People of the Year in Music and Film and on Television and Stage, Our Critics Shifted through the Faces and Picked the Stars

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Music: John Lennon

John Lennon - a dead guy - as "Person of the Year?" Why not? After all, Lennon was the only former Beatle who didn't voluntarily agree to take part in the travesty known as "Free As A Bird." That so-called "new" song by the post-Fab Four served as the anchor for ABC-TV and Capitol Records' $30 million dollar marketing assault on the public for the "Beatles Anthology" project. Always the most forward-looking Beatle, Lennon's comment on all the manufactured nostalgia would more than likely have been a hearty "bollocks!"

- Dan Kening

The Tube: O.J. Simpson

He didn't have his own TV or radio show, although by the end of the year he was working on his own video. Still, O.J. Simpson loomed over the electronic media in 1995. His murder trial lifted the Cable News Network and Court TV to their highest sustained ratings, as well as placing WMAQ 670-AM in the top five radio stations in the Chicago market. (All have since seen boom turn to bust.) The verdict was the single most suspenseful moment on television, and in a year of excellent dramas, from "Homicide" to "NYPD Blue" to "Murder One," that's saying something - although what, in fact, it says about the audience and the country no one is quite sure of just yet.

- Ted Cox

Flix: Kevin Spacey

In 1995, Kevin Spacey achieved leading-man status - a difficult accomplishment for any actor - when he played the deranged boss in "Swimming With the Sharks. …