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The February Ratings Sweeps Start Tomorrow - Barely
January 30, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
Tomorrow, January 31, is the start of the February ratings sweeps, one of those months set aside, in a increasingly archaic practice, to use ratings results to establish future advertising rates. This year, the February sweeps end on February 27 , leaving the last two days (it's a Leap Year) out of the running.

One thing's for sure: You can't accuse the networks of saving the best for last. The most eagerly anticipated event of the February sweeps arrives the very first day - tomorrow, when it's still January, and when ABC presents the season premiere of Lost.

It's a fitting parallel to this entire strike-bitten TV season: Most of the good stuff appeared right out of the gate, and as time wears on, the offerings get thinner.

Three networks claim one annual special event each this February: Fox has the Super Bowl, ABC has the Oscars (in whatever shape it finally arrives), and CBS has the Grammys. NBC's probable biggest event of the month? A telemovie remake, and backdoor pilot, of Knight Rider. No, I'm not KITT-ing.

dexter.jpg

The good scripted stuff? It's rare, but it exists. CBS presents a slightly toned-down, but still commendable and recommendable, version of the first season of Showtime's serial-killer drama series, Dexter. The PBS Masterpiece anthology series continues its Jane Austen tribute with Miss Austen Regrets and Pride and Prejudice, and NBC imports the excellent Internet series Quarterlife.

Any remaining new episodes of existing drama series and sitcoms will surface in February, including a fresh post-Super Bowl episode of House, season premieres of Jericho and The New Adventures of Old Christine, and scattered episodes of Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights, and Smallville. I know I haven't mentioned Lipstick Jungle yet - but that's because, on a list of entertaining scripted series, it simply doesn't belong.

Some sweeps offerings can sweep you away, but others ought to be swept under a rug.

 

1 Comment

 

Esther said:

I've always thought the idea of "sweeps" as funny. I actually don't completely get the idea of "sweeps" but I understand that it's when A list stars end up on a show or an outragous hook up or murder or... might take place.

"Sweeps" may be a silly thing, but that extra spark will be missing from this season for sure.

Comment posted on January 31, 2008 1:37 AM

 
 
 
 
 
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