Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People
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|Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People|
|Presented by||Barbara Walters (1993–2013)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||19
(as of December 18, 2013)
|Running time||60 minutes to 2 hours (including commercials)|
|Production company(s)||ABC News|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) 1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||1993 – 2013 (except 2000 and 2001)|
Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People is a televised compilation of ten public figures who are prominent names in the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and popular culture. Hosted by Barbara Walters, the list has been broadcast annually on the second Thursday of December on ABC since 1993. Though produced by ABC News, the specials are not presented under the 20/20 banner, the network's flagship newsmagazine.
After becoming the first woman to co-anchor an evening network newscast in 1976, Barbara Walters left the ABC Evening News in 1978 to concentrate on The Barbara Walters Specials, an occasional series of interviews with heads of state, newsmakers, sports stars and other public figures. During the early years of the primetime 'specials', Walters secured the first joint interview with Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The specials continued to air sporadically throughout the year and saw Walters conduct interviews with a plethora of public and political figures including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In a 1993 special, Walters compiled a list of twelve figures who defined that year. The top person for the year was Hillary Clinton. The program proved popular and lead to it returning with ten figures every year except 2000 and 2001. 2013 marked Walters' final installment of the special, which happened to end with the same person as in the debut year.
The format of the broadcast consists of ten short-form biographical profiles, often interspersed with a recently recorded interview with the subject. The profiles are introduced by Walters from a set which has a computerised backdrop and she often commentates on why the figure has been chosen to qualify for inclusion in the program.
Similar to other end-of-year annual lists like the Time 100, the ten profiles are not ranked in any order. However, since 2002, Walters has ended each show with her "Most Fascinating Person". In 2007, this honor went to author JK Rowling, who was the only one of the ten not to be interviewed for the show. In 2011, this honor was awarded posthumously to Apple founder Steve Jobs, the only person who was deceased at the time.
Most Fascinating Person of the Year
- 1993: Hillary Rodham Clinton (First Lady)
- 1994: Nelson Mandela (President of South Africa)
- 1995: Alan Greenspan (Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board)
- 1996: Jerry Springer (Talk Show Host)
- 1997: Prince William of Wales (second in line to the British throne)
- 1998: Mother Teresa
- 1999: Lance Armstrong (Tour de France winner)
- 2002: Laura Bush (First Lady)
- 2003: Hillary Rodham Clinton (U.S. Senator)
- 2004: Karl Rove (political consultant)
- 2005: Camilla Parker Bowles (The Duchess of Cornwall)
- 2006: Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House)
- 2007: J. K. Rowling (author)
- 2008: Barack Obama (44th President of the United States)
- 2009: Michelle Obama (First Lady)
- 2010: David Petraeus (U.S. Army general)
- 2011: Steve Jobs (Apple Inc. co-founder)
- 2012: David Petraeus (U.S. Army general)
- 2013: Hillary Rodham Clinton (Former Secretary of State)