New Jersey (USA)
#1 Movie of All-Time
#1 Movie Character
KING Of All Schmoes
11. Brian Griffin
Within hours of the talking dog’s out-of-nowwhere offing on Family Guy, devastated fans started a Change.org petition to resurrect him, notching more than 122,000 signatures to date. Meanwhile, rumors persist that he’ll reappear in future episodes.
10. Tony Stark
Five years after the first Iron Man film, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.), still sits atop the Marvel superhero throne. Iron Man 3 was this year’s highest-grossing blockbuster ($1.2 billion in ticket sales worldwide), and its star even inspired a third-party iPhone app: J.A.R.V.I.S., a Siri-like bot named after Stark’s robo-conceirge.
9. Burka Avenger
The Pakistani superhero—and star of the animated series Burka Avenger—won international acclaim this year for both her gender (she’s the first female Pakistani superhero) and her mission (she fights corrupt politicians, using books and pens and knowledge as weapons, in an effort to promote girls’ education). The Urdu-language series is now in talks to go global, and may soon be broadcast in 18 languages in 60 countries.
8. Ron Burgundy
Anchorman 2 hasn’t even premiered yet, and its star (played by Will Ferrell) is already everywhere: In addition to co-anchoring a real-life news broadcast in Bismarck, N.D., Burgundy starred in a series of Web-only Dodge ads that helped monthly sales increase 59% in October.
7. Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton and Trevor Philips (GTA: V)
The three playable characters in Grand Theft Auto V drove the game to a record-setting gross of $1 billion during its first three days on market. Their on-screen actions also reignited the debate about whether games like GTA can encourage kids to enjoy real-life violence.
6. Frank Underwood
The calculating congressman (played by Kevin Spacey) built House of Cards into Netflix’s first hit original series, landing Spacey the first-ever Emmy nomination for an Internet role. That buzz was a boon to Netflix stock prices, too.
5. Carlos Danger
The virtual persona manufactured by Anthony Weiner—so he could chat with women online—wound up torpedoing Weiner’s New York mayoral dreams, once his lewd messages to Sydney Leathers, among others, became public. Before the scandal, Weiner was leading in the polls; afterward, he finished fifth in the democratic primary.
4. Sophia Burset
The inmate hairstylist (played by Laverne Cox) was a fan-favorite on Orange Is the New Black—not just because of her biting one-liners (“Please is for commissary hoes and Oliver Twist”), but because she’s the most dynamic transgender character in TV history. In the wake of overwhelmingly positive response to Burset, Showtime and E! Canada have both green lit shows about transgender people.
3. Katniss Everdeen
Beyond leading Catching Fire to a gross of $600 million—and counting—the Hunger Games heroine (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is also inspiring several real-world product lines. Among them: the Nerf Rebelle line of guns, quivers and crossbows for girls, Lucas Hugh “Capitol Label” workout clothes, and a makeup line from CoverGirl.
2. Olivia Pope
The D.C. crisis manager (played by Kerry Washington) became a bona-fide cultural icon this year. Beyond juicing Scandal‘s viewership—season 3 premiered to 10.5 million viewers, up 71% from the year before—Pope was a real-world lifestyle tastemaker: the Crate & Barrel wine glasses she sips from on the show sold out at earlier this year, as did her $2,6000 white Burberry trench coat.
1. Walter White
The chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin (played by Bryan Cranston) was TV’s most talked-about antihero, luring 10.3 million viewers to Breaking Bad‘s series finale—up 442% from season four—and sparking thousands of Internet debates about the nuances of morality. And White’s (spoiler alert!) death did real-world good: a funeral event staged by fans raised $17,000 for the Albuquerque homeless.