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Oprah reigns, Beck follows in TV personality poll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey regained her throne as America's favorite TV personality in 2009, but conservative TV and radio talk show host Glenn Beck made his debut on the annual Harris Poll, coming in second place.

Beck, 45, who hosts a Fox News channel political TV show as well as the nationally-syndicated talk radio program "The Glenn Beck Program", fared well with Republicans, Independents and those over 64 years-old in the annual Harris Poll of favorite television personalities, released on Monday.

It was the first entry for Beck on the poll that Harris has conducted since 1993.

Beck, a self-described libertarian who disputes evidence suggesting human activity is the main cause of global warming, was joined on the list by another influential Fox News conservative, Bill O'Reilly, who was placed 10th.

Seven of the top 10 were talk show hosts. NBC's Jay Leno dropped from first place a year ago to third in 2009 poll, which was conducted in December before the recent late-night talk show wars that saw NBC drop "The Jay Leno Show" and reinstate him as host of "The Tonight Show" from March 1.

The influential Winfrey moved up from No.4 last year to reclaim the top slot. Harris said her climb very likely was due to her announcement last November that she would be ending her popular "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011 after 25 years.

Winfrey did best among women over 33 years-old, Democrats and moderates, while Leno was the top choice overall for men.

The only other woman on the top 10 list was Ellen DeGeneres, who tied in 4th place with "House" actor Hugh Laurie. DeGeneres has her own weekday chat show and will make her debut as the new judge on top-rated TV program "American Idol" in February.

The Harris Poll of 2,276 adults was conducted online within the United States, Dec 7-14.

The Top 10 list of favorite TV personalities among Americans in 2009 was:

1. Oprah Winfrey

2. Glenn Beck

3. Jay Leno

4. Ellen DeGeneres

Hugh Laurie

6. Jon Stewart

7. Charlie Sheen

8. Mark Harmon

9. David Letterman

10.Bill O'Reilly

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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