Yes, we are about to enter the first of four hectic, fun and stunt-erific television periods known as "Sweeps." Sweeps month is the term used to describe the four months a year (November, February, May and July) when networks and advertisers set their ad rates for all their current primetime timeslots. So, networks roll out the red carpet with specials, stunt casting, disaster flicks, major plot developments etc. To help you navigate this complicated and convoluted television jungle, I've compiled sweeps news on your favorite shows. As more information becomes available about upcoming episodes, guest stars and plot points, I'll be sure to update you here on Pass the Remote. Be sure to stay tuned! Here's the latest info, and let me warn you that only the MAJOR spoilers have warnings before them:
Alias - (ABC) New APO Agent Rachel Gibson gets sent on her first solo mission and Syd guides her through it. Also, **SPOILER ALERT** Look for Michael Vartan to possibly return for an episode or two next month according to Michael Ausiello at TVGuide.com. There's no word on who he'll play (don't assume it's Vaughn) or whether he'll appear in flashbacks or in the present. TV Guide is reporting that Vartan reached a deal with Alias and will return sometime this season. He was back on the set earlier this month. I guess we'll have to watch to find out just how and when he'll be back. **END SPOILER ALERT**
CSI - (CBS) Look for a special two-part episode to air the first and second weeks of November. In the two-parter, the Las Vegas Police Department is put under investigation after the shooting of one of its own. Grissom suspects it's a case of friendly fire. For more on this special two-part episode (including spoilers), visit CSI Files. In other CSI news, the New York and Miami editions will crossover November 7th and 9th. NY's Gary Sinise will travel to Miami to track an escaped serial killer with the Miami team. Two nights later, Miami's David Caruso will travel to New York to help Mac and co after the escapee takes a hostage and heads for the Big Apple. For more on this crossover (including some spoilers), visit Zap2it. Both episodes will feature the television debut of Madonna's new single "Hung Up."
Cold Case - (CBS) Lilly will revisit one of her first cases in homicide. A recent gang shooting victim turns out to be the brother of her first homicide she worked back in 1999. Also, Lilly reopens a case after a recycled computer yields an interesting diary belonging to a young woman who died from a stress-induced heart attack after her dot.com company crashed.
Desperate Housewives - (ABC) Looks like we're going to meet George the pharmacist's mother in the November 13th episode (tentative). Veteran soap actress Linda Dano will guest star as needy George's mother. According to Dano's official site, she comes to his need and tries to get George to confess that he wants Bree all to himself.
Everwood - (WB) This show has a lot of key plot developments in store next month, and if you don't want to know any of them, stop reading now until the end of this show's segment. Amy finally asks out med student Reid, Hannah leaves the town of Everwood after her father dies and Bright's left picking up the pieces and Jake reaches a turning point when a friend suffers a critical injury during a cycling event.
Gilmore Girls - (WB) **SPOILER ALERT** Jess comes back into town and makes Rory rethink her Yale drop-out decision, Rory's dad shows up for the Thanksgiving episode, Rory gets some unsettling news about Logan, someone from Luke's past shows up and throws a kink into his relationship with Lorelai and Rory and Lorelai work toward mending their strained relationship. For more on these upcoming sweeps episodes, visit Zap2it. **END SPOILER ALERT**
Las Vegas - (NBC) Look for one of the cast members to leave forever. Also, there's a 1962 "Rat Pack" episode and a comic book convention episode. The "Rat Pack" episode will feature all the characters dressed in 1962 attire. The comic book episode will morph in and out of comic book covers and live action scenes in a similar tradition to Sin City. For more on these sweeps episodes, visit Zap2it.
Law & Order: SVU - (NBC) One of the main characters will get shot in the November 8th episode according to Mike Ausiello at TV Guide.com.
Lost - (ABC) Charlie gets jealous when another castaway shows interest in Claire, Sawyer's wound becomes life threatening, we delve into what happened to the survivors in the tail section of the plane during their 48 days on the island, we learn some back story on Ana-Lucia and more on Kate and according to TV Guide, **SPOILER ALERT** one of the female castaways will die. **END SPOILER ALERT**
Medium - (NBC) A special 3-D episode is planned for November 21st. In the episode, Allison realizes that there is a new dimension to the way she views art. Viewers will receive 3-D glasses with their November 17th edition of TV Guide (also available on newsstands). And coming soon, you will be able to visit NBC's web site or TV Guide's to find out where to get a free pair in your area.
Prison Break - (Fox) Four new episodes, including the Fall finale on November 28th. Leading up to the big finale, Veronica and Nick get closer to the truth and the people behind the frame-up, Michael has a shocking conjugal visitor, C-Note finds his way onto the escape team and Lincoln's execution draws only minutes away when the team decides to make a break for it.
Two and a Half Men - (CBS) Martin Sheen will guest star along side his son, Charlie, in the November 7th episode. He'll play the father of Charlie's neighbor, Rose.
Veronica Mars - (UPN) Look for Joss Whedon (Buffy and Angel creator) to guest star next month. Whedon made some noise recently when he watched the show and called it, "the best show ever." Also on the guest star docket, Allyson Hannigan and Harry Hamlin return. Veronica further investigates the past when she stumbles upon her mother's old high school report and the results of the sheriff's election are announced. For more info on next month's episodes, visit the spoiler rich Spoiler Fix.
Without A Trace - (CBS) Look for a gluttony of guest stars next month on this show. Academy Award nominee Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio will begin a recurring role starting November 24th. She'll play an FBI Agent who enlists the help of Jack and co to find her missing husband, a fellow FBI Agent and friend of Jack's, who leaves a disturbing message for his wife (Mastrantonio) on their answering machine. The message alludes to the cold-blooded murder of his partner earlier that night. Other guest stars include Desperate Housewives' Andrea Bowen, Alex Kingston, Laurie Metcalf and Gordon Clapp. Also on tap, a November 3rd episode that finds Jack and Danny traveling to Mexico to track down a missing wealthy American tourist and an episode told entirely from the perspective of a missing child's parents.
So there's what I know so far. As I said above, I will continue to update you on all the latest and greatest sweeps news on your favorite shows. So stay tuned to Pass the Remote, your source for sweeps scoops.
About Last Night... Fox's coverage of the World Series dominated the night, winning all three hours of primetime. At 8, NBC's E-Ring landed in second, followed by ABC's comedy block of George Lopez and Freddie. The second hour of the night found CBS's Criminal Minds in second place behind MLB coverage, followed by a rerun of Lost on ABC. UPN's Veronica Mars beat out WB's Related. The final hour of the night went to MLB coverage, followed by CBS's CSI: NY and a repeat of Law & Order on NBC. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - Sydney and Tom discover that Renee stole the cryogenic container and Sloane takes desperate measures to get reinstated at APO on ABC's Alias. Chris has to take his younger brother and sister trick-or-treating instead of going to a big Halloween party on UPN's Everybody Hates Chris (Sorry guys, I jumped the gun on this one last week. This is the correct episode summary for tonight's episode).
@9 p.m. - Ephram reveals the real reason he returned to Everwood while on a camping trip with Harold and Andy, and Amy goes to a haunted house with Reid on WB's Everwood. The episode was directed by series star Tom Amandes (Dr. Harold Abbott).
@10 p.m. - The team searches for a Korean-American woman who disappears while working the night shift at her parents' deli on CBS's Without A Trace.
*ABC is ordering scripts for a potential reality show called America's Next Muppet. The show would allow viewers to pick a new Muppet for the popular franchise started by Jim Henson in the same format as American Idol. Several current Muppets would serve as "judges." No official word yet on whether ABC will pick up the show or not.
*And finally, it seems that last night's episode of FX's Over There was more than likely its series finale rather than season finale. The show started out well, garnering 4 million viewers for its premiere in July, but it declined in subsequent weeks and was recently averaging around 2 million viewers. FX President John Landgraf says that he remains proud of the series despite its low ratings. For more on the show and it's up-in-the-air status, click on over to USA Today.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Alias, Everwood, and Without A Trace! Plus, all the latest television news!