Television has been famously derided as a "vast wasteland." And that was in 1961, way before reality TV, the madness that is cable news and an entire channel dedicated just to soap operas.

But within this mess of irrelevance, TV has still managed to have its share of impactful moments. To find out which of these instances was most memorable, Sony and Nielsen got together to poll viewers on what television events had been most important to their lives.

While they expected to see much-watched programming like the 'M*A*S*H' finale or some of the more competitive Super Bowls on the list, the poll's respondents pretty much stuck to news events.

Taking the top spot was the September 11th terrorist attacks, followed by Hurricane Katrina and the O.J. Simpson verdict. The Challenger explosion and the death of Bin Laden rounded out the top five.

Overall, the list has a pretty clear bias toward more recent events. For example, the death of Whitney Houston this year and the Casey Anthony verdict of last year rank 11 and 19, respectively. We'd doubt either of these events would end up cracking the top twenty in any future polling on the subject. Check out the complete list below and click on the links to see the videos. (Due to the graphic nature of some of the events, some of the videos are NSFW.)

20. JFK’s Funeral in 1963

19. Casey Anthony Verdict in 2011

18. LA Riots in 1992

17. Bush vs. Gore Election Confusion in 2000

16. Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995

15. JFK Assasination in 1963

14. Royal Wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate in 2011

13.  Barack Obama Election Night Speech in 2008

12. Capture Of Deposed Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003

11. Death of Whitney Houston in 2012

10. Funeral of Princess Diana in 1997

9. BP Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico in 2010

8. Columbine School Shooting in 1999

7. Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011

6.  OJ Simpson Chase in 1994

5. Death Of Osama Bin Laden in 2011

4. Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion in 1986

3. OJ Simpson Verdict in 1995

2. Hurricane Katrina in 2005

1.September 11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001