May Sweeps is something only lower forms of life, like network suits and TV critics, really care about—until your favorite show is canceled in June because it couldn’t beat some idiotic reality/game show in ratings and revenue-generation, that is.
Like lesser television features in daily newspapers, The Only TV Column That Matters™ is taking the next two weeks to expound upon the major nets May Sweeps offerings because, well, it’s May—what else is there? After that, since this is your only reliable source of TV news and information, I’ll analyze the probable-cancellation data and determine which of your beloved programs will be sent to the Great Beyond (or Cable Rerun Limbo).
Meanwhile, what the networks have whipped up for you this Sweeps period ain’t much, but at least I haven’t resorted to the dread phrases, “It’s that time of year again,” or “In the face of the recently averted writers’ strike,” in introducing it, now have I? Gifts are not encouraged, but will be accepted.
ABC: Renewed for yet another mind-numbing year (Fifth? Seventh? 34th?), Dharma & Greg sucks with a newfound vigor heading its season finale, bringing back Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) as Dharma’s man-ho, then tossing in Kirstie Alley (Veronica’s, ack!, Closet) as D&G’s marriage counselor to mask the smell (Tuesday, May 22).
The guest-star hits keep coming on The Drew Carey Show, with Kathie Lee Gifford (Live With Regis & Satan) and new vegetarian girlfriend Illeana Douglas (Action) contributing to Drew’s long-coming nervous breakdown. Vegetarian girlfriends will do that to you (Wednesday, May 23).
Midget actor Scott Wolf (Party of Five) shows up on Spin City to upset Heather Locklear’s ongoing non-relationship with Charlie Sheen, who responds in true Sheen fashion by getting shot in the ass by cops (Wednesday, May 23).
Two Guys & a Girl, the indestructible cockroach of ABC sitcoms, will end the season by asking its handful of viewers to look away from the TV, log onto ABC.com, and click a vote for either Sharon (Traylor Howard), Ashley (Suzanne Cryer) or Irene (Jillian Bach) to wind up pregnant by the end of the show. A fourth option, I Don’t Know Any of These Characters—Please Have Them Killed By a Pack of Rabid Wolves, will also be posted (Wednesday, May 16).
ABC’s May TV movies include Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (Sunday, May 13) and Anne Frank (Sunday, May 20). If moppets and Nazis aren’t enough fer ya, Wingspan documents the untold—and, as far as anyone knows, un-requested—story of Paul McCartney’s Wings. Run out of Beatles footage, have we? (Friday, May 11).
CBS: Inexplicable hit The District winds up its first season with large-foreheaded cop Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) getting suspended for bucking the rules or something. Walker, Texas Ranger heads into the cancellation sunset with star Chuck Norris finally—after nine seasons—not delivering a line like he’s passing a Nerf ball through his lower intestine (both Saturday, May 19).
Touched By an Angel’s seventh season concludes amidst rumors of new recruit Valerie Bertinelli possibly being groomed to replace Roma Downey, who’s allegedly being written out of the show because of that ill-advised dye-job—on her hair, not costar John Dye, sickos (Sunday, May 27).
On JAG … come on, JAG? Safe bet the season finale involves jets or something else appealing to the show’s 50-to-dead demographic that despises Tube Town because of its lack of in-depth Diagnosis Murder coverage (Tuesday, May 22).
In the King of Queens’ season finale, lard-assed Doug (lard-assed Kevin James) learns he’s finally impregnated sweet-assed Carrie (sweet-assed Leah Remini), therefore ensuring the show’s comedic doom. Everybody Loves Raymond concludes Season 5 with Debra (Patricia Heaton) justifiably garroting the entire Barone family in a fit of PMS-fueled rage and re-titling the show Nobody F***ks With Debra (both Monday, May 21).
CBS’ May TV movies include Dr. Quinn: Winter’s Heart, the return of Jane Seymour’s frontier medicine woman that several people and their couch cats have been patiently awaiting for years (Saturday, May 12), and Blonde, an imaginatively titled four-hour miniseries fictionalizing the life of obscure and under-publicized dead actress Marilyn Monroe, played by newcomer Poppy Montgomery. Yes, that’s really her name—coincidentally, “Poppy Montgomery” is the exact same sound a Nerf ball makes passing through Chuck Norris’ lower intestine (Sunday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 16).
Next week: NBC, Fox, The WB and, yes, even UPN.