Terry Morrow: Betty White adds yet another series to her resume

Betty White isn't insane. She's the host of a new pranks series 'Off Their Rockers.'

Photo by Matthias Clamer, ? NBCUniversal, Inc.

Betty White isn't insane. She's the host of a new pranks series "Off Their Rockers."

PASADENA, Calif. — At age 90, Betty White can't be on TV enough.

The former "Golden Girl" co-stars in TV Land's "Hot In Cleveland" sitcom and, now, she's hosting a new hidden-camera prank series called "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC). The series features senior citizens pulling pranks on the younger generation.

"The angle or the strategy of this show is that it's the seniors pranking the younger people," White told reporters recently, "so that instead of they're the poor ones being taken advantage of. Don't sell them short."

"Rockers," of which White is also the executive producer, spotlights such antics as an elderly gentleman complaining of a toothache to a young man — before pulling out pliers to yank the tooth. The younger man watches in horror, begging the man not to continue.

There are scenes of runaway mobile chairs and a seemingly endless parade of pratfalls. Think of it as "Candid Camera" with a few wrinkles.

"It's just kind of a reverse psychology of the poor old senior," White said. "It's, 'Hey, we've got a sense of humor too,' warped as it may be."

White does not perform in the gags. She's merely introduces them.

"My only function ... is to be sure that it's not mean-spirited," she said the comedy.

"Things aren't funny if it's mean-spirited. Sometimes I think the comedy gets a little banana-peel comedy. You laugh at somebody slipping on a banana peel instead of an intellectual joke.

"It's not that kind of a show. It's just a silly, fun show."

Since 1953, when she starred in the black-and-white sitcom "Life With Elizabeth," White has been a force of nature on the small screen. In the 1960s, she shined on several daytime game shows and forgettable weekly comedies.

By the 1970s, White co-starred on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and her own short-lived quasi-spin-off "The Betty White Show."

Her co-starring on "The Golden Girls" came in the 1980s. The 1990s had White skipping around in guest appearances and co-starring on various short-term comedies ("Bob," "The Golden Palace").

White turned 90 in January. She won her latest Screen Actor's Guild Award a few weeks later. She's still a little mystified by why so many people care about her age and what she is accomplishing now.

"Everybody else is far more excited about the 90 than I am," she deadpanned.

Other highlights for the week of April 1-7. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:


-- "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" (11 a.m. Disney XD). Just in time for their live-action movie (coming to theaters in May), the animated superheroes team faces off against the forces of Dr. Doom.

-- "The 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards" (8 p.m. CBS). Kenny Chesney leads the nominees with nine nods, including Entertainer of the Year.

-- "The Killing" (8 p.m. AMC). They mean it this time: The murderer will be revealed in the second season's finale.

-- "Game of Thrones" (9 p.m. HBO). In season two's opener, the warring continues. Stannis plots an invasion to claim his late sibling's throne.

-- "Wicked Tuna" (10 p.m. National Geographic Channel). Cameras chronicle the harried life and work of fishermen seeking bluefin tuna, which many experts say needs saving.

-- "Saving The Titanic" (10 p.m. PBS). This report reveals a little-known story of how the ship's engineers, stokers and firemen tried to save the ship even when they knew all was lost.

-- "Jo Koy: Lights Out" (10 p.m. Comedy Central). The comedian is host of this stand-up special, touching on how sleep is a near-death experience for him and the top mistake parents make.


-- "No Kitchen Required" (10 p.m. BBC America). Three chefs are dropped off in the middle of nowhere and given the task to whip up a locally inspired dish by foraging for ingredients.

-- "Dance Moms: Miami" (10:30 p.m. Lifetime). A new season waltzes into Miami, where children wanting to be tomorrow's dance stars undergo rugged training.


-- "One Tree Hill" (8 p.m. CW). After nine seasons, the drama that started out about teenagers in a small town comes to a close in a two-hour finale.

-- "Best Friends Forever" (8:30 p.m. NBC). Two longtime gal pals reunite under the same roof, despite there being a live-in boyfriend, too, in this new sitcom.

-- "Toddlers and Tiaras" (10 p.m. TLC). The latest season shows two battling moms, determined to make sure their daughters grab the pageant crown.


-- "God is Bigger Than Elvis" (8 p.m. HBO). A nun recollects about her life as a rising star, acting opposite Elvis and Anthony Quinn, in this documentary.


-- "Magic City" (10 p.m. Starz). In the late 1950s, Ike Morgan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) gets help from the mob to finance his dreams.

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