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Dave on Demand: The television week in review

By David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer –

The most thankless task in show business — besides being Chelsea Handler’s sidekick — has to be hosting an awards show. You simply cannot win. Ask Ricky Gervais.

Last year he was widely reviled for being too mean, too insulting at the Golden Globes. This year he was pilloried for being too bland.

How are you supposed to take direction from that? Whatever you’re doing, we don’t like it.

It’s like having Goldilocks as a porridge taster. Good luck getting that temperature just right.

Last year, the Academy Awards brought in Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts in a futile attempt to make the telecast more energetic and irreverent. With extreme prejudice, the pair were all but banished from Hollywood for their efforts.

Eddie Murphy may have lost his edge, but he’s been around a long time and can smell an ambush coming. He dropped out as the next Oscar host and Billy Crystal was lured back after an eight-year absence.

I’ll bet you anything that the morning after the show, all the critics will be saying he wasn’t half as good as the old Billy.

The Grammys have gone on quite well without a master of ceremonies for seven years. Now CBS has announced it will use LL Cool J, star of its series “NCIS: Los Angeles,” to host. It’s not just cross-promotion. The network administered a test and Cool J was the only actor under contract who could pronounce the names of Nicky Minaj and Kei$ha.

The Emmys are a hopeless cause, but hosts in recent years, including Jane Lynch and Jimmy Fallon, have gotten graded on a significant curve. After the five-headed reality-show hydra host of 2008 (Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Howie Mandel, Ryan Seacrest and Heidi Klum), absolutely anything seems magnificent.

The only easy gigs are in country music. Reba McEntire was doing fine as the genre’s designated hostess, but she had a conflict a few years ago between the CMAs and her quilting club.

So Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were brought in and now they are apparently serving as country’s award ambassadors for life.

I’m told that hosting the Tonys is pretty civilized. The Broadway crowd is unfailingly polite and enthusiastic while the camera is on. They just viciously gossip about you during commercials.

—What else you got? Riddle me this, “Good Wife. So the Chicago D.A.’s office is out to prosecute Will, a campaign which everyone knows is a thinly veiled vendetta against Will for his intimacy with the D.A.’s estranged wife, Alicia.

Now this week, A.D.A. Dana Lodge warns Kalinda, Alicia and Will’s investigator, that unless she comes up with some incriminating evidence against Will, Dana will move to have Alicia disbarred on a separate charge.

(I’m assuming that unless you watch the show you’ve already moved on to the next item.)

My point is, how is this effective blackmail? Would Kalinda or anyone else believe that Peter would ever allow anyone in his office to bring criminal charges against his wife, Alicia?

Why does Kalinda cave to this empty threat?

—Losing interest. Do you ever find your attention span shrinking? For reasons I can’t really explain, I’m finding it harder and harder to sit through full episodes of hour-long shows (and that’s a bit of a misnomer, since I’m recording them and then fast-forwarding through the commercials.)

It started with the season’s new dramas that I’ve been following. Recently I’ve been giving up halfway into episodes of “Person of Interest,” “Unforgettable,” “Grimm,” “Revenge” and others. I find I simply don’t care how the plots get resolved.

Lately, it’s spreading to my established favorites. I turned off “Glee” this week before the synchronized swimming number. What is wrong with me?

—Loud and clear. Are you excited to have Kiefer Sutherland back in prime time? The “24” star’s new series, “Touch,” debuts this week.

Personally, I feel like he never left. If you listen closely, Sutherland provides the voice for about four out of every five commercials on television.

I’m pretty sure Morgan Freeman has the rest sewn up.

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