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November Sweeps Month Makes For Some Memorable Viewing

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The election is over! At least the one for president. In a handful of states, US Senate races still have outcomes to be decided. While news channels cover this story on a daily basis, it should be some time before anything is final.

On the other hand, regular television has come back with a vengeance. Typically speaking, most shows plan to air a set number of repeats during the course of a TV season (September to May).  This makes sense. If series didn't alter the number of episodes produced, a September premiere and no repeat episodes means that a complete season would finish about February. Every so often, networks opt to not just air repeats, but rather to air "special" programming in their place.  Award nights and athletic events come to mind as some examples of this sort of programming.

Considering the holidays are close, most television hits are serving big episodes before specials and parades throw everything out of balance. With any luck, ratings increase with these big episodes and viewers have plenty to chew on (not to mention talk about) before fresh episodes return in January.

House, for example, has seen the House/Cuddy kiss, although nothing beyond that has occurred between the two. Yet. There are still things to come on this show though all the way into December. Fringe, a breakout hit this season, has viewers glued to the screen with intricate stories and slow character development. Agent Scott (Mark Valley) is part of every script, just like the Observer. However, writers suggest the 'traitorous' FBI agent just might not be so traitorous. I agree, but nothing so far tells me he's among the living. Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) moved on slightly with Lucas (Billy Burke), an old friend from her military days recently. Now, where is Nina Sharp (Blair Brown)? The redheaded dynamo of Massive Dynamics does her best work when she is seen onscreen.

Two shows I love watching are Chuck and 30 Rock. Zachary Levi plays Chuck Bartowski with charm and sensitivity. Clark Kent normalcy with Geek Squad brains, what could be better? I have to admit, though, seeing Adam Baldwin as John "Mr. Icy" Casey has me returning each week just to see him blow his top. I also must give props to the women. Sarah Lancaster has her hands full with Ellie's wedding to Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin). Yvonne Strahovski plays Sarah, whose job can reek havoc with everyone's emotions. Things changed after Jill (Jordana Brewster) came on the scene. She gave up Chuck for Bryce Larkin (Matthew Bomer), causing much pain. The chemistry's a bit better with Sarah. In casting news, Matthew Bomer has a show on USA coming in 2009 (I think fall), but I wouldn't mind Bryce seeing again this season (hint hint).

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon brings a smile Thursdays as she negotiates working at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and (this season) trying to become a mother. No, she hasn't slept with Jack. Thank heavens. Even as Alec Baldwin and Tina prove what talents they are, they might not make the best couple.

Boston Legal is in its last season, with the finale Dec. 8th. Julie Bowen returned for an episode, although Mark Valley did not. This is no surprise, since Mark is now a series regular on Fringe. Rene Auberjonois was in the same episode, but neither has been back since.

Ghost Whisperer killed off a character! Yes, I know, someone is dead each week. However, Jim's death was significant since he was an actual cast member instead of a guest star. Television being what it is, anything can happen. Viewers are just going to have to suspend disbelief while the story unfolds.

One more thing – David Tennant announced his departure from Doctor Who. No, he wasn't fired. It remains to be seen if it's possible he will appear in a DW movie. Nothing announced as of yet. Still, he would be a welcome addition to any show named above.

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About NancyGail

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    Thanks for the mention of Chuck! I agree, the show has been wonderful this season. It’s too bad it’s suffering only because of its bad network. I don’t think the sweeps episodes have been any better or worse than the rest of the season. It’s all been good.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Read something online about My Own Worst Enemy being canceled. Makes sense. IMO – great lead actor, interesting concept, bad show. Chuck just might see a time slot movement.