It was an odd week for TV, as it usually is at this time of year, with March Madness taking up residence for hours and hours at various times on CBS, TNT, TBS and even TruTV (also owned by Time Warner/Turner).
As a result, the competing networks wind up offering a combination of new episodes and repeats. Plus, late-night gets out-of-whack too as David Letterman’s “Late Show” airs in the wee hours of the morning, if at all.
Still, the week had its moments: A legendary comedian on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” a new sitcom on NBC, and a reality-TV star on the defensive on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (um, that would be Kim Kardashian).
Where to start this week’s Top Five? How about right here:
1) Mr. Warmth: When these older entertainers get up into their 80s, their appearances on TV can be a mixed bag. I remember when Rodney Dangerfield, in his last years, would come on the “Leno” show and, at least once, he seriously lost his place in his standup routine and it was painful to watch. I have yet to see Don Rickles struggle to remember something he intended to say, but there have been times on TV when this 85-year-old legend seems a lot less sharp than he used to be (which is understandable). Still, he was in top form with Jimmy Kimmel this week, and it was a sight to see.
2) Here’s one we haven’t featured in a while: It’s Tim Allen, and his first-season sitcom “Last Man Standing.” The star of “Home Improvement” appears to have made himself at home in the lead-off position — 8/7c — of ABC’s Tuesday lineup with an average audience in the 7 million-viewer range. This is as good a time as any to get caught up with Tim and his new show.
3) The never-ending saga of Kim Kardashian: Kim appeared on “The Tonight Show” this week and once again found herself “defending” her “marriage” to Kris Humphries. In fact, appearing on “Leno” wasn’t the only highlight (or more to the point, lowlight) of Kim’s week: Someone dumped a load of flour on her on Thursday night. Hey, I’ve never gone around championing Kim or any of the Kardashians, but I interviewed her once and she was very nice. These attacks — particularly dousing her in flour — must stop!
4) Get “Bent”: I hate to sound like Andy Rooney, but didja ever notice how many of NBC’s shows have one-word titles? “Bent,” “Community,” “Awake,” “Smash,” “Grimm” and many others in recent years. The thing about a one-word title: It’s not always easy to discern what it means. Take “Bent.” This new sitcom about a mismatched man and woman is about — what? “Bending” and not “breaking” as the old saying goes? Or maybe it’s “bending over backwards” to accommodate someone else. Or maybe it’s . . . I give up. The thing about this sitcom: It wasn’t half bad, even if less than 3 million people bothered to check it out. Hey, maybe they didn’t get the title.
5) First Lady on “Letterman”: Dave was around long enough this week to host First Lady Michelle Obama on “Late Show” for the first time Monday night. Whether or not her appearance made history is a judgement I’ll leave to you.