Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sweeps are coming!

Yes, on Thursday night, TV's November sweeps begin, always an exciting time of year--although I'd have to rate November sweeps as the second-best sweeps of the year. February sweeps is probably the best--it's really cold and dark when you get home from work, which makes for ideal TV-watching conditions, and the television shows are midway through their seasons already and have built up more momentum than they have in November. May brings up the rear because there's often daylight--or something close to it--when prime-time starts at 8 p.m., and because May sweeps are tinged with a hint of sadness because the TV season is ending for the year. Also, May sweeps are exhausting with everyone running their two-hour finales, etc. Although this year, Feb. sweeps promises to be exhausting too, with the Olympics combined with all the other shows and their new episodes.

One question that I can't figure out: When I was growing up, November sweeps always used to begin on the last Thursday in October and end the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. But in the last few years, it seems to usually start a week later and extend through Thanksgiving. This has left us with, in recent years, new episodes of Friends and CSI and ER on Thanksgiving night. That's nice, but not really necessary--wouldn't you rather have those episodes shown on a Thursday night you didn't have something else to do and hadn't spent the day watching football?Anyway, I don't recall sweeps running through Turkey Day more than a couple times as a kid, but it seems to happen every year now. I've seen TV "experts" say it's because networks prefer having sweeps after the end of daylight savings time--as I said, darkness equals good TV viewing conditions--but the start date of standard time hasn't changed in years. So maybe they just discovered the daylight time thing in the last decade.

Now I've got to rest up for the grueling 28 days of sweeps. It's like going from the desert to the oasis. Wednesday, no new Lost, no new Veronica Mars (although there is the premiere of the Eric Forman-less "That '70s Show"--which should be renamed "That Show That Used to Be Pretty Funny But Has Been on Two Years Too Long"--and a new "One Tree Hill," for those who want to look for the signs of the dissolution of the Chad Michael Murray-Sophia Bush marriage, or just ogle their favorite member of the couple. All I'll say is you must have lots and lots of options if you're cheating on Sophia Bush.)
Thursday, there's a new "O.C." (finally!), a new "Reunion" (not that good a show, but I'll at least hang on until they tell me who got killed), a new "Apprentice" (Will Trump fire five people this week!), a new "Everybody Hates Chris," a new "Smallville" (I'm not a regular viewer, but when I do tune it, I enjoy it) , a new "ER" (a once great show that is a shadow of its former self for reasons I'll get into another time but are pretty obvious) and, of course, a new "Joey." (One I won't be watching.)


Anonymous John said...

Okay, this was great. Fantastic, slightly warped and really funny in places...John

11/2/05, 12:54 PM  

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