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'I Love Lucy' voted the Best TV Show of all time

12:21 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
Visitors watch Lucille Ball''s performance of her 'Vitameatagamin' skit during an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 'I Love Lucy' television sitcom July 13, 2001 at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, CA. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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By JOHN GREEN and ALICE GOMSTYN, ABC News

More than 60 years after it premiered, the iconic television sitcom "I Love Lucy" nabbed top honors with TV fans in a survey conducted by ABC News and People Magazine for "Best in TV," a special edition of "20/20" that aired Tuesday night.

"Lucy" was voted the best show of all time, beating out finalists "Seinfeld," "M*A*S*H," "All in the Family" and "Cheers." All five finalists were comedies.

"We were not surprised Americans chose comedies as their favorites of all time," said ABC News' Barbara Walters, who hosted the special. "We all like to laugh and these shows still make us laugh today."

During a rare interview in 1977, "I Love Lucy" star Lucille Ball told Barbara Walters that she didn't think she was funny.

In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Ball's now-adult children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. explained that their mother had a dry sense of humor.

She was witty, with "a Will Rogers kind of sense of humor...great humor, but not like Lucy (on the show)," Desi Arnaz Jr. said.

"My mother was a clown, and she could turn funny, brilliantly funny written things into magic...But she didn't think funny," Lucie Arnaz said.

"Best in TV" featured a countdown of winners in a number of other categories, from Favorite TV Reality Show to Favorite TV Drama to Favorite TV Mom. In addition to the categories featured on the TV Special, ABC News and People also polled Americans in several other categories like Favorite TV Soap Opera, Favorite TV Game Show, and Most Memorable TV Moment of All Time. See the finalists in these categories online at www.bestintelevision.com.

Nominees in all categories were determined by an all-star panel of television writers, producers, actors and directors. And from the list of nominees, Americans registered more than one million online votes earlier this summer at www.bestintelevision.com. Click through to see the winners and finalists in each category featured on the "Best in TV" special.

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