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Q&A: July 28

Question: Any news on (WFAA8 anchor) Gloria Campos' sabbatical? Voluntary or forced by management? Would love to see an update.
Matt Kiesel

Answer: Campos currently is on a short vacation and is scheduled to return to the Dallas-based ABC station in early August, according to WFAA8 management. Last week's on-air reference to her four-month sabbatical to take a world cruise turned out to be a "joke" by sports anchor Dale Hansen. But enough viewers took him seriously for Hansen to clarify matters on the following night's newscast.

Addendum: Hansen says it in fact was weathercaster Pete Delkus who initiated the joke about Campos' four-month sabbatical during their nightly banter. And that it was Delkus who later clarified matters. As of today's writing (Aug. 11th), Campos has been off the air for more than two weeks, dating back to July 24th.

Question: Any chance The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder will make it onto DVD? You can find snippets on YouTube, but I'd like to be able to watch all four seasons.
Christopher Skorz

Answer: There are no current plans to offer the late Snyder's Late Late Show on DVD. The best you probably can hope for is a "Best Of" collection of some sort. I don't know of any long-running talk show where all the episodes are available. You can, however, see Snyder's old NBC Tomorrow show interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. They're available in a Shout Factory set titled The Tomorrow Show: John, Paul, Tom and Ringo.

Question: Recently I watched the 8 episodes of Wonderland that were produced in 2000 (for ABC) and were recently available on DirecTV. My question is about the theme song -- at least it plays during the opening and closing credits. The song has a kind of a "new age, cool jazz" vibe and begins with "Lay me down . . . like water falls upon the desert . . . " and then I can't make out the rest.

I am normally a fairly resourceful guy researching things like this on the Internet, but I have come up empty.
Dave Reynolds

Answer: So far I can't find the answer either. I do know that the original Wonderland theme music literally was hummed by Madonna. But that was supplanted in the DirecTV version, and there seems to be no information anywhere on who the new artist is.

Wonderland, which I really liked at the time, also had guest appearances by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Piven. Its executive producer, Peter Berg, went on to helm NBC's Friday Night Lights, which likewise has been rescued by DirecTV. In both series, there's a character named Lyla Garrity. That's intentional, Berg says, in this interesting interview about Wonderland and some of his other projects.

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.