Whether or not Melissa Gilbert really sustained a serious injury or just a wee bump on the head this week on “Dancing With the Stars,” the incident was the biggest TV story of the week if you tally up all the headlines the incident made.
With the “half-pint” star of “Little House on the Prairie” down for the count, and our favorite “View” gal Sherri Shepherd then tearfully eliminated from the competition a day later, “DWTS” tops this week’s Top Five.
1) Little bump on the noggin: Whatever happened to Melissa Gilbert, it didn’t happen on-camera — which would have given this widespread story even more circulation on TV and the Web.
Her collapse came Monday night on “DWTS” on ABC, some time after she danced an intense, passionate pasodoble with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She got mostly positive comments from the judges following the performance. And she herself seemed out of breath though we never would have predicted she would eventually faint and require an ambulance.
2) Sherri’s happy homecoming: Sherri Shepherd cried when she was eliminated Tuesday night on “DWTS,” and she cried again when the studio audience of “The View” gave her a standing ovation the next morning. Sherri had apparently taken an overnight flight from L.A. to New York to return to her “View” comfort zone and the comforting arms of co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Barbara Walters was absent that day).
Naturally, her pals were upset over her elimination from the show. “Welcome to ‘The View’ and you know we are are not happy, child!” Whoopi exclaimed, igniting the conversation about “DWTS.”
3) Mike Wallace 1918-2012: The legendary, undisputed titan of “60 Minutes” in its heyday died last Saturday at the ripe old age of 93. TV newscasts began catching up with the story on Sunday, though the timing of his death did not allow sufficient time for “60 Minutes” itself to adjust to the news by Sunday night. To compensate, “60 Minutes” will devote the entire hour to Wallace this coming Sunday night (April 15), 7/6c on CBS.
4) Have you heard the one about the sick boy in the hospital? Sure, that doesn’t really seem like fodder for late-night comedy, but in the hands of one of comedy’s grand masters, Albert Brooks, a story about a supposed visit to a sick boy’s hospital room becomes the stuff of late-night legend.
Such was the case Wednesday night on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” when Brooks maintained his usual deadpan expression while spinning this yarn about the sick boy that just got funnier and funnier.
5) This could be the start of something big: Jamie Lee Curtis returned for a second guest-starring stint this past Tuesday on “NCIS,” TV’s highest-rated drama. The episode drew 17.66 million viewers, according to Nielsen, which is actually a tad low for this series, which for most of the season has enjoyed audiences in the 20 million range.
But for Jamie Lee, 53, these guest-starring gigs on what is still the highest-rated scripted series on television are likely winning her new fans. And we wouldn’t be surprised if you begin to see her more often on prime-time TV in the near future, maybe even on her own show.