The King of Queens
Say hey, here comes May. The May ratings sweeps bring eye candy treats, meaning a channel surfing month filled with first-run fun. That includes hot, highly anticipated season finales, cool prime-time duels, guest stars galore, a sprinkling of nifty specials and sentimental series finales for a pair of long-running favorites, “The King of Queens” and “7th Heaven.” So pass the remote, and let’s get clicking on the prime time highlights headed our way.
“Heroes” vs. “24” (9 p.m. May 21). Jack Bauer squares off against the everyday superheroes in a suspense thriller war to settle the series finale score while trying to save their respective worlds from varying degrees of chaos. Prediction: Split cliffhanger decision.
“Grey’s Anatomy” vs. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (9 p.m. May 17). It’s the hot soap opera doctors of Seattle Grace dueling with the Las Vegas crime procedural crew. Prediction: the sexy sawbones in a target demographic TKO.
“Lost” vs. “American Idol” (9 p.m. May 23). The opening 60 minutes of the island castaways’ two-hour cliffhanger season finale tangles with the closing hour of the “American Idol” singing juggernaut finale. Prediction: “Idol” by a knockout.
“7th Heaven” (8 p.m. May 13, CW). Goodbye again. It’s a second series finale for the longest running family drama in TV history—which said adios a year ago before being brought back from the dead. This time Eric and Annie Camden decide to pack it all up and hit the road to see America in a spiffy RV.
“The King of Queens (9 p.m. May 14, CBS). After nine seasons and 200 episodes, Doug and Carrie Heffernan’s genially goofy blue-collar sitcom rolls to a close. Will the king and his queen finally move into the parenthood? But more importantly, will crotchety cool Arthur find true love and move out of the basement at last?
10 SEASON FINALES:
“American Idol” (8 p.m. May 23, Fox). Why is Simon Cowell smiling? Because someone named ABS is definitely going to win. Huh? Anyone But Sanjaya.
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (9 p.m. May 17, CBS). Welcome to Tiny Town. The “miniature killer’s” identity is finally revealed. And Gil and Sara’s relationship is suddenly forced into the open. Hanky panky hallelujah!
“Grey’s Anatomy” (9 p.m. May 17, ABC). So far mum’s the word at ABC on story details. But we’re guessing Meredith will mope, some hot hospital sex will happen and ...? Well, the episode title is “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.” Not in this so-so, up-and-down season.
“Heroes” (9 p.m. May 21, NBC). It’s time to save the world. That’s all you need to know. Stop the apocalypse, of course. But don’t forget to kill Sylar soon, puh-leeze!
“Dancing with the Stars” (8 p.m. May 22, ABC). After a showdown, the results of the cheesily enjoyable B-list ballroom competition are announced.
“Two and a Half Men” (special time, 8:30 p.m. May 14, CBS). Oh, dear, Charlie and Alan are forced to confront their daddy issues when they meet meddling mother Evelyn’s filthy rich new boyfriend, played by forever debonair guest star Robert Wagner.
“Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m. May 20, ABC). She’s baaaack! Marcia Cross returns from maternity leave when Bree and Orson resurface on Wisteria Lane for Gaby and Victor Lang’s fairy tale wedding.
“The Office” (8 p.m. May 17, NBC). What’s this, job search demolition derby? An opening at corporate headquarters has Michael, Jim and Karen all interviewing for the gig. Meanwhile, control-freaking Dwight is driving everyone crazy back in Scranton.
“24” (8 p.m. May 21, Fox). After jumping the shark two- thirds of the way through topsy-turvy season, Jack Bauer tries to salvage the cliffhanger express by simultaneously preventing an international incident and saving his girlfriend. Holy CTU, Jack man.
“Lost” (9 p.m. Wed., May 23, ABC). The producers are promising major revelations after increased viewer grumbling and defections this season. Hope it’s not just a serial thriller edition of “Punk’d.”
“Saturday Night Live in the `90s: Pop Culture Nation” (9 p.m. Sun., NBC). Hans and Franz, Wayne and Garth and slapstick schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher are just part of the fun in a two-hour behind the scenes documentary featuring Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Chris Rock and more.
“The 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” (8 p.m. May 15, CBS). Welcome to the Sin City Honky Tonk as Reba McEntire hosts the festivities live from Las Vegas with Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert, just a few supplying the Nashville groove.
“Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television” (8 p.m. May 17, CBS). Come on down, Bob Barker! The game show icon, who is retiring from “The Price Is Right” after an amazing 35-year run, reminisces about his 50-year television career a night after hosting “The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular” the night before.
“The Simpsons” (8 p.m. May 20, Fox). What’s so special? It’s the amazing 400th (!!!) episode of the satirical cartoon classic, an extended one-hour season finale in which Bart becomes a baseball hero and the celebrity guest voices include rapper Ludacris and “24” stars Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Totally cool.
“Jesse Stone: Sea Change” (9 p.m. May 22, CBS). Long gone from his Hawaiian shirts and tropical isle sleuthing on “Magnum, P.I.,” Tom Selleck has found a comfy new crime-solving gig in occasional TV movie whodunits, playing New England small-town police chief Jesse Stone. Welcome back, Magnu ... er, Jesse.
BITTERSWEET WHODUNIT BYE-BYE?
“Veronica Mars” (8 p.m. May 22, CW). After three seasons, this two-hour finale may well be the end of the whodunit road for Kristen Bell’s witty, underappreciated and under-watched teen sleuth. Rats.
BIGGEST GIMMICK FOR GUFFAWS:
Are you ready for a “My Name Is Earl” olfactory overload at 8 p.m. May 10 on NBC? This “very special smelly episode” of Jason’s Lee’s hang-loose lampoon has a “Laugh `n’ Sniff” tie-in with TV Guide. You can find special scented insert cards in the current edition to use for scratching and giggling at the appropriate comic moments. Did Pepe LePew ever try this?
OTHER KEY SEASON FINALE DATES
“Cold Case” (9 p.m. Sun., CBS)
“Jericho” (8 p.m. May 9, CBS)
“Without a Trace” (special night, 10 p.m. May 10, CBS)
“Ghost Whisperer” (8 p.m. May 11, CBS)
“Survivor: Fiji” (8 p.m. May 13, CBS)
“Everybody Hates Chris” (8 p.m. May 14, CW)
“How I Met Your Mother” (8 p.m. May 14, CBS)
“CSI: Miami” (10 p.m. May 14, CBS)
“Gilmore Girls” (8 p.m. May 15, CW)
“Bones” (8 p.m. May 16, Fox)
“America’s Next Top Model” (8 p.m. May 16, CW)
“Criminal Minds” (9 p.m. May 16, CBS)
“Crossing Jordan” (9 p.m. May 16, NBC)
“Ugly Betty” (8 p.m. May 17, ABC)
“Smallville” (8 p.m. May 17, CW)
“Scrubs” (9 p.m. May 17, NBC)
“ER” (10 p.m. May 17, NBC)
“Brothers & Sisters” (10 p.m. May 20, ABC)
“The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman” (9 p.m. May 21, ABC).
“NCIS” (8 p.m. May 22, CBS)
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10 p.m. May 22, NBC)
“Boston Legal” (10 p.m. May 22, ABC)
“House” (9 p.m. May 29, Fox)