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Q&A: April 9

Question: Saw you on The Gordon Keith Show. I love Gordo and The Ticket, but that show is simply hideous. How long does he have?
Patrick R. Richer

Answer: Belo8 made an initial 12-episode commitment to Keith's show on Ch. 52, and sources at the corporation say he has been extended beyond that. I'd still urge people to give him a little time. The show has been very rough in spots, and needs some fixing. I think he realizes that.

Question: Dirt just recently ended its first season. I watched an early episode out of curiosity and got hooked. Given its uniqueness, I'm wondering what kind of ratings it got and if it will be back for a second season.
Kevin Dearing

Answer: Ratings were so-so for the FX series, which averaged 2.1 viewers per episode and has a considerable upfront cost in star Courteney Cox's salary alone. An FX spokesman says it's "on the bubble" for a pickup, with a decision likely to be made later this spring. So in a word, its chances are iffy at best.

Question: I greatly enjoy The Unit. How is it doing ratings-wise, and will it be back next season?
Jim McNeme

Answer: This is another show that likely is on the bubble. The Unit has a substantial audience fall-off from CBS' preceding NCIS and also ranks significantly lower with advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. So I wouldn't make a major wager on its renewal, but it certainly has a shot.

Question: I just saw that the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati will be released in a 3-disc DVD set. I remember a few episodes were released on VHS years ago, but the music had been changed to dodge copyright royalty fees. Would you know if this DVD set is the real deal? The songs are a huge part of the show, and any substitution would really screw it up.
Steve Cumming

Answer: The WKRP set is due to be released on April 24, but there will be some "substitution music" included because of the continued difficulty in attaining rights. Creator Hugh Wilson supposedly has been working to make this as painless as possible, but the "real" WKRP remains elusive.

Question: Could you please give us some detail on the ratings process? I remember when we were picked as a Nielsen family for a week and filled out diaries. I doubt it works that way now. Is something attached to every set in your home? How long do they monitor each family and how many do they pick?
Lisa Bellah

Answer: It's all done electronically now. The current sampling size in D-FW is about 565 homes. Nielsen is supposed to monitor every set in a given home, but it's still up to individuals to "sign in" when they turn on the set. Under the diary system, stations had to wait about a month after a sweeps period to get demographic information on what age groups were watching, how many men vs. women, etc. Since Feb. 2006, that's all been available on the day after.

Question: I have been a fan of 24 since Day 1, but quite honestly I'm getting tired of every season having something to do with nuclear bombs/explosions/meltdowns and Muslim/eastern European terrorists. Quite honestly I think they could do a season on U.S. militias, the KKK, homegrown religious cults or something along those lines. Do you know of an address where I could address a letter to the writers of 24?
Tracy L. Cobb

Answer: I don't have a direct address where it would be guaranteed to get there. But you could go to the Fox.com 24 message board and weigh in. I'm sure the creators of the series read it from time to time to see what diehard fans are liking and not liking.