It’s May sweeps time!That’s the four-week end-of-season stretch when all the networks try to boost their ratings and woo advertisers by rolling out the best and biggest episodes their series have to offer.
With ad dollars on the line, networks are pulling out all the stops: Oscar-winning guest stars, unexpected deaths, cliffhangers and crazy plot twists will all be used to give the ratings a final end-of-season push.
NBC has a full-line up of guest appearances in May. Matt Damon is reportedly set to guest star in one of '30's Rock's' final episodes of the season. And Law and Order is ending on on a high note, too, with Olympic Gold Medal winner Lindsey Vonn.
With digital video recorders now in 36% of homes and the number of young people watching their favourite shows in real time decreasing, DVR is huge. Just ask anyone who will be setting theirs accordingly on May 23 to record the series finale of 'Lost.' It's the ultimate in May sweeps! Although there is a loser involved here because of DVR...
No matter how successful their May sweeps roster, the networks still have to worry about shedding viewers. As this USAToday article points out, overall TV usage is down 2.6%, and viewership among women ages 18 to 34 is down 6% from last year. If these declines continue, 'it could result the first full season of reduced viewing in recent history.'
Not everyone is tuning into scripted television. May sweeps begins at the same time some viewers are settling into the baseball season and the NBA and NHL finals come to a close. And sports ratings are up from recent years. Channels like ESPN and other sports networks are going to take those viewers.
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