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Q&A: July 17

Question: Is Guiding Light really going off the air in September? Will the storylines be continued somewhere else? Is Jeffrey dead?
Marsha Burnley

Answer: CBS says in a press release that Guiding Light will have its final telecast on Sept. 18th after 72 years and more than 15,700 episodes on TV and radio. But TeleNext Media, which produces it, said in a statement last April, "We are working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love."

So as the world turns, maybe there's a slim chance that Guiding Light could re-emerge on a cable network of some sort. But that's not really likely. As for whether Jeffrey O'Neill's dead, well, nobody really dies in a soap opera.

Question: How did Harper's Island do in the ratings? Do you know if there is a second season planned of some sort, or some kind of spinoff?
Blake Olds

Answer: CBS put a lot of promotional muscle behind Harper's Island, which initially had a plum Thursday night slot following CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But the ratings were hardly killer, prompting the network to send it off to Siberia Saturdays for most of its run. No sequels or spinoffs are currently planned for Harper's, which very likely died with its July 11th finale.

Question: Any chance CBS changes its mind and brings back The Unit? Or perhaps another network picks it up? It was one of my favorite shows and I hate the fact it's going away.
Brandon Rutledge

Answer: I'm afraid it's curtains for The Unit, which committed the additional "crime" of appealing to an older audience than most of CBS' series. Most advertisers will pay higher rates only for shows with a fairly high appeal among younger viewers. That said, The Unit had a decent run on CBS after premiering in March of 2006. But in the end, its ratings weren't very strong overall. And the bulk of its audience skewed well out of the advertiser-favored 18-to-49 age group.

Question: What's going on with David Finfrock's voice?

Answer: As noted previously on unclebarky.com -- and as publicized by Fort Worth-based NBC5 -- the veteran meteorologist has severe allergies that periodically flare up and affect his speaking voice as well as prompting coughing fits. His station kicked off the February 2007 ratings sweeps period with a story on Finfrock's travails. You can find our recounting of it here.