AFI Deems Tina Fey, 'Dr. Horrible' Significant

Tina Fey's dominance of the comedic portion of the presidential campaign, the way the actual campaign spread beyond traditional media and an unlucky-in-love supervillain were among the "moments of significance" in popular culture in 2008.

So says the American Film Institute, which has augmented its annual best-of honors with a list of eight such "moments" -- which can be trends, individual performances or anything that doesn't quite fit into its lists of the top 10 American films and TV shows of the past year.

Hence the inclusion of critical darling "Slumdog Millionaire" in the moments list. It didn't make the AFI top 10 because it's not an American production, but the Mumbai-set story "stands as a monument to the possibilities of cross-cultural storytelling," the institute says. Hence it's representative of "a celebration of the global film."

Global influence also is a factor in another of the AFI's moments: the way that TV and new media made detailed coverage of the presidential race accessible to people all over the world. The institute also cites President-elect Barack Obama's use of new media to "capture the public imagination."

The AFI named Fey "America's First Lady of Laughs" for pulling double duty on "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," where her impression of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin fueled the show's biggest ratings and buzz in years.

"Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," created by Joss Whedon and starring Neil Patrick Harris as a frustrated bad guy, was cited for its cult status and the way it represents how Whedon and other striking writers took to the Internet to distribute content during the strike.

The AFI's "moments" list also includes uncertainty about new business models for the media, the diminished role of both film critics and studios' specialty film divisions and NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics.