Writers strike or not, November heralds in sweeps.
And sweeps heralds in guest stars. And guest stars herald in … OK, I’m
officially out of stuff to herald. But I do know that when it comes
to sweeps month, the very special guest star is trumped only by the
lesbian kiss as the most popular sweeps stunt. So, let’s rate
the ratings stunts, starting with the big guns.
Note: A few of these guest stars are showing up tonight, so set your DVRs!
Al Gore on 30 Rock
(tonight!): Former vice president. Oscar winner. Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Almost next president of the United States.
Stunt Wattage: 10, but we should dial it down to 8.5 to conserve
David Schwimmer on
30 Rock (tonight!): Kind of a step down after big Al. But he was
on some show for a long time. What was it called again? Buddies? Pals?
Amigos? Something like that.
Stunt Wattage: 5, but the
silly costume helps.
Edie Falco on 30
Rock (Nov. 15): Alec Baldwin had better look out. I hear Edie’s last
costar had a penchant for whacking people he didn’t like — oh, and onion
Stunt Wattage: 8. That lady can flat-out act.
Victoria Beckham on
Ugly Betty (tonight!): Posh and Wilhelmina? Not since peanut butter
met jelly has a pairing been so destined to become a classic. Now, if
only she could act.
Stunt Wattage: 9. It’d be a 10 if she brought
Vera Wang on Ugly
Betty (tonight!): A real fashion designer on a fake fashion show?
Wherever do these people come up with these ideas?
4, just for predictability.
Eliza Dushku on Ugly
Betty (Nov. 22): Now this, this is unpredictable. Eliza plays
a former wild child in rehab. Uh, didn’t they get the memo about Lindsay Lohan possibly
Stunt Wattage: 7. Don’t mess with Faith.
on Pushing Daisies (Nov. 21): Pee Wee on a fantastical show with
a cast of quirky characters that occasionally breaks into song? Perfect.
Maybe he’ll bring along the talking chair.
Stunt Wattage: 8,
but the Buckwheat hair is freaking me out.
Kristen Bell on Heroes
(Nov. 12): OK, she’s not technically a sweeps guest star. But she is
Stunt Wattage: 100,000 kilowatts. Oh, wait, wrong kind
Helen Slater on Smallville
(Nov. 12): Another member of the Superverse makes an appearance. I hate
to say it, but I loved Supergirl. What? I was young, she had a cape …
Stunt Wattage: 7. Now if only she’d wear the outfit.
Nancy McKeon on
Without a Trace (Nov. 15): Jo looks sad. Is it because the person
sitting next to her isn’t Blair? Come on, you know they hooked up in
Stunt Wattage: 6.5. The .5 is for the crush I had on
her back in the day.
Coco Nicole Austin on
Law & Order: SVU (Nov. 20): Uhm, I, uhmn … Should they be bigger
than her head? And so, uhm, orange? While her husband (and cast member)
Ice-T no doubt approves, I do not.
Stunt Wattage: 1,
though in all fairness, 2 seems more empirically correct.
Melinda Clarke on
Reaper (Nov. 20): I never watched The O.C.
OK, I watched a little for Marissa and Alex. But I did like her as Lady
Heather on CSI.
Stunt Wattage: 3. She was Marissa’s mom,
Rachel Bilson on
Chuck (Nov. 19): Please see above, but the young folks do seem to
Stunt Wattage: 4. I always confuse her with Mila
D.B. Woodside on
Grey’s Anatomy (Nov. 15): Too bad he wasn’t on Ugly Betty
instead. It would have been like a Buffy finale reunion.
2. He was the principal, not the slayer.
So, any very special guests
I missed? And whose star wattage needs an adjustment? Discuss.