Well, tomorrow is the day some News Directors begins to twitch, as this is the time of year many management jobs are on the line. May sweeps is arguably the most important for a manager, as we don't get another sweeps month till November to make amends if the book is bad. (Nobody cares about the July book, as it is usually favored by last place small market stations trying to give their sales people something to market.)
Anyway, if you're still stuck, here are some of the sweeps stories that desperately need to be done...
The all-encompassing "everything can kill you" series: This three-parter takes all the previous sweeps stories about things that can kill you and creates a montage of death for one lucky viewer who wins a contest to be on the local newscast. In this story, Joe Sixpack is sent to a tanning bed wearing bowling shoes with no socks while eating undercooked chicken, soft boiled eggs, and cookie dough ice cream he purchased in a supermarket that didn't disinfect its shopping cart handles.
Stranger Danger payback: In a follow-up to the classic sweeps series in which a reporter with a puppy tries to lure unsuspecting children into a minivan to show parents they need to be more careful, the kids get even. In this two-parter, a child entices a reporter from the competition into one of those plastic ball bouncy houses, then zips it up from the outside, trapping the reporter and making him miss his live shot. In part two, our camera follows the reporter as he has to explain to the News Director that he missed his hit time because he was trapped in a bouncy house by a kid who reminded him of Macaulay Culkin.
Hurricane preps for the incredibly stupid: In this one part special report, a reporter re-enacts the horror of a man who was trapped on the middle of an escalator for five hours when the power went out at the mall during a storm last year. Great walking stand-up opportunity.
New weather warning debut: In a new promotion designed to get the weather obsessed to sign up online for a weather alert and thereby collect email addresses that can be sold to a spam company, the Chief Meteorologist demonstrates the station's new early warning system which fills the entire television screen with big bold letters reading, "Get the hell under the bed, now!" In part two, the Meteorologist tells viewers that they should stay away from electronics during a lightning storm, then reminds them that they can always get the latest Doppler radar picture during severe weather by visiting the station's website on any desktop computer.
Text arthritis: In this short, one-part medical piece, a doctor introduces us to a teenager whose hands are horribly gnarled from sending 500 text messages per day. He demonstrates the cure by taking the cell phone away from the kid.
Bad Internet sites for kids: In this short, one-part parenting piece, a social worker shows that kids can visit some very dicey websites when surfing the net. She demonstrates the cure by taking the computer away from the kid.
Twitter package: In this 8 second package, a reporter demonstrates the content of Twitter.
Is your anchorman's hair real?: In this lighthearted feature designed to quell Internet rumors, a reporter pulls out all the stops to determine if the main anchor's helmet-head is a toupee. With the help of the fire department, the reporter turns a high-pressure hose on the anchor, which may or may not send his rug into a storm drain... but that's the cliffhanger for part two!
The infinite loop: In this clever play on technology, an anchor tells viewers to visit the station's website for "more on this story." Hidden cameras follow a family as they leave the television for the computer, where the website tells them, "For more on this story, watch our local newscast." Hilarity ensues as the family bounces back and forth between the Internet and the television set, never getting the entire story as they become trapped for days in this electronic vortex.