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ABC looks to ‘Harry Potter’ for sweeps magic

The network will give a sneak peak at ‘Prisoner of Azakaban’ in addition to showing on-the-set interviews with the stars.
/ Source: The Associated Press

ABC hopes to make ratings magic with a night of television built around the network debut of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — and a sneak peek at the third Warner Bros. film in the franchise.

The 2001 movie, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint and directed by Chris Columbus, will air on Sunday, May 9, (7 p.m. ET), in an extended, high-definition version that includes previously unseen footage, the network announced this week.

It will be followed by a 10-minute look at “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” directed by Alfonso Cuaron, which opens in theaters on June 4.

All told, ABC will devote four hours to the Harry Potter phenomenon as part of May “sweeps,” a key ratings measurement period used to help set local advertising rates.

The broadcast will include interviews from the “Harry Potter” set with Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. The films, which include 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” are based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling.