The winner was none other than Seinfeld! How did the self-described "show about nothing" secure this lofty reputation and maintain its high level of popularity, even though there hasn't been a new episode since 1998? The credit lies at the feet of the talented cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards.
They haven't been together on television in six years, until now.
So, why end it then?
Jerry: It's from years and years of being on stage as a comedian. I'll get on stage and I'll do an hour, or an hour and 10, or 50 minutes or something. But there's that moment when you're on stage, when you just feel—and you learn it. It takes years to learn that this is the moment. And you just get off stage then. … Another five minutes can bring [the audience] to a completely different place. Just like a little too much food, you know what I mean? You can have this great meal…
Oprah: Like two bites too many.
Jerry: Two bites. And how was the food? "It was okay. I ate too much." You don't feel as good.
"You know, I watch Sesame Street a lot, because I have two little kids," Jerry says. "And a lot of people ask me, you know, 'Would I ever consider doing another show?' I sit there and I watch this Elmo guy—he is so likable and so funny and so charming—and I sit there with my daughter and I think, 'Let him bust his little red ass every week.'"
Oprah: When did you know she was the one?
Jerry: You know what it is? It's not the conversation or the attraction that you feel. It's just like this comfort level when someone is in your house. That's what's important. When someone comes into your house and you still feel comfortable.
Oprah, to Jessica: What is it about him that you just felt, "Okay, he's it?"
Jessica: Oh, he is so funny. And I know everybody knows that, of course. But he really is just so funny and he's so sweet. His character doesn't seem so sweet on TV but he is so sweet… And he's so kind.
The truth is, Jason really isn't like George at all, and he had some trouble understanding the character's motivation. So when was the moment when he came to know George?
"I can't remember the episode but it was early, like eight or nine episodes in," Jason says. "We got a script and I went to [Seinfeld co-creator Larry David], and I said, 'You've got to help me on this one, because, first of all, this would never happen to anybody. And if it did, they'd never react like this.' And Larry said, 'What do you mean? This happened to me and this is exactly what I did.' And I went, 'Oh, okay.' And then he became my guide [to George] after that."
Jason: I miss the gang, you know? We sat around for nine years and just laughed every day. We essentially had the same crew and it was a really kind of a wonderful family. Jerry's right, I mean, we all felt it was the time to put it to bed.
Oprah (to Jerry): I didn't ask you. Do you miss it? Do you miss the camaraderie?
Jerry: Yes. I mean, we were sitting backstage and we were just howling back there. And it was just exactly the way it was. We were just laughing so hard.
When searching for an actress to play the part of Elaine, Jerry says they "auditioned millions of people" for the part, including Rosie O'Donnell. During her audition, Julia read a scene with Jerry, but it was so casual, Julia had to jog Jerry's memory.
Julia: I recognized him, sort of-ish. I didn't know the world of stand-up particularly well. I sort of recognized him, and he came out and he was eating a bowl of cereal. And so then we just sort of hit it off.
Jerry: We read a scene together, right?
Julia: Yeah, we did. That's right.
Jerry: Very casually. You read there and I'll read this. See how it feels.
Julia: We did. It was really casual.
Oprah: I thought you were going to throw out a joint there. Okay, so obviously you haven't lived that down.
Julia: Evidently that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Jerry: She said, "What do you think of this kind of thing?" And I thought, "Oh, I don't know, I guess that's bad." We were trying to come up with a really bad dance.
Michael: There were so many ways to go [with each scene], and so we didn't really have a lot of time to do a TV show. We had three days of rehearsal, so I just spent as much time as I could to get at the material.
Jerry: He'd find all these little things, you know? I remember watching him working on something. I'd go, "What are you doing?" "Oh, I'm working on a little thing here." I would go, "I don't know, I'd just read it." And now when I watch it and I see all that work he put into it, that it all really made a difference.
"Remember you asked how [Jerry] was sweet?" Jason says to Oprah. "I'll give you an example…. Before we went out for the last audience taping, Jerry said, 'I just want to say something,' and we said, 'Uh-oh.' He said, 'For the rest of our lives, when anyone thinks of one of us, they'll think of all four.' And then added, 'I can't think of three people I'd rather have that be true of.'"