November Sweeps calendar: 'Glee,' 'House,' 'Big Bang Theory' and more welcome big-name guests

November-2010-Sweeps-GuideImage Credit: Harper Smith/NBC; Adam Rose/Fox; Bob D'Amico/ABC; David M. Russell/CBS; Virginia Sherwood/NBC; United Feature Syndicate IncNovember is here, and you probably know what that means for television: Sweeps! It’s that bountiful time of the TV season when the networks try to ramp up viewership as much as possible so they can set their advertising prices for the year. All of which means means we’ll see crazy guest stars! Specials! Awards shows! Big interviews! For example, Cher is going on 20/20 to talk Burlesque Nov. 19; ABC is airing the Country Music Awards on Nov. 10; Oprah will sit down with the Jackson clan on Nov. 8; and Gwyneth Paltrow, well, she’s appearing on both the CMAs on Nov. 10 and Glee Nov. 16. How does one make sense of the November Sweeps madness? Duh, it’s easy, silly: Just use our handy, complete-yet-only-the-stuff-you-care-about guide below:

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): More of Oprah and Gayle’s camping trip at Yosemite National Park
Survivor: Nicaragua (CBS, 8 p.m.): Only 12 castaways remain as the tribes merge
In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): This hour-long special features Roberts interviewing country music stars Brad Paisley, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, and Kellie Pickler
Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10 p.m.): A History of Violence‘s Maria Bello and ER‘s Alex Kingston guest star

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Dollhouse‘s Eliza Dushku guest stars
Bones (Fox, 8 p.m.): So You Think You Can Dance‘s Stephen “tWitch” Boss guest stars
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): Hilary Duff and Andy Dick guest star
30 Rock (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Elizabeth Banks returns

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): First of two-part event featuring Madea‘s Tyler Perry and 200 men who are stepping up to speak out about the trauma of their childhood sexual abuse (the second part airs Friday, Nov. 12)
Medium (CBS, 8 p.m.): Scrubs‘ Judy Reyes and NCIS‘ Rena Sofer guest star
Supernanny (ABC, 8 p.m.): Season premiere!
CSI: NY (CBS, 9 p.m.): Night Court‘s John Larroquette guest stars as Deputy Chief of Manhattan Borough Detectives Ted Carver

The Simpsons (Fox, 7 p.m.): Glee‘s Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Amber Riley lend their voices to this musical-laced episode; and at 8 p.m., “Treehouse of Horror XXI”: The 21st annual installment of the animated series’ much-anticipated Halloween special, which features guest voicing from Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe and House‘s Hugh Laurie
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, 8 p.m.): Australian pop star Kylie Minogue shows up
Undercover Boss (CBS, 9 p.m.): Undercover with Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Chicago Cubs
Brothers & Sisters (ABC, 10 p.m.): Full Metal Jacket‘s John Terry first appears as Dr. Karl, a fellow radio host and love interest for Nora

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): Interview with Michael Jackson’s mother and father, Katherine and Joe, as well as the late superstar’s three children, Prince, Paris, and  “Blanket” at Hayvenhurst, the family’s home in Encino, Calif.
House (Fox, 8 p.m.): Joan of Arcadia and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star Amber Tamblyn joins for the first of her multi-episode arc playing Martha Masters, a brilliant but inexperienced third-year medical student
Matt Lauer Reports (NBC, 8 p.m.): The Today show anchor sits down for an hour-long news special with President George W. Bush concerning his memoir, Decision Points
No Ordinary Family (ABC, 8 p.m.): Cybill Shepherd appears as Stephanie’s hard-to-please mother, while Twilight‘s Jackson Rathbone guest stars as Trent, whose parents are the victims of a home invasion
Rules of Engagement (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): As a member of Jeff’s softball team, Less Than Perfect‘s Sara Rue guest stars alongside Joan Collins, who plays Russell’s mother, Bunny Dunbar
90210 (The CW, 9 p.m.): Pop star Joe Jonas plays himself and helps Adrianna boost her image by going as her date to a party

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): President George W. Bush discusses his memoir Decision Points; President H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush also appear from the Bush family summer estate in Kennebunkport, Maine
Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): Coach Beiste (guest star Dot-Marie Jones) returns! Chord Overstreet (Sam) also returns as a guest stars
One Tree Hill (The CW, 8 p.m.): Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons appears in a cameo role; Desperate Housewives‘ Sharon Lawrence guest stars
Running Wilde (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): David Cross guest stars
The Good Wife (CBS, 10 p.m.): Michael J. Fox guest stars as attorney Louis Canning, a brilliant but disabled lawyer who uses his condition to sway a jury; High Fidelity‘s Lili Taylor appears as Donna Seabrook, a former friend of Kalinda’s who is now sharing secrets with Blake
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): William Baldwin returns

Country Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.): Another night of country stars from ABC! Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and featuring the first-ever performance from Gwyneth Paltrow and Vince Gill together; Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson, and many more also perform
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, 8 p.m.): Battle of the sexes returns as the chefs serve two special guests: restaurateur Josiah Citrin and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel
Criminal Minds (CBS, 9 p.m.): Oscar-nominee Sally Kirkland guest stars as 1950s film actress, Kay, while Heroes‘ Robert Knepper appears as her devoted son, Rhett
Hellcats (The CW, 9 p.m.): Musical guest FeFe Dobson performs
Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10 p.m.): Major Dad‘s Gerald McRaney guest stars

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): Marie Osmond talks about the loss of her son, Michael, for the first time
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Wil Wheaton guest stars
$#*! My Dad Says (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Two and a Half Men‘s Missi Pyle guest stars as Vince and Bonnie’s boss, Katie
30 Rock (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Mad Men‘s John Slattery guest stars
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m.): 24 alum Peter MacNicol guest stars as the new pediatrics attending, Dr. Phil Stark
The Apprentice (NBC, 10 p.m.): Kim Kardashian appears

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): Second of two-part event featuring Tyler Perry and 200 men who are stepping up to speak out about the trauma of their childhood sexual abuse (the first part aired Friday, Nov. 5)
Smallville (The CW, 8 p.m.): Desperate Housewives‘ Teri Hatcher guest stars as Ella Lane, Lois’ mother

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, 8 p.m.): Country music stars Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and LeAnn Rimes pitch in
The Cleveland Show (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): David Lynch shows up as a guest voice
Desperate Housewives (ABC, 9 p.m.): John Schneider and Nancy Travis appear as Keith’s parents, who are invited to Thanksgiving at Bree’s house
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)Heroes‘ Hayden Panettiere guest voices a role as Ashley, the new girl in school who invites Steve over while her parents are out of town

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): Whoopi Goldberg appears to discuss the Oscar-winning film, The Color Purple, that she stared in with Oprah on its 25th anniversary
Chuck (NBC, 8 p.m.): Saturday Night Live alum Rob Riggle, Dr. Kildare‘s Richard Chamberlain, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles‘ Summer Glau guest star
House (Fox, 8 p.m.): Amber Tamblyn (see House entry for Monday, Nov. 8), Dylan Baker, Cynthia Watros, and Devon Woods all guest star
How I Met Your Mother
(CBS, 8 p.m.)
: Robin’s alter-ego Robin Sparkles returns! Pussycat Dolls leader Nicole Scherzinger appears as Robin’s old pal Jessica Glitter; and Alan Thicke returns as himself
The Event (NBC, 9 p.m.): Into the Wild‘s Hal Holbrook guest stars
Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.): Lyle Lovett guest stars as a mysterious government agent intent on shutting down an investigation

Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings): Barbra Streisand will appear to perform and discuss her passion for design
Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): Gwyneth Paltrow guest stars as a substitute teacher for Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and takes over both the glee club and his Spanish classes
Life Unexpected (The CW, 9 p.m.): Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Emma Caulfield and Parenthood‘s Krista Allen guest star
The Good Wife (Fox, 10 p.m.): iCarly‘s Miranda Cosgrove appears as a teen star who is accused of attempted murder after a night of underage drinking
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): William Baldwin guest stars

America’s Next Top Model (The CW, 8 p.m.): Down to the final four girls!
Human Target (Fox, 8 p.m.): Season premiere!
Hellcats (The CW, 9 p.m.): Dance legend Debbie Allen directs!
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, 9 p.m.): The amuse-bouche challenge!
The Defenders (CBS, 10 p.m.)
: Rapper Lil’ Romeo and Soul Food‘s Rockmond Dunbar guest star as rappers “Killa Diz” and “Bounce”

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC, 8 p.m.)
: An hour of magic from Charlie Brown, featuring the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, followed by bonus cartoon from Charles M. Schulz, This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, at 8:30 p.m.

20/20 (ABC, 10 p.m.)
: Cynthia McFadden interviews superstar Cher in anticipation of her latest movie, Burlesque

2010 American Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.): Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, Pink, and Usher are all set to perform
The Cleveland Show (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Niecy Nash guest voices
Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): Bill Maher guest voices as himself
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Jason Alexander guest voices as a counselor Stan and Francine go to see

Chuck (NBC, 8 p.m.): Dr. Kildare‘s Richard Chamberlain guest stars
Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 8 p.m.): Season finale, part one! The final three couples perform
House (Fox, 8 p.m.): Cynthia Watros returns as a guest star
Skating with the Stars (ABC, 9 p.m.): Season premiere, starring a cast that includes All My Children‘s Rebecca Budig, Bethenny Getting Married? star Bethenny Frankel, skier Jonny Moseley, rocker Vince Neil, Sonny With a Chance‘s Brandon Mychal Smith, and Blade Runner‘s Sean Young

Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): Carol Burnett guest stars as Sue’s “Nazi-hunting mother”
Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 9 p.m.): Season finale, part two! One couple will be crowned the Mirror Ball Champions
Raising Hope (Fox, 9 p.m.): Greg Germann and Valerie Mahaffey guest star as Hope’s other grandparents, Dale and Margine
Running Wilde (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer guest stars as a powerful magazine editor

The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Saturday Night Live alum Norm MacDonald shows up for Thanksgiving as Mike’s brother Rusty
The Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): New holiday special from DreamWorks Animation featuring the Kung Fu Panda
The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? (NBC, 9 p.m.): Catch up with your favorite past contestants in this special
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, 9 p.m.): Contestants must serve their signature dish to the downtown L.A. lunch crowd from the city’s infamous food trucks

Comments (60 total) Add your comment
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  • Pan

    Robin Sparkles returning blows every other single bit of this information out of the water. Let’s go to teh mall everybody!

    • Kristina

      Agreed! I’ll be teasing my hair in celebration for her return!

      • Seddie Forever!!!!!!!!!

        EPIC FAIL

        The biggest event this month will be iCarly’s “iStart a Fan War” in which Seddie (yay!!!) vs Creddie (booo!!) will be discussed – and hopefully Sam and Freddie will realize their feelings for each other

    • retirednotdead


    • Alia

      I’m putting on my jelly bracelets and my cool graffiti coat RIGHT NOW! (Although, actually, I’ll be DVRing this one, since Summer Glau is guesting on Chuck at the same time.)

    • Jenn

      Don’t forget, she wants everybody to go to the mall TODAY!!

    • s

      It’ll be the greatest week and a half of my life. I’m psyched!

  • Silveralsa

    You completely left off NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, even though they’re higher than most of these number wise on the charts. This is useless and biased.

    • Silveralsa

      TV RATINGS Week ending Oct 24
      #2. NCIS; Viewers: 19.4
      #4. NCIS: Los Angeles; Viewers: 16.0

      • Christian

        Did it occur to you that neither show is stunt-casting this November because they’re so highly rated?

      • @ Christian

        No, they don’t stunt-cast because the shows are so formulaic that there is no room for creative flexibility.

    • Tanner Stransky

      Hey there! This is based on the Sweeps information that the networks provide us. NCIS didn’t have any huge names or big things to tout–not that they need stunt-y things to keep up their awesome ratings!

      • Doris

        Actually Robert Wagner will return as Tony DiNozzo’s con man father and Michael Nouri will return as Ziva’s estranged father, Eli David, head of Mossad.

  • Lorie

    Sweet! Thanks for the list.

  • Lisa

    How can you leave out the #1 scripted show on television: NCIS? Their sweeps shows are always amazing and from the tidbits that have come out, this year is shaping up to be one of the best sweeps plots yet.

    • Dave

      This article is about guest stars.

      • LM

        Robert Wagner and Michael Nouri will be on NCIS during sweeps.

  • Kelly

    What weird associations for Riggle and Glau. At least with Glau, she was most recently on Sarah Connor Chronicles (even though I suspect people watching Chuck are going to be thinking about the Firefly reunion going on), but Riggle was on SNL for barely one season, while he’s been with The Daily Show for four years.

  • Gleek

    All that matters is that GLEE was mentioned first.

    • Jackie

      Ok, I know this isn’t related to this specific article, but I see this person’s comments all the time, and seriously? I feel compelled to ask this – do you also go on all the I-don’t-know-how-many articles about “Dancing with the Stars” and “Survivor” and comment about how many articles there are? No disrespect meant, but time to give it a rest.

    • steve

      Jackie is SO right. Because, you know, that whole ‘freedom of speech’ thing is, like, sooooooo yesterday. /snark
      Hey Jackie, how about if YOU ‘give it a rest’?

  • Kara

    No Fringe? D:

    • temp

      I was just thinking that!!!

      I thought I heard Doc Brown of back to the future fame was going to be on Fringe…maybe its not in November?

  • Nick

    I like how you called Joe Jonas “her”

    • s

      They’re journalists. They need to be accurate.

  • Grubi

    Isn’t the purpose of sweeps to get more people to watch? Why would Andy Dick guest star on Community if that is the goal?

  • Samantha

    What happened to Fringe? I know viewers are down, but come on.

  • Jackie

    So excited to see Amber Tamblyn on “House”! I think she’s a much better actress than Olivia Wilde, so this will be a welcome addition to the cast. I’m surprised there’s no mention of Robert Englund’s upcoming appearance on “Supernatural”, which I thought was supposed to air in November.

    • Alia

      Oooooh, really? I WOULD like to hear more about Englund’s appearance on SPN, EW!

  • Vicky

    “Life Unexpected: Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Emma Caulfield guest star.” She’s been on the show for like the past three episodes. How is this November Sweepsy?

    • steve

      I thought the exact same thing.

  • RBys

    I just found out what Sweeps months are in my Media and Society class!!! Gosh I feel so smart and at the same time so dumb that it took me this long to figure out what they are!!

  • yvan

    Whoopi Goldberg appears to discuss the Oscar-winning film, The Color Purple, that she stared in with Oprah on its 25th anniversary

    starred, not stared. Seriously EW, get a proofreader.

    • erin

      I guess at certain points in the movie she may have stared.

    • Jesse Jewell

      oh for the love of god

  • Kyleigh

    How about Darren Criss for Glee?! I cannot think of a guest star that I am more excited for!

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