Top Five: Letterman Was a Charmer with Annual Kid Scientists

A couple of shows ended their seasons, and Howard Stern was spreading his usual bombast all over the place, but for us, the top attraction on TV this week was something we saw on “Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday night.

We’ll explain why this Letterman segment earned the top spot on our Top Five this week, if you will please read on . . .

1) Kids and Dave — they say the darndest things: Quirky, aloof David Letterman might not be the first person you think of when considering which TV personalities have the best rapport with children, but it just so happens that Letterman’s kid segments — infrequent though they are these days — are among the most charming segments you can encounter on the tube. Of course, “charm” is a quality in very short supply on television, which is why a segment such as Dave’s annual visit with kid scientists is such a welcome diversion from the TV norm.

Such was the case Thursday night, when Dave hosted three earnest, bright, polite kids from Illinois, who came on his CBS “Late Show” to put on some scientific demonstrations they had apparently devised themselves. It was just great TV — and Dave’s handling of his young guests was the primary reason.

Watch Letterman’s “Kid Scientists” in three parts — starting with Part One here:
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Watch Part Two:
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Watch Part Three:
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2) “CSI” triple play: A little over 10.7 million watched the season finale of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” Wednesday night on CBS — an episode concerning a triple murder, the usual bloody crime scene. But the episode left the show’s fans with a number of unanswered questions (which we listed earlier this week in this story). We’ve never been particular fans of shows that leave you hanging for the summer, but you can determine for yourself whether the finale episode was a satisfying way for “CSI” to end its season.

Watch the entire episode right here:
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3) Talking point: President Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that his opinion on same-sex marriages has evolved to the point that he now approves of them was a talking point for scores of TV talk show hosts and their guests this week, as well as fodder for the late-night monologues (which we rounded up here). One opinion we didn’t round up, until now: Bill O’Reilly’s. The host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel — the highest-rated single show in cable news — opined on the subject in his “Talking Points Memo” Thursday night.

And we have it here: Watch Bill O’Reilly on same-sex marriage:
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4) Out of “The Office”: This once-storied NBC comedy ended its season Thursday night with a plotline that disposed of James Spader’s character and restored Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) to his regional manager’s job. The question is: Was that really the right move for “The Office”? It’s worth asking because the value of Andy’s elevation to boss following the exit of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) was this season’s most debated plot point.

Watch the “Office” season finale here:
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5) Colbert’s send-off to Sendak: The usually sarcastic “Colbert Report” this week turned sentimental for a change when Stephen Colbert revisited an interview he had conducted earlier this year with beloved children’s-book author Maurice Sendak, who died this past Tuesday. The segment seen on “Colbert” Tuesday night was one of the nicest things we saw on TV all week — right up there with Letterman and the kid scientists, when you get right down to it.

Watch Colbert’s touching tribute to Maurice Sendak:
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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