Sweeps!!! Sweeps!!! Sweeps!!

May Sweeps will flower with finales, cliffhangers
We’ve reached the May Sweeps, a time for see-you-in-September cliffhangers from shows that are coming back and we’re-outta-here goodbyes from shows that aren’t. It’s jam-packed; USA TODAY leads you through the May maze.
ïApril 26
30 Rock, NBC, 9 ET/PT (Thursday)
Raines, NBC, 9 ET/PT (Friday)
The sweeps kick off with two early farewells, one of them final. 30 Rock wraps up with a special episode featuring fabulous Broadway diva Elaine Stritch, which should be a great setup for the show’s fall return. No such luck for Raines, which pours out its last hour Friday.
ïMay 3
My Name Is Earl, NBC, 8 ET/PT
Those jokers at NBC are spicing up ó more exactly, smelling up óEarl with a “scratch and sniff” episode, which sounds like fun. Unfortunately, they’re also “super-sizing” the whole schedule, including a 67-minute ER, which sounds like considerably less fun. Not that it matters: Most people will likely watch the two-hour Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9).
ïMay 6
The Amazing Race, CBS, 8 ET/PT
This “all-star” version of the Race has been less amazing than a mistake. But if you’ve been watching this long, you probably want to see who wins. Or at 9, tune to NBC for a special look back at SNL in the ’90s.
ïMay 7
Drive, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Well, that was fast ó which I guess is only fitting. Fox’s cross-country car race comes to a sudden stop with what it hopes is a cliffhanger, and not just a plunge off the TV cliff.
ïMay 10
Without a Trace, CBS, 10 ET/PT
Trace ends its season on the night where it belongs. Welcome back, old friend. Where have you been?
ïMay 13
7th Heaven, CW, 8 ET/PT
The family soap meets its maker after a long run. The run was a year longer than it should have been, but loyal fans will still want to say goodbye.
ïMay 14
King of Queens, CBS, 9 ET/PT
Speaking of long runs and late goodbyes, CBS’ working-class, worker-bee sitcom signs off after nine seasons. Find it hard to believe the show lasted that long? They probably do, too.
ïMay 16
The Price is Right Spectacular, CBS, 8 ET/PT
If anyone deserves a salute for longevity, it’s Bob Barker. He gets two this week: Wednesday’s Spectacular and Thursday’s Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television.
ïMay 17
Ugly Betty, ABC, 8 ET/PT
It’s the last Thursday of the season, meaning you’ll also be taking leave of the night’s biggest hits, Grey’s and CSI. But considering the ride so far, you just know Betty has one of the year’s wildest ends in store.
ïMay 21
24, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Jack’s dreariest day ends. We know he’ll prevail over the bad guys. Whether he prevails over Heroes (NBC, 9) remains to be seen.
ïMay 22
Veronica Mars, CW, 8 ET/PT
Goodbyes can be tough even when the time is right for parting. Like the two-hour finale of Veronica Mars, a great show that has sadly run its short course.
ïMay 23
American Idol, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Lost, ABC, 9 ET/PT
Not an easy choice: Idol winner or the two-hour finale of Lost? I’ll be Lost, but most of you will be running on Idol.