1) Sing Along with John Tesh: The set-up is simple: Clear out space in front of the desk, insert huge piano, let Tesh sit down and tickle the ivories while a guest sings a medley of the week's top 5 hits on the Billboard chart.
2) Face to Face with Ron Hendren: Another segment pairing an anchor with a performer, but in this case Rascally Ron would sit and critique a star's project while that star sat next to him. I don't think Hendren would have any problem being honest in that setting, and it would be a heckuva watch.
I mean, they would actually be side by side because their faces would be looking at a screen, but you get the idea.
3) Nerd Zone: ET could have been way ahead of the "Geek culture" craze by getting out in front of all of it in the early Eighties. It could have hired celebrity "nerd correspondents" like Arvid Engen in character to report on computer games, comic books, and the like.
4) ET Retro: When I say retro, I mean really retro. The series isn't afraid to go for nostalgia or focus on stars of the past every now and then, but I would have liked to have seen the show go wayyyyy back in time every now and then and simulate what the format would resemble in not the 1980s, but the 1880s. Tesh with a stovepipe hat introducing a story about Buffalo Bill's Wild West is my idea of fantastic television.
5) Book reviews: Hey, books are part of "entertainment," right? I don't recall much coverage of anything that wasn't made into a miniseries or written by Jackie Collins. The producers could have given a few minutes a week to some "egghead" to yak about the written word. Dick Cavett could have done this with more than a hint of irony. It may not have been ratings gold, but it would have added to the variety, especially if they enforced a "One Woody a year" policy.