When Tim Allen was asked to host this year’s TV Land Awards, his biggest concern was the opening number.
He’d watched Neil Patrick Harris sing and dance his way through the beginning of last year’s show and told producers, “I could never do as big a song-and-dance opening.”
But he does hint at some song and dance for what he calls “a little odd” opening to this year’s show, airing tonight.
Odd is acceptable. The TV Land Awards aren’t treated with the same reverence as the Emmys or Golden Globe Awards. The show is considered more of a celebration.
This year’s ceremony will honor “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Love Boat,” “Bosom Buddies” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
The Future Classic Award will go to “Glee,” an honor previously given to “Desperate Housewives” and “Arrested Development.”
Allen, whose “Home Improvement” was named fan favorite last year, considers himself a big TV fan. He recalls watching “Lost in Space,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “The Partridge Family” and reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” when growing up in Michigan.
While taping the awards show earlier this month, he sought out “Dick Van Dyke Show” creator Carl Reiner. Mel Brooks and Reiner were on hand to receive the Legend Award.
“I went up to him to shake his hand and he told me he loved my work. That was a pretty special moment,” Allen says.
Since “Home Improvement” ended in 1999, Allen has starred in movies such as “Big Trouble,” “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Wild Hogs.” But he says he would go back to television if the right project came along.
He has had offers – sitcom variations of “Home Improvement” and more complicated plots from David Mamet and David E. Kelly.
Some were so far afield from Allen’s talents they scared him. If he does come back to TV, he says it’ll be a role that allows him to use his “skill set of improvisation and smart-ass humor.”
Allen continues to be busy. His film “Crazy on the Outside” was released on DVD exclusively at Target recently.
And he’s returned to the recording studio to again voice the heroic Buzz Lightyear for “Toy Story 3,” scheduled for release June 18.
As for tonight’s awards show, Allen says viewers should watch the faces of Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari when Brad Garrett is talking during the presentation of the Impact Award to “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
And he says the most moving part is the finale, when the stage fills with TV stars.
“I couldn’t believe how emotional it got,” Allen says. “It really hit me then, the impact television has on everyone.”