All sweeps are not created equal, and the ratings period starting Thursday could be one of the strongest in years.
At least it should be better than the medium’s infatuation with Michael Jackson in February.
This May sweeps promises pivotal plots and finales of beloved series. The mix could mean a welcome respite after heavy coverage of the Iraq war.
The lineup will be the last burst of fresh comedy and drama before the season ends May 21 and a reality-heavy summer sets in.
Even so the networks will fall back on repeats of favorite series (“Law & Order,” “CSI”) to plug holes as some series (“Scrubs,” “Boomtown”) have ended their seasons.
For “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fans, saying goodbye to the cult favorite will be the hardest part.
After seven seasons, the show ends May 20 as Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her comrades “put their lives on the line, knowing some won’t survive the final showdown with evil incarnate, known only as the First,” according to UPN.
(“Angel” ends its season May 7 on WB so David Boreanaz can pay a final visit to Buffy.)
After six seasons, “Dawson’s Creek” says farewell to WB in a two-hour finale May 14.
Series creator Kevin Williamson wrote the script, which looks forward five years and reveals that Dawson (James Van Der Beek) produces an autobiographical TV show called “The Creek.”
Television’s No. 1 show has a major surprise for fans.
“The ‘CSI’ team loses one of its own following a bank robbery and gun battle in the streets of Las Vegas,” CBS says of the May 15 episode.
Fox isn’t saying a lot about the second-season wrap-up for “24” on May 20 except that it is “guaranteed to shock.”
What else would fans expect?
CBS will devote 45 minutes to long-awaited nuptials of Robert (Brad Garrett) and Amy (Monica Horan) in the May 19 “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
On the same night, “CSI: Miami” expands to 75 minutes for a show about two fugitives marauding through the city.
In the two-hour wrap-up for ABC’s “Alias” on May 4, Sydney’s mother (Lena Olin) explains her motivations.
ABC devotes two hours to “The Practice” on May 5, and Bobby (Dylan McDermott) announces his resignation in the last hour, which is called “Goodbye.”
The Emmy-winning drama could end after ABC’s blunder in moving it to Mondays.
Valedictorian Rory (Alexis Bledel) addresses her graduating class in the May 20 episode of “Gilmore Girls.”
Earlier episodes will explain how Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) leaves Stars Hollow and moves on to his own WB show.
Romantic problems ensnare most of the “Friends” characters in the May 15 episode, which is set in Barbados and runs 75 minutes to boost NBC’s numbers.
Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) delivers her fifth child May 18 on Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle.”
Harm (David James Elliott) supposedly quits in the May 20 episode of “JAG” on CBS.
On “NYPD Blue” the same night, Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and McDowell (Charlotte Ross) hit a major roadblock in their marriage plans.
(c) 2003, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.). Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.