven, check out this story about NBC Universal’s study of viewer emotions toward the most-watched shows of the past 50 years.

NBCU surveyed some 3,500 heavy TV watchers and asked what emotions they felt viewing each program. Lauren Zalaznick, President of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, presented the findings, with cool moving graphics, at the TEDWomen confab in Washington, D.C. earlier in December.

Click here to read about the results, which NBCU provided exclusively to Fortune. And you can click on the embedded graphics to see viewers’ evolution of emotion from comfort (Gunsmoke) to irreverence (MASH) to fantasy (Charlie’s Angels) to judgment. As humor (Friends and Seinfeld) has succumbed to the harsh reality of competition shows, judgment is the emotion that rules TV today.