"Mathnet: The Case of the Deceptive Data Part 1" Kate Monday arrives at the office and finds that George is outraged. He's so upset that he doesn't even seem to notice her, he's really more talking to himself instead. His favorite television program, The Mike Pliers Show has been canceled and he can't believe it. He's stood by in the past while some of his other favorite shows have been taken off the air, but this time, he vows that he's going to stand up and fight. This was a great program that was not only educational, but was quite popular as well. It was about a private eye who solve problems using his head and not his fist. George has made a "fan" call and the President of the Mike Pliers Fan Club and Mike Pliers himself are coming to the office. Kate thinks that there were probably good reasons for taking the show off the air, but George won't hear of it. Then, Mike Pliers and the fan club President show up. George greets Pliers at the door and can't stop shaking his hand. Kate says that George is a real fan of his. She introduces himself and they also both meet Geri Lynn, the fan club President. Once everyone's seated, they get down to business. Mike wonders why he's there and mentions that George said it had something to do with his ex-show. George says that he wants to know why the show was taken off the air and then he wants it put back. Geri Lynn is all with him. She wants it back on the air too and has been conducting a huge letter-writing campaign. It hasn't mattered though, the station says that the ratings are too low. George and Geri don't understand this, since the show is very popular. Geri doesn't even understand what ratings are. So they discuss the ratings and sampling process. Pliers says that he understands that if enough people aren't watching, then a show is taken off the air. That's just the way it works. George is still outraged though. Pilers says that the strange thing is that the ratings suddenly took a sharp drop. The station had told him he was doing beautifully, with a rating between 5 and 6. Then, suddenly, the ratings dropped in two weeks to 5/10 and they took him off the air. Sherry Lynn says that it shouldn't matter how many people watch. After all, she and the other fans were watching and they loved it. Kate explains the advertising process, saying that advertisers want to support shows that do well because then people see their product. If ratings go down, then advertisers look for another show that's more popular, such as the Vicious Vinnie Vermin Show, as Pliers mentions. Both George and Geri hate the show, but Kate has never seen it. As George describes it, it's basically a cheap, badly produced version of Double Dare or something. George calls it "totally mindless," saying that it teaches dumb, or downright wrong. Yet, oddly, it's gotten very popular quite recently. Kate explains the Hoover Rating Service, which samples the population. There are more than 13 million people in L.A., so they use a small group to represent them, asking them what shows they watch. It's a small sample, only about 1,000. George draws an analogy of just a doctor taking a small sample of blood to check it. Geri says it's unfair, as there are more than 5,000 kids in the fan club and nobody ever asked them. They get a phone call. It's for Mike Pliers. He had left their number with the answering service. The call is from Ding Dong Broadcasting, the station that played Mike's program. They think maybe he's back on the air, but it turns out he just has some maintenance to do. He left some things in his dressing room and they want them cleared out.moreless
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