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Q&A: Jan. 6

Question: Ninety-nine percent of all commercials, movies and TV shows show little or no latinos. What gives? You'd think, by watching TV, that it's a black and white world and latinos don't exist. Just about every commercial has a black and white person portrayed. When commercials and TV shows come on, I spend most of my time switching to the Spanish language channels. As an American I feel the media is biased against Latinos, and it just sucks.
Gilbert Cortez

Answer: You make some good points. Regarding commercials, I think the so-called mainstream networks have pretty much ceded a latino presence in advertising to Univision, Telemundo and other Spanish language networks. Many companies spend considerable money making tailor-made commercials aimed at those networks' predominantly latino viewing audience.

On the TV entertainment front it's a bit brighter picture. George Lopez has a pretty major presence on TBS with his Mon.-Fri. latenight talk show, which was very heavily promoted. Ugly Betty, an adaptation of a Spanish language telenovela, remains in play on ABC and received numerous awards in its early seasons. CBS tried a predominantly latino serial drama, Cane, two seasons ago, but consistently low ratings doomed it. Latinos also have supporting roles in numerous entertainment series, but obviously networks could do more to redress the overall imbalance. Meanwhile, Univision is hardly invisible. Its prime-time ratings are always better than the CW's. And in some weeks, Univision has nearly outdrawn NBC or ABC.

Question: How many seasons of Lost were there and what happened to it? Such a great start. Then went crazy.
Gayle White

Answer: There have been five so far, with the sixth and last season scheduled to launch Feb. 2nd on ABC. I'm of two minds on Lost. In one respect I think it's lost its bearings, never more so than at the end of Season 4, when duplicitous Ben Linus "moved" the island by turning a subterranean frozen wheel. On the other hand, I'm hooked. The "back stories" remain compelling, even if the "mythology" has grown confounding. I'll be on board until the very end, with no expectation that Lost will end well. But it's been a thoroughly adventuresome and invigorating ride, courtesy of a landmark series that will be debated and dissected for years to come.

Question: Why oh why do shows like The Closer air only three episodes, then call it quits? To me this is silly. As you get into it, the finale is upon us! Counter-productive to my way of thinking! Any answers?

Answer: For better or worse, TNT has grown accustomed to using its most popular series as a potent lead-in launch pad for the network's new drama series. That's one of the reasons for this periodic patchwork scheduling. Other than that it doesn't make a ton of sense. It'd be far preferable to give The Closer a continuous 13-16 episode run without any breaks in the action. Viewer loyalty is paramount to any show, and TNT risks squandering it. As of now, new episodes aren't due until next summer, according to TNT's web site.