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CBS Revives 'Sunday Night Movie' For May Sweeps

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Courtesy CBS
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Tom Hanks best the Academy Award for best actor for "Forrest Gump" in 1995.

If you don't have streaming services or cable – or don't mind lots of commercial interruptions – you'll be happy to hear that five beloved movie hits will air on the CBS Sunday Night Movie during May ratings' sweeps.

With most TV productions shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS will air "five iconic ... feature films from the Paramount Pictures library" – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible, Titanic and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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Credit Courtesy CBS
CBS provided this collage of the five films airing Sunday nights in May.

ABC, NBC and CBS aired theatrical films – and a few made-for-TV movies – on Sunday nights for years. In 1986, all three started airing movies. Often during May, November and February "sweeps" the networks would launch their miniseries on Sunday nights.

ABC broke the pattern in 1998 with 20/20 and The Practice. NBC dropped the movie in fall of 2001 for Law & Order: Criminal Intent and UC: Undercover. CBS finally pulled the plug on movies in 2006 to air Cold Case and Without A Trace.

"It's a five-week programming event with epic films, iconic stars and brilliant stories that viewers love…and love to watch together,” said Noriko Kelley, CBS Entertainment executive vice president for Program Planning and Scheduling in the network announcement.

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Credit Courtesy CBS
'Titanic,' starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, won 11 Academy Awards.

Here's the lineup:   

May 3, 8-11 p.m.: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

May 10, 8-11 p.m.: Forrest Gump

May 17, 8-11 p.m.: Mission: Impossible

May 24, 7-11 p.m.: Titanic

May 31, 8-11 p.m.: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade