Forget your calendars. May begins next Thursday. April 29 is the beginning of the “May sweeps” period. And with it, the networks and cable are rolling out big events to attract your eyeballs.
But there’s a downside to this. By the time the sweeps period ends May 26, most of your favorite prime-time shows will go into hibernation until fall.
The must-see events include season finales of “American Idol” (May 26) and “Dancing with the Stars” (May 25).
And lest we forget, “Lost” will come to a permanent and definite end on May 23.
Olympic gold-medalist Lindsey Vonn will appear on the season finale of “Law and Order” on May 24.
“The Biggest Loser” will name a winner during a live broadcast on May 25. “Survivor” will reveal who’s earning its $1 million prize on May 16, also in a live airing.
A few programs will freshen up the routine with guest stars or shifts in the story (“Fringe” has a musical episode airing Thursday, and “30 Rock” is bringing in Matt Damon in May).
Other highlights for the week of April 25-May 1 (listings subject to change):
SUNDAY: “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking” (9 p.m., Discovery Channel). The scientist explores the bigger picture of space — such as how life began and if life is possible on other planets.
• “When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story” (8 p.m., CBS). The real-life story of a woman who helped create Al-Anon is chronicled.
• “Girl Meets Gown” (10 p.m., WE). What’s all the drama about at a Texas bridal salon? This reality show will show us how some brides get carried away by what they wear.
TUESDAY: “Crash Test: Real Wrecks, Real Stakes” (11 p.m., Spike TV). John Schneider is host of this special that attempts to re-create extraordinary crashes.
• “Glee” (8 p.m., Fox). Kristin Chenoweth reprises her role as April Rhodes, troublemaker.
THURSDAY: “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox). Olivia (Anna Torv) and Broyles (Lance Reddick) sing and dance.
• “30 Rock” (8:30 p.m., NBC). Jenna gets a new boyfriend (guest star Will Forte) who has a secret agenda.
FRIDAY: “Smallville” (7 p.m., CW). Tess and Chloe get trapped in the Watchtower after Tess cracks its complicated security system.
SATURDAY: “Money Hunters” (8 p.m., DIY). Secrets to renovating your home on a tight budget are revealed each week in this new series.