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Columns
May sweeps: TV specials and farewells

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

By Susan King, Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- May sweeps network programming includes such high-profile movies and miniseries as "Blonde," "Anne Frank" and "Steve Martini's The Judge," as well as a "Wonderful World of Disney" portrait of child star Shirley Temple.

Documentaries examine everything from the formation of the rock band Wings to the history of Islam. Series welcome special guests, including Sting on "Ally McBeal." And "3rd Rock From the Sun," "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Star Trek: Voyager" are bidding farewell to fans.

Here's a look at highlights for the upcoming sweeps, which kick off tomorrow and continue through May 23. (Note: Not all times for some programs were set as of publication. All listed times and dates are subject to change.)

Specials

"ABC's Wide World of Sports 40th Anniversary Special": Veteran Jim McKay hosts a two-hour retrospective of memorable moments and celebrities on the sports series. Sunday, ABC.

"The 36th Annual Academy of Music Country Awards": LeAnn Rimes hosts the three-hour broadcast from Universal Amphitheatre. May 9, CBS.

"Conquistadors With Michael Wood": The British historian returns with a two-part documentary on the conquest of the New World during the 16th century. 8 p.m. May 9 and 16, WQED/WQEX.

"Islam: Empire of Faith": Documentary telling the story of Islamic power and faith during its first 1,000 years, from the birth of the prophet Muhammad to the peak of the Ottoman Empire under the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. 9 p.m. May 10, WQED/WQEX.

"Wingspan": Featuring candid interviews with Paul McCartney, this documentary offers the inside story of how Paul and his late wife, Linda, followed the Beatles and McCartney's brief solo career with their own rock band, Wings. May 11, ABC.

"The 50th Annual Miss Universe Pageant": More than 80 young women compete for the title. May 11, CBS.

"Saturday Night Live Mother's Day Special": A prime-time edition of "SNL." May 13, NBC.

"The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards": Kathie Lee Gifford hosts this ceremony honoring the best in daytime programming as well as game shows. The two-hour event is telecast from Radio City Music Hall in New York. May 18, NBC.

Movies and miniseries

"On Golden Pond": Thirty-six years after they starred together in "The Sound of Music," Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer reunite for this live telecast of Ernest Thompson's play about an elderly couple returning to their summer home. 9 p.m. Sunday, CBS.

"Follow the Stars Home": Kimberly Williams, Campbell Scott and Blair Brown star in a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" drama about a woman who falls in love with a free spirit, not realizing that his no-nonsense brother may be the one who is actually her soul mate. May 6, CBS.

"Steve Martini's The Judge": Chris Noth, Edward James Olmos and Lolita Davidovich in a two-part adaptation of the suspense thriller about an arrogant judge who turns for help to his longtime adversary, an idealistic attorney, when he is accused of murder. May 6-7, NBC.

"Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story": A "Wonderful World of Disney" biopic about the enormously popular actress of the '30s. Ashley Rose Orr, Hinton Battle and Colin Friels star. May 13, ABC.

"Blonde": Poppy Montgomery stars in this four-hour fictional account of Norma Jeane Baker, a k a Marilyn Monroe, based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates. Ann-Margret, Patricia Richardson, Kirstie Alley, Wallace Shawn, Griffin Dunne, Titus Welliver and Eric Bogosian also star. May 13 and 16, CBS.

"Dr. Quinn, Winter's Heart": Jane Seymour, Joe Lando and other cast members from the CBS series return for a two-hour movie following Dr. Mike and Sully as they return to Boston to celebrate their daughter's graduation from medical school. May 19, CBS.

"Anne Frank": Ben Kingsley, Hanna Taylor-Gordon and Brenda Blethyn star in this two-part adaptation of Melissa Muller's acclaimed biography about the young girl who became the voice for all the children killed in the Holocaust. May 20-21, ABC.

"The Kimes": Mary Tyler Moore, Robert Forster, Jean Stapleton and Gabriel Olds in the true story of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the mother and son grifters convicted of the 1998 murder of a wealthy New York socialite. May 20, CBS.

"Submerged": Sam Neill and Emily Procter star in the true story -- based on Peter Maas' "The Terrible Hours" -- of a rescue of trapped American sailors on a sunken sub during World War II. May 20, NBC.

"Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man": Angela Lansbury reprises her Jessica Fletcher role in the third TV movie based on her long-running CBS series. This time, Jessica discovers a family secret. Phylicia Rashad co-stars. May 23, CBS.

Series

"Touched by an Angel": Valerie Bertinelli joins the cast as an angel who needs guidance from Monica, 8 p.m. Sunday; Randy Travis guests on the two-part musical season finale. May 13 and 20, CBS.

"Stage on Screen": The PBS drama showcase presents "Twilight: Los Angeles," a filmed adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith's one-woman show about the 1992 uprising that took place in Los Angeles after four white police officers were found not guilty of beating African-American Rodney King. 9 p.m. Monday, WQED/WQEX. "Far East": A.R. Gurney's drama about a naval officer who falls for a beautiful Japanese woman in 1954 Tokyo. 9 p.m. May 28, WQED/WQEX.

"Ally McBeal": Rock star Sting, playing himself, becomes the target of a lawsuit. Cheri Oteri and Paul Reubens also are featured. And there is a return appearance of the "Dancing Baby." 9 p.m. Monday, Fox.

"Song of the Lark": The latest installment in "Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection" dramatizes Willa Cather's story about a woman who escapes her life in rural Colorado to become a famous opera singer. Alison Elliott stars. 8 p.m. next Wednesday, WQED/WQEX.

"Once and Again": Lily ties the knot with Rick. 10 p.m. next Wednesday, ABC.

"Survivor: The Australian Outback": The second season comes to a conclusion as the final survivor wins $1 million. 8 p.m. May 3, CBS.

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire": The game show presents another celebrity week. Chevy Chase, Kelly Ripa, Edie Falco, Ben Stiller and Martin Short are among the contestants. May 6 and 8-11, ABC.

"The Practice": David E. Kelley's legal series reaches its 100th episode. May 6, ABC.

"The Hughleys": Mother Love, Marla Gibbs and Telma Hopkins guest for Mother's Day. May 7, UPN.

"Girlfriends": Police Chief Bernard Parks appears. May 7, UPN.

"3rd Rock From the Sun": John Cleese returns as Dick's nemesis, May 8; the comedy ends its long run with an hour-long episode featuring Elvis Costello, May 22, NBC.

"Spin City": Scott Wolf guests for three episodes as Heather Locklear's love interest. May 9, 16 and 23, ABC.

"Walker, Texas Ranger": Chuck Norris' action series signs off after eight seasons with a two-hour finale. May 12, CBS.

"The District": Jean Smart returns as the ex-wife of Craig T. Nelson in a two-part finale. May 12 and 19, CBS.

"The Simpsons": Ron Howard guests as himself. May 13, Fox.

"Take a Girl Like You": "Masterpiece Theatre" presents a two-part version of Kingsley Amis' novel about a woman who dreams of marriage and children and the local rake who pursues her. Sienna Guillory, Rupert Graves and Robert Daws star. 9 p.m. May 14, WQED/WQEX.

"Moesha": R&B star L'il Kim appears on the season finale. May 14, UPN.

"Dharma & Greg": Kirstie Alley plays a marriage counselor on May 15; Kevin Sorbo returns as the handsome college professor smitten with Dharma. May 15 and 22, ABC.

"Dawson's Creek": The gang finally graduates from high school. May 16, WB.

"Felicity": Teri Garr guests as a counselor. May 16, WB.

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch": Eden's Crush, the group from WB's "Popstars," performs the hit single "Get Over Yourself." May 18, WB.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer": Buffy and the gang celebrate their 100th episode on the fifth season finale. May 22, WB.

"Star Trek: Voyager": After 172 episodes, the sci-fi series blasts off the air with a two-hour finale. May 23, UPN.

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