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November sweeps: Day by day
Prepare to be swept away. Starting today, we’ll be engulfed by the November sweeps, one of those quarterly ratings periods that the networks stuff with specials, stunts and guest-star stints.
We help you plan your sweeps time (all times ET/PT):
Thursday, Nov. 3
Smallville (WB, 8 p.m.)
Taking that Good Old Boys theme song to heart, Tom Wopat joins John Schneider for a mini-Dukes reunion. With Catherine Bach missing, one of them will have to wear the shorts.
Sunday, Nov. 6
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.)
The annual “Treehouse of Horror” faces West Wing’s live debate (NBC, 8 p.m. ). But the real terror is CBS’ two-part Category 7: The End of the World (9 p.m.). Think of it as last season’s Category 6 storm with delusions of grandeur.
Monday, Nov. 7-Thursday, Nov. 11
Here’s a pretty picture: It’s Next Top Model week on UPN, with contestants from the first five editions on every show except Everybody Hates Chris.
Monday, Nov. 7
CSI: Miami (CBS, 10 p.m.)
What would sweeps be without a goofy crossover? For November, Miami folks trade places with CSI: NY (Wednesday, 10 p.m.). For Miami, that’s slumming.
Wednesday, Nov. 9
Lost (ABC, 9 p.m.)
TV’s best series returns from a brief break with an episode that reshapes the fate of one of the castaways. That’s all I’m saying.
Saturday, Nov. 12
MADtv (Fox, 11 p.m.)
And they said it wouldn’t last. The late-night comedy celebrates its 250th episode with host Pamela Anderson.
Sunday, Nov. 13
SNL in the ’80s: Lost and Found (NBC, 9 p.m.)
A day after Mad’s celebration, its older Saturday rival gets a special of its own. The same writer/director did last season’s Live from New York, one of the year’s best specials.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
Vibe Awards (UPN, 8 p.m.)
Choose your music: The hip-hop awards air opposite CBS’ Country Music Association Awards (8 p.m.). Or wait till Wednesday for CBS’ I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash (8 p.m.).
Wednesday, Nov. 16
That ’70s Show (Fox, 8 p.m.)
In probably the biggest guest-star get of the sweeps, ’70s teams Ashton Kutcher with Bruce Willis for reasons that are obvious to anyone who has ever seen a celebrity column.
Sunday, Nov. 20
The Poseidon Adventure (NBC, 8 p.m.)
Is it possible to remake without Shelley Winters? Maybe, but can those new Poseidonites survive a far graver threat than a flipped ship: a wedding on ABC’s Desperate Housewives (9 p.m.)?
Monday, Nov. 21
Medium (NBC, 10 p.m.)
What’s the goofiest stunt of the sweeps? A 3-D episode of a show that’s usually lucky to achieve 2-D.
Tuesday, Nov. 22
The American Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Cedric the Entertainer hosts one of the season’s more reliably popular specials. Boomers take note: The Stones will perform live.
Sunday, Nov. 27
Silver Bells (CBS, 9 p.m.)
What would November be without at least one sappy CBS movie? This year, it’s a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for Anne Heche and Tate Donovan.
Monday, Nov. 28
Prison Break (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Don’t miss the “fall finale,” after which Break takes a break until May. Which is an odd way to treat folks who love you.
Tuesday, Nov. 29
Felicity/American Girl Adventure (WB, 8 p.m.)
It’s valley of the dolls time on WB. Meanwhile, the new commander at Commander in Chief (ABC, 9), Steven Bochco, brings NYPD Blue’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar aboard.