The summer season’s ending on a somber note as the first of many 9/11 specials began airing this week, leading up to the terror attack’s 10th anniversary next month.
But there were other TV highlights this week as well. Behold — this week’s Top Five:
1) The first 9/11 special will prove hard to beat, in terms of its quality. The six-hour documentary “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero” — from executive producer Stephen Spielberg — ran commercial-free for three riveting hours Thursday night on Discovery. The final three hours air next Thursday (Sept.1) starting at 8/7c.
2) When Ashton met Letterman: With almost every other late-night show taking their late-summer vacations, David Letterman (and his CBS stablemate, Craig Ferguson) went to work, which gave CBS and Ashton Kutcher a great opportunity to sell the new “Two and a Half Men” with Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen. “I think it’s going to go through the roof — I really do,” said Kutcher, demonstrating the salesmanship that has made him a star of all those Nikon commercials.
3) A beloved star in the battle of his life: And, tragically, it happens to be one he can’t win. It was the most moving celebrity interview in quite a while when “Nightline’s” Terry Moran sat down to chat with music legend Glen Campbell, 75, about being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which will only get worse as time goes on.
4) We promise to change our lawbreaking ways! That’s thanks to “Beyond Scared Straight,” the A&E reality series in which hardened cons try and frighten juvenile delinquents into choosing a new path in life other than the one that leads to prison. Episode Two of this show’s second season aired this past week and it was a doozy.
5) Three words — “America’s Got Talent”: What can we say? This over-the-top talent show is one of the joys of summer (and, to us, a bright spot in the unfortunate glut of summer talent shows). We urge you to give an episode from just this past week a look.