The action this week was in mornings and late-night as Keith Olbermann did an interview with David Letterman and the network morning shows all went at it with guest-hosts, high-profile guests and unusual stunts.
What the heck — let’s place Keith’s visit with Dave in the top spot in this week’s Top Five.
1) The never-ending saga of Keith Olbermann: Keith turned up on Letterman’s “Late Show” Tuesday night for his first interview since he was fired by Al Gore’s Current cable channel the previous week (the umpteenth time Keith has left a job this way).
The well-publicized appearance certainly was tailor-made to drive viewership, but in the end, you had to ask: What did Keith really reveal here? The answer? Not much, although the guest shot was must-see viewing for those of us who can’t get enough of the Keith Olbermann story.
Top Five bonus video: While we’re on the subject of Tuesday night’s Letterman show, if you missed Eugene Levy with Dave, then you ought to watch our sample here. Levy’s a great guest — he’s just old-school showbiz.
2) Morning hype: Former NBC morning star Katie Couric guest-hosted on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Oprah Winfrey turned up on pal Gayle King’s “CBS This Morning,” Matt Lauer announced on the “Today” show that he’s sticking around, and Ryan Seacrest announced — in an interview with Lauer Wednesday on “Today” — that he’s not taking Matt’s job (as if that was ever really going to happen). Let’s be blunt: Morning TV this week was nuts.
And look here, another bonus! Matt and Ryan were certainly friendly in that interview, but Jay Leno showed what really happened when the cameras stopped running.
3) But wait, there’s more: Morning TV was so action-packed this week that we’re devoting this third slot to it. It’s the one thing we haven’t mentioned yet — Sarah Palin “guest-hosting” on the “Today” show on Tuesday (though a number of critics felt she was more “guest” than “host”). On the subject of Palin on “Today,” Jon Stewart had the last word on his “Daily Show” on Wednesday.
4) Betty White to the rescue: Lifting an entire network in the ratings is a lot to handle for a 90-year-old, but Betty White isn’t like most nonagenarians. Her pranky, cranky series “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” — in which oldsters play practical jokes on unsuspecting younger folks — assumed its position this past week, joining the lineup in its regular time period at 8 p.m. Wednesday (7c), and then drawing 7.4 million viewers. That’s a figure NBC hasn’t seen Wednesday nights at 8 all season.
Unfortunately, by the time the night’s second episode of the new-ish sitcom “Bent” rolled around at 9:30/8:30c, the audience had dwindled to 1.93 million. Oh, well — you can’t blame Betty for that!
5) What else is new? This sitcom called “Best Friends Forever,” which premiered after “Off Their Rockers” Wednesday night. We like featuring new, premiering shows in our Top Five, even ones like this one that drew 3.94 million viewers in its debut. We figure, with numbers like that, many of you must not have gotten the chance to see it, which is one reason why we’re including it here.