When I am not producing a television program and being the boss, I like to kick back and watch a few of my favorite bosses in action on television. In honor of National Boss's Day, celebrated on Oct. 16, I am joining the American viewing audience in raising a glass to our favorite bosses from the small screen.
Can you guess which boss came out as number one among all TV bosses? If you guessed the owner of the bar where everyone knows your name, then you are correct!
Boston bar owner Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson for 11 seasons on Cheers, was not only named the top boss from a sitcom in a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults conducted by OnePoll for 1-800-Flowers.com, but he also ranked number one among all TV bosses. Sam Malone is the boss most people would like to work for in real life.
“We always remember bosses who have inspired us throughout our careers,” says Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers.com. “His show might have ended in 1993, but Sam Malone left a lasting impression on Cheers fans. He was the kind of leader that we like to celebrate and honor on Boss’s Day. Sam always treated his employees with respect and good humor while making sure his patrons were happy.”
According to the study, the second most loved boss is ad executive Angela Bower (played by Judith Light) from the late 1980s comedy Who’s the Boss? Trekkies will be happy to hear that Capt. James. T. Kirk, played by William Shatner, landed in the number-three spot. Kirk was a good leader. He worked hard but found time to play too -- a good model of work/life balance.
With every memorable boss comes a few good quotable lines or lessons. Capt. Kirk made this category of serious TV bosses, with his saying during the opening minutes of each episode of Star Trek: “Space, the final frontier.”
I agree with the survey in that a good boss will leave you with many memorable moments and lines. Early in my television career I worked with investigative journalist Geraldo Rivera on his daytime talk show from 1987 to 1998. A lightening rod for controversy, Rivera was my best and most memorable boss -- all for good reasons. Rivera was smart, generous, fun and a serious businessman with a good work ethic.
With over 40 years in TV he continues to be one of the hardest working journalists in the business. Our staff was young and Geraldo taught us well. I still remember his one-line mantra that he yelled while walking through the office: "Focus, focus, focus!" It's still good advice.
Check out the list by OnePoll for 1-800-Flowers.com of the top TV bosses:
Top dramatic TV bosses
1. Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek
2. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), The Sopranos
3. Gil Grissom (William Petersen), CSI
4. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterson), Law & Order
5. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), House M.D.
6. Horatio Crane (David Caruso), CSI: Miami
7. Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), CSI: NYC
8. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Grey’s Anatomy
9. Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), Empire
10. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), Scandal
Top TV bosses we would most like to work for
1. Sam Malone (Ted Danson), Cheers
2. Angela Bower (Judith Light), Who’s the Boss?
3. Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek
4. Michael Scott (Steve Carell), The Office
5. Lou Grant (Ed Asner), The Mary Tyler Moore Show
6. Philip Banks (James Avery), The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
7. Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Friends
8. Larry Tate (David White), Bewitched
9. Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), The Gilmore Girls
10. Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), 30 Rock
Have you ever worked for a boss that reminded you of a TV character? If so, which one? Let us know in the comments section below.