By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/25/2004 8:00:00 PM
In TV land, May spells one thing: sweeps. And that means syndie talkers will sizzle with stars, theme weeks, and hot performers. All are recruited with a single goal: to close out the season with some of the highest-rated shows of the year.
King World's The Oprah Winfrey Show, which came back strong after Winfrey decided to reup through 2008, ends the year with a strong slate of guest stars. Movie idol Brad Pitt—promoting his new movie, Troy—will chat with Winfrey on May 3 in a rare talk-show appearance. Pitt's wife, Jennifer Aniston, and the rest of the Friends cast, will visit with her May 7, the day after Friends' two-hour finale on NBC. Earlier this season, Winfrey sat down with the cast on the set at Warner Bros.' Burbank studios. Also coming to Oprah are Shrek 2's Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy.
King World's Dr. Phil will wrap up two season-long storylines and launch a six-episode series. On May 3, Dr. Phil McGraw will start work with six couples on the brink of divorce. Some survive the process; others break up. The show will also reveal the winner of McGraw's "Weight-Loss Challenge" started last fall; the 13 participants have lost a combined 900 pounds. Plus, McGraw completes his work with his two "Dr. Phil Families."
Warner Bros.'The Ellen DeGeneres Show has an all-star lineup primed for May, with Jennifer Garner, Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, Hugh Jackman, Jay Leno, and Diaz planning visits. Teen rocker Avril Lavigne and hip-hop star Usher will perform.
Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly will dive into sweeps with a series of theme weeks. Leading up to Mother's Day on May 9, Live will host Mom's Dream Come True week, during which a celebrity team of stylists will make over three moms. On Friday, one will see one of her biggest dreams come true.
The week of May 10-14, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa will compete in a series of challenges suggested by viewers. "Kelly is insanely competitive," says a spokeswoman for the show, making for fun television. The two also will host Mutt America Week May 17-21, culminating in a doggie pageant. Unlike in prime time, no dogs are expected to undergo makeovers—extreme or otherwise—prior to the competition.
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