Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Liz Shannon Miller May 2015 Sweeps

May 15, 20159 min
The May sweeps period is the final push from networks to get us to watch their shows. So — what exactly is it and why is it so important for the viewers? It has been eight long months. Our DVRs are full of shows we’re weeks behind on. We’ve seen new shows come (welcome, Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish) and we’ve seen shows go (Manhattan Love Story, Red Band Society, we hardly knew ye). There is about one month left in the season, including what’s known in the industry as May sweeps. So what is Sweeps? It’s about a two-week event that happens four times over the course of a television season, this being the fourth and final, after one in September, November and February. It’s the time television networks will do big final pushes — often involving Wacky Ideas and Shocking Deaths — to get eyeballs on their programs. Sweeps is used as a Nielsen measurement tool (albeit one often taken with a grain of salt nowadays) for studios and advertising agencies alike to evaluate who is really watching

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