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TCA: Meredith Vieira On ‘The View’: “You Can’t Go Back”

TCA: Meredith Vieira On ‘The View’: “You Can’t Go Back”Meredith Vieira, who came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to plug her new NBCUniversal daytime talk show debuting on September 8, got asked if, were she not launching her own daytime show, would she be interested in returning to ABC’s daytime talker The View. Vieira served as that show’s original moderator from its debut on August 11, 1997, until June 9, 2006.

“No,” Vieira responded firmly. “I knew after nine years it was time to leave The View; I have a pretty good sense of timing and I always like to get out before something bad happens.” Having since appeared on The View several times during which she said she was treated “lovingly,” she came to realize “you can’t go back.” Going back, she said, would have seemed “crazy aunt going back.”

That’ll be news to Rosie O’Donnell, who in fact is going back to the show she famously left after one short, acrimonious season.  ABC confirmed Rosie’s hire in a tweet, ending a mad media chase of this The View Is Out Of New Ideas story. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell Defends Bode Miller Interview About Dead Brother That Brought Him To Tears (Video)

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 10:50am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE: 10:45 AM: NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said this morning it would have been “irresponsible” of NBC had the network not asked U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller questions about his dead brother, and U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace questions about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago, during its coverage of the two athletes’ respective medal wins. Bell insisted he’d do the same if covering any other sport, but that it’s especially important with “Olympics particularly, because people don’t know these athletes…It’s a bigger responsibility to share” this personal information, he insisted, in order “to get viewers to connect with those athletes…and their sports.”

bodemiller1Bell said he understood the reaction to particularly the Miller interview, and the public’s tendency to “take to Twitter to vent a little about it.” In the interview, conducted after Bode’s bronze medal Super-G run on Sunday and run at length during NBC’s primetime coverage last night, Olympics reporter Christin Cooper asked him multiple questions about his brother, as Bode choked up, and only ended when Bode doubled over weeping, then walked away. Bode’s brother died in April of an apparent seizure that may have been connected to a motorcycle accident.

In a phone call with press this morning, Bell maintained that, the “storyline about Bode” had been set up on the network’s Olympics broadcast the night before the interview, and he “felt it was important to finish it up.” He noted Miller himself took to Twitter to defend Cooper and that Bode had come on NBC’s Today this morning to tell viewers he did not blame her for the questions. “He said he thought it was fine and he stood by her,” Bell said, adding that should “take some of the temperature down on” the kerfuffle over that interview and the interview Meredith Vieira did with Pikus-Pace in which she asked the athlete about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago. Bell, who was on the phoner to talk about Bob Costas’ return to the air tonight — a subject that quickly got overshadowed by questions about the Miller and Pikus-Pace interviews — said  “the way it played out was fine.”

In a statement about the Bode interview issued after Bode appeared on Today show,  NBC said: “Our intent was to convey the emotion that Bode Miller was feeling after winning his bronze medal.  We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story. We’re gratified that Bode has been publicly supportive of Christin Cooper and the overall interview.”

PREVIOUS, 6:10 AM: NBC This morning asked Bodenbcsochi__131202172913 Miller, in so many words, to come to the defense of its Olympics reporter Christin Cooper, who has been under fire since she caused Olympic skier to double over and weep, with repeated questions about his brother’s death during an interview. (Watch after the jump).

Cooper has taken a lot of heat for going way too far in that interview she did with Miller after he won a bronze medal in the men’s Super-G ski race Sunday. Cooper became a Twitter trending topic – and not in a good way — almost immediately after it aired in full during NBC’s primetime coverage of the interview.  “We’re not done until you sob, Bode!” said one tweeter, pretending to be an NBC Sports exec. Read More »

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Matt Lauer Back As Sochi Olympics Primetime Anchor; Bob Costas Still “Day To Day”

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 7:10am PST

Matt Lauer is back as Bob Costas‘ fill-in tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor, after Meredith Vieira did the subbing two nights and made TV history. NBC Sports still says nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Costas is “day to day.” Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime.  Costas  is battling an infection in both eyes. Late last week, Costas told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview he hoped to be back in the studio over the weekend. That’s not going to happen, which is sure to raise questions as to whether Costas will be able to return to the anchor desk before the Games wrap. Last Friday, NBC’s Olympics EP Jim Bell brushed off press suggestions the network might be ready to  “shut down” Costas as its primetime anchor. “Getting into next week, it may become a topic of conversation, but we’re not there,” Bell said Friday.

This morning, NBC Sports was still saying “day to day” in response to questions about Costas’s condition and odds of return. In various interviews last week, Costas said he feels okay but can’t come back to work because of the specific nature of his eye infection — in some reports suggesting studio lighting, and makeup, may have exacerbated his condition.

Costas continues to deal with the effects of the infection that began in his left eye and spread to his … Read More »

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day; Down From Vancouver 2010 But Even With Torino 2006

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 1:26pm PST


UPDATE, 1:26 PM: Virginia may be for lovers but the Olympics are not when it comes to ratings. The final numbers for NBC’s primetime coverage last night of the Winter Games are in and the traditionally slow TV night of Valentine’s Day delivered the network its lowest result from Sochi so far. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, NBC’s 8PM – 11PM coverage drew an 11.0/19 national household rating and 19.2 million viewers. The previous low for NBC during this Olympic cycle so far was the first “bonus” night of the XXII Winter Games on February 6. The network got an 11.818 rating and 19.5 million viewers. The highest has been the 17.0/28 rating and audience of 31.7 million that the Opening Ceremony pulled in on February 7. While delivering the second most watched Friday primetime show on any network since the Summer Olympics in the UK two years ago, last night’s ratings were down 17% from the 13.4/23 rating that the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games garnered. The coverage out of Vancouver was virtually live, at least for Americans on the East Coast, but put side-by-side with the 11.2/19 that similar tape-delayed night of Torino 2006, Friday’s Sochi games were basically even – as has been the case often throughout these Games so far.

Related: Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games
USA-Russia Olympics Hockey Nailbiter Scores NBC Streaming Record

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Meredith Vieira To Anchor Second Night Of NBC’s Primetime Sochi Games Coverage As Bob Costas Recovers

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 8:20am PST

Meredith Vieira will host NBC’sMeredithVieira110913221045-275x275 primetime coverage of the Sochi Olympics again tonight. Last night she made history, becoming the first woman to ever anchor NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage. She’s filling in for Bob Costas, whose nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821eye condition is “improving” but is still “day to day,” NBC Sports told Deadline. Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and has since been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games, was tapped yesterday to replace Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor. She took over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy, though he too may have made TV history: first anchor on record with Twitter trending eyes.

NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell said in a phoner with the press Friday that Vieira was likely on duty for two nights as Costas continues to recover from pink eye. Bell called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and … Read More »

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UPDATE: Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games, Makes TV History

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 6:34pm PST

MeredithVieira110913221045-275x275UPDATE, 6:30 PM: “At an Olympics, there is no way to know what will happen at the moment everything matters most — no guarantee you’ll turn all that preparation into perfection,” Meredith Vieira said tonight at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi as she kicked off NBC’s primetime broadcast of Olympics competition held earlier in the day. The comment was particularly appropriate under the circumstances: Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and had been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games since, was tapped to replace Bob Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor, taking over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy.

Related: Sochi Olympics’ First Wednesday Ratings Free-Fall From 2010

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Vieira is on duty for at least one night – possibly two, according to NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell, who called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and was preceded by Curt Gowdy and Bill Henry, making Vieira the first woman to do the job. Hannah Storm, Mary Carillo, Gayle Gardner and Jane Pauley have previously hosted NBC’s daytime and late-night Olympic coverage.

“It’s so funny, I woke up this morning and I was feeling fine, and now my eyes are killing me,” Vieira joshed on Today this morning when her new assignment was announced. “I watched you guys [Lauer and Al Roker] attempt the luge. I think I’m going blind.” Read More »

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‘The Meredith Vieira Show’ Now Sold In More Than 85% Of Country

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 7:09am PST

New station groups signing on to air what’s being called the biggest new syndicated entry for MeredithVieirathe fall  include Dispatch, Belo, Nexstar, Bonten, Mission, Local, Citadel, Media General, Block, News Press Gazette and Sarkes Tarzian. They join NBC’s 10 O&O stations –  including the country’s Top 3 markets ( WNBC in New York, KNBC in Los Angeles, and WMAQ in Chicago). Also previously signed are stations of Hearst Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group and LIN Media, among others.  Produced in New York City on a set that resembles her home, the Meredith Vieira-hosted talker is a one-hour, show that will offer a blend of human interest stories, lifestyle segments, and celebrity interviews. The Meredith Vieira Show’s launch is being watched closely, as the future of the syndicated talker headlined by her Today predecessor Katie Couric is in question.

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Meredith Vieira, Jay Leno Plug NBC’s Games Coverage With Hopes Of Demonstrations, Comparisons To Nazi Germany: Video

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 6:18am PST

Meredith Vieira joined Jay Leno on his NBC late night show to plug their network’s upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics coverage. Vieira, who has an NBCU daytime talk show launching in the fall, spoke of mixed feelings about participating in Games coverage owing to Russia’s anti-gay legislation, her hopes for public demonstrations during the Games, and the “off the wall”-ed-ness of Russian chief Vladimir Putin. “I don’t know how it’s different from — this is how it started in [1936 Games-hosting] Nazi Germany: ‘Oh, the Jews, we’ll put them over there’. It makes me uncomfortable,” chimed in Leno, who’s being replaced as host of Tonight to coincide with the Games, and has nothing to lose.

Watch here:

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‘The Meredith Vieira Show’ Sold In More Than 60% Of U.S.

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 6:55am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The biggest new syndicated entry for next fall so far, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution’s The Meredith Vieira Show, has been cleared in more than 60% of the U.S. That includes the launch group of the NBC owned stations (27%), which has been joined by stations from Hearst Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group and LIN Media, among others. “Meredith has an ongoing genuine relationship with the daytime viewer and her authentic, fun and down-to-earth style creates an instant connection with the daytime audience,” said NBCU Domestic TV Distribution president Ed Swindler. Produced in New York City on a set that resembles her home, the Meredith Vieira-hosted talker is a one-hour, multi-segmented show that will offer a blend of feel-good human interest stories, lifestyle segments, and celebrity interviews. The Meredith Vieira Show is gearing up for launch as the future of several daytime syndicated talk show is uncertain, including the one hosted by Vieira’s predecessor at Today, Katie Couric, and following a fall that failed to introduce a breakout new talker.

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It’s Valerie Harper Week On Broadcast TV

In what was supposed to be a big fat plug for NBC, Meredith Vieira and Today, that network announced this morning that Valerie’s Story: A Meredith Vieira Special, will premiere Thursday. Harper will be a guest on NBC’s Today that morning. Valerie Harper Week actually begins tonight with her debut on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. NBC’s Harper special is airing at 10 PM Thursday, so as to enjoy that huge lead-in audience watching the finale of Million Second Quiz right earlier in primetime that night. Oh — nevermind. On her Today appearance that morning, we presumably will learn whatever shred of information Harper did not already divulge over at ABC when that network announced she had been declared well enough to compete on Dancing this fall.

Related: ‘Dancing’ Cast Reveal On Track To Top Weekly Morning Ratings

Harper, 74, had previously battled lung cancer and, this past March, announced she’d been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare, terminal cancer and given 3-6 months to live. When ABC named her to the new cast of Dancing, on Good Moring America, and a few days later on ABC’s The View, Harper explained doctors had told her she was “close to remission” and therefore well enough for the rigorous competition. NBC, however, stuck to its guns and insisted it had the remission news first, on Today.

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Joy Behar Bids Farewell To ‘The View’ (VIDEO)

Elisabeth Hasselbeck was notably missing as the last of Barbara Walters’ original Ladies of The View bid the show adieu today in a mostly-older-star-strewn, pre-recorded episode. Joy Behar was feted for her more than 16 seasons on the daytime gab-fest that’s undergoing major re-casting as it competes with a slew of copycats. Among those putting in appearances, in person or via recorded message on the episode: Mario Cantone, Joan Rivers, Nathan Lane, Jane Lynch, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Toni Bennett (who performed his standard, The Good Life), and Regis Philbin, who as Babs told it, took her to hear Behar’s nightclub act, which led to Behar’s hire. “For years she has been proving how right I was” for the decision…I discovered Joy Behar!” Babs said — Of course she did! Read More »

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Jeff Zucker On ‘Today’: It’s The Talent, Stupid

Don’t tinker with the Today Show lineup — fix the talent non-chemistry, the franchise’s former exec producer Jeff Zucker advised NBC today. “The key to all of those programs, and we had a tremendous amount of success for many years, is obviously the chemistry between the people who are on the show…That’s what makes or breaks these shows,” Zucker, who EP’d the show during its glory days, said while speaking at the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2013 confab about his latest undertaking – CNN. “The Today Show, obviously has had a difficult year and a half – brought a lot of it [on] itself, and those are the worst kind of mistakes,” Zucker said.

Related: Zucker Ignores Pundits, Gives CNN High Marks for Zimmerman Trial Coverage

“You have to have folks who people want to watch, day in and day out. I’d probably start by taking a look at that… It’s not about tinkering with the rundown, or which story you do first, or second. Those shows are about: are there people you want to watch?” Asked how to come up with the right on-air talent lineup, Zucker explained, “a lot of this is your own judgment, your gut.” The Matt Lauer/Katie Couric pairing was “something very special,” Zucker said; after Katie left, the pairing of Matt and Meredith Vieira was also “very fortunate,” he added.

Related:Read More »

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New Meredith Vieira Syndicated Daytime Show To Launch In 2014

Look out Katie CouricNBCUniversal announced today it’s launching a syndicated talker starring your most successful Today show replacement to date, Meredith Vieira. The Meredith Vieira Show will debut in fall 2014. Vieira recently shot the pilot for the new series; she had begun talks with NBCU for the project shortly after she announced in January she was leaving Disney’s syndicated game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire after 11 years. Vieira, following in the footsteps of her Today predecessors Jane Pauley and Couric, is expected to do a lighter show than Pauley’s short-lived talker, or Couric’s current Disney syndicated show, playing off Vieira’s 11-year Millionaire run and her years air-traffic controlling on ABC’s gaggle show The View. No pickups were announced today, but the NBC station group has not committed to a new show to succeed freshman Jeff Probst, which did not get renewed, and may keep the 2 PM slot warm with temporary programming. Read More »

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Meredith Vieira To Film NBCU Pilot For Daytime Talk Show Eying Fall 2014 Launch

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 2:31pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Meredith VieiraAnd we have the first major syndicated talk show contender for fall 2014. Former The View, Today and departing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host Meredith Vieira is set to do a pilot for a daytime syndicated talk show at NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution, which is targeted for a launch in fall 2014. Vieira entered talks with NBCU for the project shortly after she announced in January that she was leaving syndicated game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire after 11 years. In headlining a syndicated daytime talk show, Vieira will follow in the footsteps of her Today predecessors Jane Pauley and Katie Couric. But I hear that Vieira’s talk show would be lighter and more entertaining, something her 11-year Millionaire stint certainly had prepared her for. Such a show could go well with The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Steve Harvey on the NBC stations. The NBC station group has not committed to a new show for next fall to succeed freshman Jeff Probst, which is not getting renewed. It is quite possible that the stations will keep the 2 PM slot warm with temporary programming (NBCU’s Access Hollywood spinoff, Access Hollywood Live, has been rumored as a possibility), until the Meredith Vieira show arrives in fall 2014. It would create a cohesive entertaining talk show block from 2-5 PM with Vieira, Harvey, who also hosts a syndicated game show, … Read More »

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Cedric The Entertainer To Succeed Meredith Vieira As Host Of Syndicated ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’

Nellie Andreeva

Following some chatter during NATPE last week, I have learned that Cedric The Entertainer has closed a three-year deal to replace Meredith Vieira as host the syndicated version of quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I hear the multi-million pact will pay Cedric close to what Vieira was making in the final years of her 11-season stint on the Disney-ABC show, which she’s hosted from its launch in 2002. Millionaire, which tapes in advance, will continue to air Vieira-hosted originals through May and repeats through the summer, with Cedric expected to take over in September. The Millionaire gig won’t interfere with the actor-comedian’s TV Land comedy series Soul Man, which is slated to begin filming its second season in March. Cedric will shoot his first season of Millionaire in September. CAA-repped Cedric is the second member of The Original Kings Of Comedy standup troupe to be recruited to host a syndicated game show, joining Steve Harvey who has been on Family Feud since 2010.

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Meredith Vieira To Host Daytime Talk Show?

Nellie Andreeva

Meredith Vieira recently opted not to renew her contract for syndicated quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire so she could “move on and do other things.” Those other things may be a new daytime talk show. According to the NY Times, Vieira is in talks with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution about hosting a syndicated talk show for fall 2014. That would maintain Vieira’s daily presence in daytime/fringe while keeping her in the NBCU family. Vieira got the gig on the ABC-Disney syndicated Millionaire while she was on ABC’s daytime talk show The View, which Vieira co-hosted for nine years. If she headlines a daytime talk show, Vieira will follow in the footsteps of her Today predecessors Jane Pauley, whose NBCU-produced show was a bust, and Katie Couric, whose ABC-Disney freshman talker is doing OK. NBC Domestic TV Distribution is currently without a top executive as Barry Wallach just announced his departure as president.

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Meredith Vieira Leaving Syndicated ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ Series

By | Thursday January 10, 2013 @ 10:01pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Meredith Vieira is departing the syndicated version of quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Vieira has been the host of the syndicated Millionaire since its launch in 2002. This is the final year of Vieira’s current contract and, after 11 years, she’s decided to move on and do other things. Search is underway for a new host.

ABC originally offered Vieira the Millionaire gig to sweeten one of her renegotiations for the network’s The View, which Vieira co-hosted for 9 years. Even after Vieira left The View for NBC’s The Today Show in 2006, she continued to host Disney-ABC’s Millionaire, which earned her two Daytime Emmy Awards in 2005 and 2009.

Vieira has already wrapped the current season of Millionaire, which tapes in advance. The show will continue to air Vieira-hosted originals through May and repeats through the summer after which it will introduce a new host. Vieira started off as a celebrity contestant on the primetime version of Millionaire on ABC hosted by Regis Philbin before taking his chair on the syndicated series.

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Investigation Discovery Buys Docu From Meredith Vieira Prods.

By | Wednesday November 16, 2011 @ 9:24am PST

Investigation Discovery has acquired domestic TV rights to the documentary The Woman Who Wasn’t There from Meredith Vieira Productions. The film, which delves into the mind of “history’s most influential 9/11 survivor,” is set to premiere on the network sometime next year. Director Angelo Guglielmo Jr also wrote with Robin Gaby Fisher the upcoming book The Woman Who Wasn’t There: The True Story of An Incredible Deception, to be published in April 2012 by Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint. Gugliemo and Meredith Vieira Prods’ Amy Rapp produced the docu, whcih Vieira and Ross Kauffman executive produced.

Vieira and Rapp executive produced the indie Return, which premiered in Cannes in May, and are producing the national tour of the off-Broadway show Life In A Marital Institution.

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Meredith Vieira Joins Brian Williams’ NBC Primetime Newsmagazine

Meredith Vieira, who announced in May that she was retiring from her job as Today co-host and signed off in June, isn’t settled into her rocking chair just yet. NBC News said today that Vieira has been named a special correspondent on Rock Center With Brian Williams, the network’s new primetime newsmagazine hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Williams that will premiere in midseason. As part of her new deal, Vieira also will contribute to Today, NBC Nightly News and other network programming including coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. NBC News president Steve Capus made the announcement today and said Vieira starts her job immediately. The network unveiled the name Rock Center this week; the hourlong show has Rome Hartman executive producing and Harry Smith and Kate Snow already aboard as correspondents.

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