1) The opening: Yes, the best part of the typical ET episode was the beginning. You get the theme song composed by Michael Mark, a powerful tune that became synonomous with celebrity-driven infotainment. You get a rundown of the topics on the upcoming episode. Keep in mind at this point, you don't know how much material you will get on a given subject or how much effort is put into it; you just know it's happening, and with that peppy music, everything is on the table.
2) Leonard Maltin's movie reviews: I have discussed these before on the podcast--twice, in fact--but you have to love the opening shot from behind showing Maltin sitting in a theater as a clip plays. His basic decency comes through right away as we remark how patient he is. Then he gets to talk about the movie, using not just a simple thumb, nor even 4 or 5 stars, but a scale of 1 to 10! Surely the nuance of a critique of Troop Beverly Hills gets full play in the more expansive Maltin scale.
3) Box office numbers: Back in the day, before obsessive coverage of weekend box office results, the estimates ET gave Monday night gave us some of the biggest movie biz news you could get on a regular basis without access to the trades.
4) ET Digest: In one tidy segment, you could get birthdays, new home media releases, and maybe an anniversary or two!
5) Premier parties: These segments were pretty useless in one way; who is gonna give an honest opinion to an ET camera at a gala to celebrate Three Men and a Little Lady? Yet they had their own charm. Sometimes there is entertainment value in seeing some befuddled celebrities attempt to produce a worthy sound bite about the latest whatever. And entertainment is the name of the game here.