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A Couch Potato's Guide to November

Your TV guide for November sweeps


Network television has two tent poles: November and February. Known as "sweeps," this is when networks pull out all the stops to boost ratings. It turns out that the big four (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) set their advertising rates based on their November and February numbers.

Here are a few days when the networks really want you to tune in.

Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Fox--Halloween isn't over until Bart Simpson says it's over. This is the 21st annual Simpsons Halloween special or as Simpsonphiles know it: The Treehouse of Horror. No less than Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Hugh Laurie (House) guest star.

Nov. 10, 7 P.M., ABC--America's love affair with Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood continues at the Country Music Association Awards. Why don't they just turn these things into a series? Add Lee Ann Rimes and you've got Two and a Half Women.

Nov. 14, 7 P.M., NBC--Sunday Night Football. All of us who love watching football say that whatever game we're watching is a big game. But this one is a Big Game: the Patriots vs. the Steelers. Major playoff implications here. It's almost worth listening to Faith Hill sing that stupid song again.

Nov. 16, 7 P.M., Fox--Gwyneth Paltrow is the guest star/singer on Glee. The following week, Carol Burnett goes back to school.

Nov. 21, 7 P.M., ABC--The poor man's Grammys. Lance Bass hosts The American Music Awards. Maybe Ryan Seacrest wasn't available.

Nov. 22, 8 P.M., ABC--Skating With the Stars. We're not making this up.

Nov. 25, All Day Thanksgiving--A fun day to have the TV on in the background. Parades, football and one of the best programs of the year, The National Dog Show on NBC.

Nov 26, 7 P.M., Fox--TV's Greatest Holiday Moments. This ought to be a lot of fun. Imagine one big special celebrating Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, Mr. Magoo and every other wonderful childhood character.