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The Top 10 TV Jerks of 2010: The Archie Bunker Awards

Written By Rana G on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 12:53 PM

Archie BunkerBack in the glory days of television (when there was no cable), the idea of having a unlikeable person on a show was anathema to the networks.

Sure, there were silly or angry characters (Ralph Kramden comes to mind), but protagonists weren't actually mean or spiteful (except when the plot called for it and usually only for an episode). But after the breakthrough of 'All in the Family' and the character of Archie Bunker, jerks began to fill the television landscape, both on camera and behind the scenes.

This year saw quite a few of these boors. See which 10 stars earned themselves an "Archie Bunker award" as one of the biggest TV a**holes of 2010.

Jeff Zucker1. Jeff Zucker. The NBC ex-president could probably hold the top spot for the decade after dragging the Peacock Network down to fourth place in the ratings, sometimes even being beaten by cable shows -- all despite having really great shows like '30 Rock' and 'The Office.' He secured his place on the list this year by agreeing to the bone-headed decision to boot Conan O'Brien in favor of the the aging Jay Leno. Thankfully, NBC's new owners, Comcast recognized his incompetence and let him go, which is a bit like the new police state ousting the previous dictator.

Kate Gosseliin2. Kate Gosselin. Kate Gosselin shouldn't be on television. She should be arrested for exploiting her own children. Enough said about that.

Simon Cowell3. Simon Cowell. Granted, Simon Cowell is an a-hole every year, but this year he took the cake. He left the show that made him famous in America in the lurch (and left us with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez as replacements). 'American Idol' will probably never go off the air, since it's still a ratings juggernaut and cheap for Fox to make relative to scripted shows. But the numbers will likely decline in the post-Cowell years -- that is, until Fox negotiates to bring him back, probably with a hefty salary increase.

Roger Sterling4. Roger Sterling ('Mad Men'). While many of this show's male characters deserve a space on this list, including Don Draper himself, Roger seems to go that extra mile. He forever acts like the immature spoiled child. This past season had him cheating on his wife (again) with the married Joan (and all it took was a street mugging to get her to agree). Now Joan is having his child and she probably will never tell her husband who the true father is. It could be argued that Joan also let it happen, but Roger still behaved very badly. Plus, he lost Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's biggest account, which led to mass firings and low morale.

Sheldon Cooper5. Sheldon Cooper ('The Big Bang Theory'). Sheldon's behavior is narcissistic at best and sociopathic at worse. He believes himself to be superior to other people because of his intelligence and usually has a very negative reaction when someone proves him wrong. His relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler has done nothing to improve his arrogant and passive-aggressive tendencies (which is why they probably won't last).

Anna on V6. Anna ('V'). Anna is one cold, uh, witch. She had her own child beaten in order to further her plans for whatever the Visitors want to do with Earth (which is still vague at this point). She also keeps her own people drugged and docile to obey her.

Dwight Schrute7. Dwight Schrute ('The Office'). Never a model for civil behavior, Dwight got particularly nasty this year (check out his behavior in the most recent Christmas episode of 'The Office' to see an example). Dwight has devolved from office suck-up and nuisance to lunatic. Even worse: he could become the new Dunder-Mifflin branch boss after Michael Scott's departure.

Cartman8. Eric Cartman ('South Park'). There are many animated television characters who probably deserve to be on this list; Peter Griffin and Rusty Venture come to mind. However, none of those other characters took an alliance this year with the dark god Cthulhu to betray his friends. That alone earns him a place among the year's biggest a-holes.

Jay Leno9. Jay Leno. It's possible that Leno should be higher on this list. The situation with Conan and 'The Tonight Show' has certainly been discuss ad infinitum here and on other sites. Leno worked the system for the second time in two decades to stay on 'The Tonight Show.' Anybody else would have simply walked away and found another network to appear on -- or just rolled around in his money at home. What Leno lacks in talent, he makes up for in ruthlessness and tenacity.

Jersey Shore10. The entire cast of 'Jersey Shore.' Someone please end this show. Not only are the entire cast a-holes, but the show actually glorifies the fact that they are self-centered, dim-witted brats. To make it worse, most of them aren't even from New Jersey. As a New Jersey native, I take offense at the libel against my state via the title. And while we're at it, can we do something about 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' as well? And the other 'Real Housewives' shows? And 'The Millionaire Matchmaker'? Please?

Obviously, there are a myriad of television a-holes that are not on this list. Which TV jerks did I miss? Who on this list is undeserving of his/her spot? Sound off in the comments.
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