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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Shows Year-To-Year Growth In Finale

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: The final ratings for American Idol are in. The star-studded finale posted a 9.2 rating in adults 18-49, up 12% from last year, and 29.3 million, up 21% from last year. Some 38.6 million tuned in between 10-10:07 PM when Scotty McCreery was crown the winner. It is still the first time in five years that the finale grew year-to-year among adults 18-49 and in three years among total viewers.  

PREVIOUS: Fox’s American Idol reversed the downward finale rating trend last night. The two-hour Season 10 closer drew a 8.9/25 in adults 18-49 and 28.2 million viewers in the fast nationals. That is up 9% in the demo and 17% in total viewers from last year’s finale, the first time in five years that the reality juggernaut has posted growth for the finale among adults 18-49 and in three years among total viewers. Because of a seven-minute overrun, which is not accounted for in the fast nationals, the American Idol numbers are expected to grow further in the finals, which will be available within the hour.

The only network to put up originals against the American Idol finale was ABC, which aired the season finales of the comedies that are returning next season. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Idol’ Rules Wednesday

A two-hour American Idol on Fox gave the network a big win in the primetime ratings race Wednesday. The episode was the highest-rated and most-watched of the night by far with its 23 million viewers and 7.2 preliminary rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the later number up slightly compared with last week’s 90-minute show.

On CBS, the season finale of Criminal Minds (3.3 demo rating) grew 6% from last year’s final episode (its 12.5 million viewers made it the second-most-watched show behind Idol), while the canceled Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.0) slid to its lowest-rated episode to date. On ABC, only The Middle (2.4) grew compared with its previous episode; Modern Family (4.0) was down 7%, Cougar Town (2.0) fell 13% and Happy Endings (1.6 and 1.3) dipped 6% and 7% in respective airings at 10 PM and 10:30 PM.

NBC’s Law & Order: SVU topped the 10 PM hour with a 2.8 rating, up 17% compared with last week. The CW featured the season finale of America’s Next Top Model (0.8).

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ABC To Extend New Tuesday Comedy Block To 2 Hours In Midseason With ‘Cougar Town’

Nellie Andreeva

ABC Unveils 2011-12 Primetime Schedule
We may have the first head-to-head faceoff of two-hour comedy blocks in years this spring. ABC, which is launching a new Tuesday 8-9 PM comedy block with the Tim Allen starrer Last Man Standing and Chris Moynihan’s Man Up, leading into the Dancing With the Stars result show, plans to extend the block to two hours between the two cycles of Dancing, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee announced at a press conference this morning. In what could be dubbed “men vs. women,” the two comedies with male leads will be followed by Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town and freshman Apartment 23 starring Krysten Ritter. Fox, of course, already has a 8-10 PM comedy block anchored by Glee at 8 PM and announced yesterday that it will convert it into a four-show block in March when Glee goes on hiatus. Since Dancing usually returns at the end of March, there is a good chance for the two four-comedy blocks to go toe to toe for a couple of weeks, a return to the old times when comedy ruled primetime with blocks on virtually every night of the week. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Better With You’ Fights For Its Life With 19% Ratings Jump

Nellie Andreeva

Bubble shows are getting their final chance to make a case for renewal this week, and ABC’s comedy Better with You did its best last night. The multi-camera comedy, considered a long shot for renewal, drew a 1.9/6 in adults 18-49, up 19% from last week for the biggest week-to-week gain among all programs last night. ABC’s Wednesday comedy block was up across the board last night except for the other series that needed it, freshman Happy Endings (1.7/4) at 10 PM, flat with last week despite a stronger lead-in. At 10:30 PM, the comedy pulled a 1.4/4, also even with last week. The Middle (2.1/7) was up 5%, Modern Family (4.2/11) up 8% and Cougar Town (2.4/6) up 9%.

Fox’s American Idol (6.9/20, 22.4 million) was up 8% from last week’s fast national demo number (because of Idol‘s rise in the finals, the apples-to-apples comparison is with its fast national results.) Breaking In (2.4/6) held steady, even with last week. The network once again won the night in all key measures. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was down a tenth from last week for a series low but may bounce back a tenth in the finals. Criminal Minds (3.3/9) was up a tenth while Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.1/6) was down 5%. Following a new Minute to Win It (0.9/3, down 10%) and a Minute to Win It repeat (1.1), which actually did better than the original, Law & Order: Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ And ‘Criminal Behavior’ Drop Big Against ‘SVU’

Nellie Andreeva

After a promising 17% week-to-week ratings increase last week, ABC’s 10 PM comedy Happy Endings dropped alarmingly last night just as the networks are getting close to making their pickup decisions for next season. The midseason series (1.7/4) was down 19% from last week despite its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.2/6), being up a tenth. The difference? Happy Endings faced original competition in the 10 PM hour vs. repeats last week. The second Happy Endings original at 10:30 PM did worse, 1.4/4. Like Cougar Town, Better With You (1.6/5) was up a tenth from last week when both series followed repeats. A new The Middle (2.0/6) was up 5% from April 20, while a fresh Modern Family (3.8/10) was flat.

Law & Order: SVU‘s first original in a month, which guest starred John Stamos, did a 2.5/6, up a tenth from April 6. The veteran NBC crime drama won the 10 PM hour against ABC’s Happy Endings and CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.2/6), which was also hit by facing a new SVU, down 15% from April 16. Criminal Minds (3.2/8) was down 8%, while Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was flat with its fast national number last week. (Both Survivor and Fox’s American Idol always rise in the finals, so comparing fast nationals to finals is not completely fair.)

Speaking of Idol (6.4/18, 24.8 million), the reality series was down 7% from its fast national demo result last week, once again dominating the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Read More »

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GAL POWER: ABC Studios Inks Overall Deal With ‘Cougar Town’ Co-Exec Producers

By | Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 3:35pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Cougar Town co-executive producers Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein have signed their first overall deal, a two-year pact with the series’ producer ABC Studios. Under the deal, the two will continue to work on Bill Lawrence’s comedy series starring Courteney Cox, which was given an early renewal in January. Additionally the duo will develop new projects. This season, they wrote the script Besties for ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co, which was in serious contention for a pilot pickup at ABC. ICM-repped Pietrosh and Goldstein’s previous series credits Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC’s ‘Happy Endings’ Rebounds In Week 3

Nellie Andreeva

Nice Week 3 bump for ABC’s midseason comedy series Happy Endings (2.1/5 in adults 18-49). After falling 30% in its move from 9:30 PM to 10 PM last Wednesday, the new comedy bounced back, up 17% in the demo from last week. And that despite the fact that its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.1/5), was down 9% from last week as it followed a repeat Modern Family vs. an original last Wednesday. Happy Ending also held 100% of its Cougar Town lead-in vs. 75% last week. The only other original offering on ABC was freshman Better With You (1.5/4) at 8:30 PM, which was down a tenth from last week when it aired behind a new The Middle.

Fox (5.8/16 in 18-49, 18.2 million) once again dominated the night with American Idol (6.9/19), which was up a tenth in the demo from last Wednesday’s fast national number (the reality juggernaut is always adjusted up in the finals, so vs. that it was down 3%). Idol was also on par with the comparable telecast last season. New Fox comedy Breaking In (2.6/6) was flat with its fast national rating last week and up 4% vs. the final.

CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9), even with its fast national demo result and down 3% from the final, was followed by reruns of Criminal Minds and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. NBC aired an NBC News Royal Wedding special (1.2/3) and a rerun of the promising two-hour premiere … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CW Monday Dramas Return Higher, NBC Lineup Hits Season Low

Nellie Andreeva

It was another sad Monday ratings performance for NBC, which hit another season low on the night with all original programming. Chuck (1.3/4) was even with last week, tying its series low. But it also delivered NBC’s highest demo rating last night. The Event (1.1/3) was down 13% from its last original two weeks ago for a series low. And the relaunch of Law & Order: Los Angeles continues to sputter. In its second week since the series’ return last Monday, the Law & Order spinoff drew a 1.1/3, down a steep 27% from the two-hour midseason premiere last week. Such an underwhelming performance bodes well for David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law, which did better in the slot earlier this midseason.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars performance show (3.9/11) was down 13% from last week to rank as the lowest-rated spring performance telecast ever for the venerable reality franchise. In its special airing after Dancing, a new Cougar Town (2.3/6) was down 15% from its last original Feb. 2. Proving that comedy series do better in a block, even with a weaker lead-in, that last original followed a Modern Family repeat. The first of a slew of specials about the upcoming Royal Wedding, ABC News: William & Catherine: A Modern Fairytale, averaged a 1.7/4 at 10 PM. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Pulls Even With Last Season

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s hourlong American Idol (8.9/24 in adults 18-49, 24.9 million) once again held steady, down 3% in the demo from last Wednesday’s two-hour episode and up 3% vs. that episode’s comparable 8-9 PM hour. What is probably even more important for Fox is that, while Idol started off down by double digits from its last season, it has now pulled even. Compared to last year’s third Tuesday episode, last night’s show was flat in 18-49 and up 2% in viewers. If only the 8-9 PM hour of last year’s episode is counted, last night’s 8-9 PM episode was slightly up.

Following its surprisingly strong performance on Monday, Human Target disappointed last night despite posting its best numbers in a year, 2.6/7 in 18-49. That was up from the 2.1 rating the show pulled on Monday at 8 PM but it had no lead-in there and the largest possible lead-in, Idol, last night. Then again, scripted shows don’t do well behind Idol. Still, in its first airing after Idol on Thursday, Bones averaged a so-so 46% retention. Human Target‘s was 29%.

In a rare occurrence this season, it was all good news for NBC last night. A two-hour Minute To Win It (2.4/6) was up a whopping 71% from its hourlong edition last week, while Law & Order: SVU (2.9/8) was up 26% vs. its last original 2 weeks ago. Minute grew steadily throughout the two hours and set a season high for … Read More »

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ABC Gives Early Renewal To Six Series

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has handed early pickups for next season to six scripted series: flagship comedy Modern Family and the other sophomore members of the network’s Wednesday comedy block, The Middle and Cougar Town, flagship drama Grey’s Anatomy, its spinoff Private Practice and crime dramedy Castle. Additionally, a deal for two more cycles of the network’s top reality series Dancing with the Stars is in the works.

Most of the early renewals are in the “no-brainer” category: Modern Family, The Middle and Castle are up in the ratings from last season by double digits. Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy are the highest-rated comedy and drama series on TV among adults 18-49. (Dancing is holding the honor on the unscripted side.) Season-to-date, Private Practice is down 8% in the demo, but that is less than the decline of its lead-in, Grey’s (11%), and Private Practice remains the strongest, highest-rated 10 PM series on ABC. The only mild surprise on the list of early renewals was Cougar Town, which is up only 3% in the demo vs. 36% for its lead-in, Modern Family, but it seems ABC brass opted to pick up its three Wednesday comedies en block, just as the network did at the same time last year. At its TCA presentation last January, the network announced early renewals for Modern Family, The Middle and Cougar Town, which were followed by an early pickup for Castle in March. Sources stress not to read too … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Wins, ‘Modern Family’ & ‘Cougar Town’ Hit Season Lows

Nellie Andreeva

After taking a break on Tuesday where it would’ve clashed with Glee, the scripted series that helped it get on the air, NBC’s reality series The Sing-Off returned last night for its second airing. It averaged a 2.6/7 in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall from 8-10 PM, down 7% from the Monday premiere but a season high for the network in the slot. The a cappella singing competition was up 24% from  the same Wednesday night last year and flat with its second episode, which aired on Tuesday last December. A rerun of Law & Order: Special Victim Unit (1.8/5, 6.2 million) ran at 10 PM, the series’ new permanent home as of Jan. 5.

ABC’s comedy block was down across the board: The Middle (2.5/7) was down 11% to tie its season low, Better With You (2.2/6) was down 4%, Modern Family (4.1/11) was down 15% for a season low and Cougar Town (2.6/7) was down 13%, also a season low. Modern Family still ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in the 18-49 demo. Like NBC, ABC’s lineup in the 10 PM hour was a dry run for midseason when it will feature comedies. Repeats of Modern Family (1.9/5) and Cougar Town (1.3/4) last night outperformed significantly the original Whole Truth (0.9/3) in the hour last week.

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ABC Slots ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Behind ‘Modern Family’ And ‘Happy Endings’ At 10 PM

Nellie Andreeva

This trend of comedies at 10 PM seems to be catching on quickly at the broadcast networks. Right after NBC announced that it will expand its 8-10 PM Thursday comedy block to 11 PM in midseason, ABC is doing the same with its Wednesday 8-10 PM comedy block. Beginning April 13, the network will air midseason comedy Happy Endings at 10 PM, followed by Modern Family reruns branded as “fan favorites” at 10:30 PM.

ABC will start warming up the Wednesday 10 PM slot with comedies this month by pulling canceled legal drama The Whole Truth earlier than previously planned and replacing it with Modern Family and Cougar Town repeats. Before that, from February 9 through April 6, ABC’s other midseason comedy, Mr. Sunshine, will take over the network’s plum post-Modern Family slot at 9:30 PM to give the Matthew Perry-starring comedy the best possible launching pad. One Friends alum, Courteney Cox, will make room for another, Perry, as Cougar Town, which airs in the 9:30 PM time period, will go on hiatus, returning on April 13. With the time off, Cougar Town now has 20 of its 22 episodes scheduled, with the remaining 2 expected to get a berth too, either replacing a Cougar Town rerun or in a different spot on the schedule. As previously announced, anchoring the Wednesday lineup at 10 PM from Feb. 9 through April 6 will be the new medical drama Off the Map. With … Read More »

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Nellie Andreeva

With CBS assured of its first top November sweep win among 18-49 in 5 years (tied with Fox), the network put on repeats and a Survivor clip show on the final night of the sweep. That allowed ABC to completely dominate the night in the demo with its comedy block and a Primetime special on celebrity plastic surgery. All series posted double-digit declines from last week but that is to be expected on a night when a large portion of the audience were en route to their holiday destination. Versus the same night last year, ABC was up by 35% in 18-49 and 42% in total viewers. ABC’s Modern Family (3.7/12, 10.5 million) was the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Topping their slots in 18-49 were ABC’s The Middle (2.1/7), Cougar Town (2.5/8) and Primetime: Celebrity Plastic Surgery Gone Too Far? (1.8/6). CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua recap (2.0, 8 million) took the 8:30 PM hour. In its second airing, Fox’s Human Target drew a 1.4/5 vs. 1.8/5 for its season premiere last week, in line with the week-to-week declines for the ABC comedies.  Hell’s Kitchen finished second in the demo in the 9 PM hour with a 2.1/7. For the night, ABC averaged a 2.3/7 in 18-49 and 7.4 million. Fox (1.8/6, 5.3 million) was second in the demo, while CBS (1.7/6, 8.2 million) was third and tops in total viewers. NBC (1.6/5, 5.2 million) … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Dramas Up; Fox’s ‘Human Target’ Debut Soft

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s Human Target (1.8/5) had a quiet second season premiere last night in the Wednesday 8 PM slot it was upgraded to after Lie to Me was summoned to Mondays. It is unfair to compare the premiere to the show’s series debut after a big football game last season (it was down 38% from that), but the season opener was down from what Hell’s Kitchen has been doing in the hour this fall and down a tenth from its first season finale. Hell’s Kitchen (2.6/7), now abbreviated to one hour, was flat with its two-hour edition last week.

ABC’s comedy block returned after a preemption for the American Music Awards a tiny bit lower. The Middle (2.8/9) was down a tenth, Better with You (2.3/7) was down 8%, Modern Family (4.7/13) was down a tenth and Cougar Town (3.0/8) was flat. The Kim Kardashian-hosted special People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive did a 1.5/5.

CBS’ Wednesday lineup rebounded after taking a hit against the AMAs last week when all series posted season lows. Survivor: Nicaragua (3.5/10) was up 9%, Criminal Minds (3.7/10) up 19% and The Defenders (1.9/6) up 6%. CBS locked another Wednesday win in adults 18-49 (3.0/9) and total viewers (11.9 million)

NBC’s Law & Order dramas were also up from … Read More »

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Nellie Andreeva

Why in the world did NBC put on repeats of Law & Order: SVU and especially fledging Law & Order: Los Angeles last week? After 2 consecutive 20%+ declines, LOLA rebounded big time 2 weeks ago, up 24% in the 18-49 demo to a 2.4/7 and a time slot win. SVU (2.6/7) was also up, by 13%. But instead of keeping the momentum going, NBC aired reruns of the crime dramas last week. The result: LOLA (1.9/6) was down 21% from the last original airing, tying its lowest rated-telecast from 3 weeks ago and tying ABC’s entertainment special for second place in the 10 PM hour. SVU (2.1/6) was down 19% from its fast national result 2 weeks ago (22% from the final) for a season low. At 8 PM, Undercovers (1.3/4), the only NBC Wednesday series to air an original last week, was down a tenth for an series low. (It grew a bit week-to-week in total viewers to 5.8 million)

Even without a Halloween hook this week, ABC’s sophomore comedy The Middle (2.9/9) had a ratings uptick in the fast nationals that may carry over to the finals. The family comedy was up a tenth vs. its fast national result last week (flat vs. the national) for a season high while all the other ABC comedies were flat (Better with You, 2.5/7) or down (Modern Family, 4.8/13, -6% and … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: No Yankees Means No Big World Series

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s coverage of Game 1 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants (4.7 rating in 18-49) was down 25% from last year’s Phillies/Yankees matchup, but that was to be expected with the most popular baseball team, the Yankees, out this year. The game was on par with ith the opening game of the most recent non-Yankees World Series in 2008 (4.8). Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.

Just like its family-friendly Monday lineup posted week-to-week gains against the monster Monday NFL game on ESPN, the network’s Wednesday comedy block last night logged ratings rises. The Halloween-themed quartet was led by Modern Family (5.1/13 in 18-49, up 9% from last week’s fast national; 13.1 million viewers), which hit a series high in total viewers and matched its series high in 18-49 from earlier this fall. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.8/9, up 8%; 9.4 million) logged its most-watched telecast and its second highest 18-49 delivery ever. Freshman Better with You (2.5/7) had a nice 19% post-full season-pickup bounce to match a series demo high. Read More »

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Nellie Andreeva

There are four freshman series on Wednesday that are still awaiting decision on full-season orders: ABC’s Better with You and The Whole Truth, NBC’s Undercovers and CBS’ The Defenders. None of them made a case for itself one way or another last night, with the first 3 staying flat and The Defenders giving away last week’s solid ratings gains.

Much needed good ratings news for NBC which recently handed back orders – episodic or script – to all of its freshman series still on the air. One of them, Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.4/7 in adults 18-49), was up 26% after 2 consecutive weeks of 20%+ declines. It won the 10 PM hour and improved its retention of Law & Order: SVU to 92% from 83% last week. In fact, the entire NBC Wednesday lineup was up. SVU (2.6/7) was climbed 13%. Undercovers (1.5/5), the only new NBC series to only get script order this week, was flat with the show’s fast national number last week and up 7% vs. the final. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ And ‘Defenders’ Drop

Nellie Andreeva

God is proving to be a ratings god this week. After a religion-themed Glee dominated Tuesday with a 4.6/13 demo rating, an episode of Modern Family tackling the same subject ruled the demo roost last night with a 4.5/12. It was mostly an uplifting night with all networks able to brag about something except for NBC whose entire lineup was down.

New NBC drama Undercovers continues to fade at 8 PM. It managed a 1.5/4 in 18-49 last night, down a notch from last week. On the same night last year, the now-defunct medical drama Mercy drew a 1.9 in the hour, and NBC averaged a 1.7 in the time slot last season. At 9 PM, Law & Order: SVU (2.5/7) was down 11%. Even worse, new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.4/7) was down a steep 25% from its premiere last week. On the positive side, it still won what is shaping up to be a very weak Wednesday 10 PM hour this season and held 96% onto of its SVU lead-in. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order: LA’ Solid In Debut, ‘Undercovers’ Takes Plunge

Nellie Andreeva

The new Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles did OK in its debut on what was a down night all around, with all other series except Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen posting double-digit declines from last week. Topping the list was NBC’s freshman spy drama Undercovers, which was down an alarming 24% from its soft premiere last week. (the rest of the drops were between 10-19%) Also hitting dangerously low levels is ABC’s new 10 PM legal drama The Whole Truth.

Law & Order: LA (3.1/9 in adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), won the 10 PM by a wide margin but was down 11% in the demo from what Law & Order: SVU did in the slot last week, while matching its total viewer delivery. Still, LOLA was up 19% from SVU‘s premiere in the slot in March and up 63% vs. what Jay Leno did in the hour last fall. As for SVU (2.7/7, 9.2 million), it was down 16% at 9 PM from last week despite featuring a publicized guest appearance by Jennifer Love Hewitt. The J.J. Abrams-produced Undercovers opened the night with a 1.6/5 and 7.1 million viewers, finishing distant fourth in the hour in 18-49.

The truth about new legal drama The Whole Truth is not pretty. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series posted a 1.3/4 in 18-49 … Read More »

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