12 treats for November sweeps
How do we know the November sweeps have arrived? Guest stars galore, of course, including Roseanne Barr as a trailer park manager on "My Name Is Earl" and a sexy appearance by executive producer Salma Hayek on "Ugly Betty."
And that's just the start of a month of fresh, first-run series episodes, high-profile cliffhangers, big-name specials and premieres of new and returning series like "The O.C." and "Medium."
Here's Captain Video's sampler of a dozen key November sweeps treats:
"The 40th Annual CMA Awards" (ABC, 8 p.m. Mon., Nov. 6): When the Nashville country glitterati gather, the superstar duo of Brooks & Dunn will supply the cozy hosting chatter.
"Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m. Wed., Nov. 8). Fall season finale. Say what? That's right, to avoid those pesky in-season repeats, "Lost" offers up its final episode till February. We'll finally discover whether Kate's love light shines on Sawyer or Jack.
"Prime Suspect: The Final Act" (PBS, 9 p.m. Sun., Nov. 12 & 19). The great Helen Mirren returns as detective Jane Tennison in a bittersweet farewell to her iconic sleuth, with the tormented Tennison pushed toward retirement by her concerned colleagues.
"Gilmore Girls" (CW, 8 p.m. Tue., Nov. 14). Stupid Cupid pays another visit to impulsive Lorelai (Lauren Graham). Having recently broken off her engagement to Luke (Scott Patterson), the dithering diva of Stars Hollow hastily marries Christopher (David Sutcliffe) during a romantic Paris getaway.
"Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 8 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Nov. 14-15). The ballroom dancing sensation of reality TV crowns another celebrity champ, with hip-swiveling Mario Lopez the betting pick to click.
"3 Lbs." (CBS, 10 p.m. Tue., Nov. 14). Series premiere. Stanley Tucci ("The Devil Wears Prada") and Mark Feuerstein ("The West Wing") star as hotshot neurosurgeons in a new medical drama. The show's title is a reference to the typical weight of the adult human brain.
"Day Break" (ABC, 9 p.m. Wed., Nov. 15). Series premiere. Taye Diggs is the tormented cop trapped in a repeating time warp after being framed for murder. The quirky serial thriller - a combo of "24" and "Groundhog Day" - replaces the vacationing "Lost."
"Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m. Wed., Nov. 15). Season premiere. Patricia Arquette's psychic sleuth and suburban mom moves into a new Wednesday night home after the quick collapse of "Kidnapped," a classy fall season serial thriller whose ratings flopped.
"Tony Bennett: An American Classic" (NBC, 8 p.m. Tue., Nov. 21). Celebrating the 80th birthday of legendary singer Tony Bennett. The mix of music and biography has Barbra Streisand and Christina Aguilera joining the warbling party.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 9 p.m. Thu., Nov. 23). Next stop, Whoville. "CSI" theme song singer and rock `n' rolling Who guru Roger Daltrey stops by for a Thanksgiving whodunit guest star appearance.
"Heroes" (NBC, 9 p.m. Mon., Nov. 27). Flashback dance. We zap back six months to see how Hiro and the rest of the ordinary superhero folk were blessed with extraordinary powers.
"Big Day" (ABC, 9 p.m. Tue., Nov. 28). Series premiere. Getting married can be so harried. The "24" format is applied to romantic comedy in the tales of a frazzled bride (Marla Sokoloff, "The Practice"), her micromanaging mother (Wendie Malick, "Just Shoot Me") and one very hectic wedding day.