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EMMYS: ‘Tonight Show’ With Hosts Jay Leno & Jimmy Fallon Both Submitted For Consideration

Nellie Andreeva

Tonight Show Emmys Jimmy Fallon Jay LenoWith NBC’s The Tonight Show making a transition from host Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon midway through the season, both versions are eligible for Primetime Emmys. The same goes for Late Night and its incarnations hosted by Fallon and Seth Meyers. I’ve learned that both The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Emmyslogo_newand The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are being submitted by NBC along with Late Night With Seth Meyers, Last Call With Carson Daly and the network’s venerable late-night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. NBC was in a similar situation during the 2009-2010 season when both The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, which aired through January, and Tonight Show With Jay Leno, which succeeded it, were submitted (O’Brien landed a nomination). Given the fact that Fallon just moved into Tonight Show and is looking to establish himself as host, it makes sense for him only to be submitted for that show. For Leno, this could be the last time he is up for a late-night Emmy. His Tonight Show has been nominated 10 times for Best Music, Comedy Or Variety Series, winning once. Fallon and Meyers’ previous shows, Late Night and SNL, also have been nominated in the top variety category. Read More »

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UPDATE: Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit Gets 14.6M Viewers, Best Result Since ‘Seinfeld’ Finale Visit In 1998

LenoUPDATE, 11:46AM: Jay Leno’s last Tonight Show has outdone the host’s first departure in 2009 to hit its highest viewership numbers since 1998. Last night’s farewell was seen by 14.637 million viewers, numbers not seen since the 14.962 million that watched when Jerry Seinfeld showed up as a guest on May 14, 1998 when his hit primetime show ended. With a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, last night’s Tonight hit its best demo result since the 4.4 of January 22, 2010 when Conan O’Brien ended his brief stint fronting the late night show. Leno drew  over 11.9 million viewers when he first signed off Tonight on May 29, 2009.

Related: Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight Show’

Last night’s show was the 4th best viewership result since Leno took over from Johnny Carson in 1992. The all-time top Tonight Show of Leno’s reign was the 22.4 million who watched on May 20, 1993 with the Cheers cast after their finale. Number #2 was Leno’s May 25, 1992 debut, which had 16.1 million viewers and number #3 was that May 14, 1998 visit by Jerry Seinfeld. Leno’s last show was up 283% from The Tonight Show’s season viewership average of 3.822 million.  Lead-out Late Night With Jimmy Fallon garnered 6.014 million viewers last night and 2.0 rating. That’s the best Late Night has ever done with the exception of the 6.087 million viewers the show got in a post-Super Bowl 2012 special. In regular weekday broadcasts last night’s Fallon is a record for the former SNL cast member and the best an NBC Late Night show has done since David Letterman’s final show on June 25, 1993.

PREVIOUS, 6;32AM In the end, Jay Leno left The Tonight Show on top — way on top. The longtime host bid farewell to late-night with his highest ratings since March 2009. Last night’s finale pulled in a whooping 9.2 household rating in the metered markets. That’s the best the show has done since March 19, 2009, when President Obama made his maiden appearance on the show as the first sitting president to do a late-night program. It also was higher than Leno’s previous The Tonight Show finale in May 2009, which drew an 8.8 rating. Leno almost tripled Tonight Show‘s delivery from last Thursday, when the show posted a 3.5 rating. The rating caps a strong last week for Leno, in which he had been building in the ratings every night, with a 3.9 on Monday, 4.2 on Tuesday and 4.3 on Wednesday.

Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Farewell Speech: Video Read More »

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Finale: Billy Crystal’s Celebrity Musical Featuring Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Jack Black (Video)

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 1:14am PST

As a parting gift, Billy Crystal and the Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers sang “So Long Farewell” to Jay Leno. Here is the video featuring Crystal, Jack Black, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Carol Burnett and Jim Parsons. (Musical number starts after the 2 min mark):

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Finale: Jay Leno & Billy Crystal’s Monologues (Video)

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 12:57am PST

The final Tonight Show With Jay Leno featured two monologues, one by Leno and by his guest and old friend, Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s first guest on The Tonight Show in May 1993, and helped close things out Thursday night. Here are clips of Leno’s final Tonight Show monologue and of Crystal’s routine, which highlighted some of Leno’s best Tonight Show jokes through the years:

Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
White House Gives Shout-Out To Jay Leno: “End Of An Era”

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Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight Show’: Obama Appoints Him Ambassador To Antarctica While Billy Crystal, Oprah Winfrey, Garth Brooks And More Serenade Host: Video

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 8:00pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198“I don’t like goodbyes – NBC does – but I don’t care for them,” an emotional Jay Leno said, kicking off a star-studded final broadcast show as host of The Tonight Show. “Tonight is our last show for real. I don’t need to be fired three times — I get the hint,” Leno joked to a friends-and-family studio audience as he ended his 22-year run Thursday night. It’s his second very-last-time-as-host — having been pushed aside in 2009 by NBC to make way for Conan O’Brien, who lasted seven months.

“I’ve got to tell you, the outpouring from people has really been touching. Anthony Weiner sent me a photo of his penis looking really sad.”

Related: Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exits Gets 14.6M Viewers, Highest In 15-Years

Oprah singingIn sharp contrast to the “last” time Leno celebrated his very last night as host of Tonight Show in 2009 — when, ever the team player, he had O’Brien as his final night’s guest — tonight’s show was packed with celebrities including President Obama. Longtime pal Garth Brooks performed his hit “The Dance.” And a cast of A-listers including Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black and Carol Burnett performed with Billy Crystal and The Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers, the Rogers & Hammerstein tune from The Sound Of Music, “So Long, Farewell” with lyrics changed to suit the occasion. (Watch a clip below.) The show ended with Leno in tears as he thanked the audience, calling the Tonight Show crew his family and wishing his successor Jimmy Fallon well. (Video at the end of the post.)

But first, Leno mulled exactly how long 22 years is.

- “Here’s how long ago it is. When I started hosting, marijuana was illegal and you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted.”

- “Twenty two years ago, guys actually had to go to newsstands for porn, can you imagine?”

- “So much has happened. You know the saddest part – OJ never found the real killers.”

Related: Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

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White House Gives Shout-Out To Jay Leno: “End Of An Era”

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST

Obama Leno FinaleWhite House press secretary Jay Carney had some nice parting words for Jay Leno ahead of tonight’s taping of the final Tonight Show With Jay Leno. It’s fitting because Carney’s boss was the first sitting president to appear in late-night. In total President Obama visited Leno’s couch six times, the last in August that marked the show’s best ratings (3.8/10) since his last appearance in October 2012. That stint garnered the best Wednesday numbers for Leno since he returned to the show — until last night’s episode during this final week.

Related: ‘Tonight Show’ Draws Largest Audience In 4 Years With Final Full Week

“[Obama] is a fan and he has enjoyed his times on the set with Jay Leno,” Carney said in response to a question during his daily press conference. “And it’s just the end of an era I think for a lot of folks who have watched him on the Tonight Show over all these years. So the President wishes him well. We all do. And like I said, we’ve enjoyed — I’ve enjoyed being with the President in the times he has been out there. And I know he has enjoyed the experience.”

Related: Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

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‘The Tonight Show’ Hits Best Wednesday Since Conan O’Brien’s First Week In 2009

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 8:02am PST

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22Jay Leno’s last week fronting The Tonight Show has seen the host hit ratings highs not experienced since his return to the NBC gig in 2010. The 63-year old comedian’s second-to-last show last night was no exception with even a bit more. Wednesday’s Tonight Show pulled in 4.3/11 in metered-market households. That’s the best Leno has done since the week on March 2, 2010 when he returned to The Tonight Show gig. In fact, it ties the best Wednesday, the NBC late night show has had since June 3, 2009, the first week of Conan O’Brien’s short-lived stint in the job. In contrast, Leno’s late night rivals the Late Show With David Letterman on CBS and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live drew a  2.4/6 and a 2.1/5 respectively ratingswise.

Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
Jay Leno Gets His Name In Lights — And A Thank-You From NBC — On Burbank High-Rise: Photo

Leno had The Voice’s Blake Shelton and a very emotional Sandra Bullock on as guests on his second-to-last show Wednesday. “When I made crazy life decisions, you never questioned it, you were just always so welcoming and every single person on your crew was that way,” the Oscar winning actress told Leno. “You were so welcoming. I just felt special, even when I was insecure,” Bullock, who is nominated … Read More »

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‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Has Best Tuesday Since 2010 Return; Jimmy Fallon Ties Best Tuesday Result Ever

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 7:23am PST

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22It was Jay Leno’s third-to-last time fronting The Tonight Show last night but ratingswise it was like he was starting all over again. In his best result of any night of the week since the first week of his return to the show back in 2010, Leno pulled in 4.2/10 in metered-market households on Tuesday. That’s just behind the 4.2/11 Leno got on March 3, 2010, which was a Wednesday, and down from the 4.6/12 his Tuesday March 2, 2010 show drew. On the flip side, last night’s result is way up from the 3.1/8, The Tonight Show got last Tuesday on January 28. Last night’s Tonight Show had Oscar-nominated Dallas Buyers Club actor Matthew McConaughey, NBA legend Charles Barkley and Lyle Lovett as guests and a lot of highlight clips. Tuesday’s high ratings come following a very strong showing on January 31 and a near four-year high on Monday. Once again, Leno’s late night rivals were far behind with CBS’ David Letterman getting a 3.0/7 and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live drawing a 1.8/5 last night.

Related: ‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Hits Best Monday Ratings Since 2010 Return

For Leno’s lead-out and successor Jimmy Fallon,  it was one of the best nights in over four years. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon had a 2.1/7 in household metered-markets last night with its Best of”Digital Originals” show.  That’s the best Fallon has … Read More »

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‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Hits Best Monday Ratings Since 2010 Return

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 7:14am PST

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22 He’s in the last week of his stint as host of The Tonight Show, but Jay Leno  isn’t going quietly. Three nights after delivering his highest overnight ratings since President Obama was a guest in October 2012, Leno matched Friday’s rating with a 3.9/10. It marked the best Monday result since the late-night host returned to The Tonight Show in 2010; Leno pulled a 5.4 when he took the show over again on Monday, March 1, 2010. Last night guests were Leno’s successor Jimmy Fallon and 92-year-old Betty White. The ratings results left Leno’s 11:30 PM rivals far behind: A Late Show With David Letterman encore on CBS got a 2.3/6, while Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC garnered a 2.2/6 in 56 metered markets. Leno has the Oscar-nominated Matthew McConaughey, NBA legend Charles Barkley and Lyle Lovett scheduled as guests tonight.

Related: Jay Leno Hazes Jimmy Fallon On ‘Tonight Show’: Video Read More »

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UPDATE: Jay Leno Hazes Jimmy Fallon On ‘Tonight Show’ (Video)

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 9:33pm PST

JayLeno__130320220248Jimmy Fallon is here tonight. He’s not here to talk — he’s helping me pack,” Jay Leno told his audience tonight on his final Monday as anchor of NBC’s Tonight Show.  “You know Jimmy starts as new host of Tonight Show on the 17th – and it would be strange if there was some accident and he was not able to … fulfill his duties as host,” Leno joked. Also guesting tonight: Betty White. “Betty White is 92 –  in TV terms, Betty has lived through through six Tonight Show hosts,” he observed.

Related: ‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Hits Best Monday Ratings Since 2010 Return

“You were lucky to get out of New York today — huge storm,” Leno began when Fallon came out and sat down. “Yeah. Had to be here. Your last week. This means a lot to me,” Fallon said, with no trace of irony. “Did you watch the game?” Leno asked, in re Sunday’s Super Bowl. “I missed a little … because I was flying,” Fallon admitted. “You’re on the cover of my bible – Men’s Health,” Leno said, producing a copy of the issue. “Something made me smile about this. … Is that a gold chain around your neck?” Leno teased, pointing to the cover photo of Fallon.  “And, it’s a little touched up.”

Related: TCA: Jimmy Fallon Announces First ‘Tonight Show’ Guests, Talks Jay Leno Transition
Read More »

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‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ & ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ Hit Highs On Leno’s Final Friday

By | Saturday February 1, 2014 @ 11:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

jay_leno_jimmy_fallon_horizontal_a_lThere will be a lot of NBC late-night lasts and highs over the next few days as Jay Leno wraps his second and likely final turn on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon prepares to succeed him. Last night was the final Friday edition of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, which bows out February 6, with both Tonight and Late Night posting big ratings. Despite lower viewership levels on Friday, Tonight Show scored a 3.9 in metered-market households, a season high and its best result in 15 months; since Wednesday, October 24, 2012 when President Obama was a guest (4.0). It was the highest Friday Tonight rating since July 27, 2012, the night of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony (4.0). Leno boosted his successor, with Late Night With Jimmy Fallon logging a 2.2 in households, the show’s highest rating for any night of the week in four years, since February 12, 2010, the night of the Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony (2.5).

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Jay Leno On Double Departures From NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’: “I Got Blindsided”

By | Sunday January 26, 2014 @ 3:58pm PST

jaylenoJay Leno says farewell – again – to the Tonight Show desk on February 6, just four years after returning to the NBC show after the network booted him in favor of Conan O’Brien. “First time, I got blindsided,” Leno told 60 Minutes in an exit interview airing Sunday. The network gave him notice in 2004 that he’d be out after another four years. “‘You’re fired four years from right now,’” he recalled being told. “I said, ‘Sure.’ I said at the time I was going to do a half hour. And I believe Conan was going to follow later. He didn’t want to do that. He quit. And so they gave me the show back.” After a disastrous run on primetime in 2009 with The Jay Leno Show, NBC gave Leno back the Tonight Show chair. Last April they announced they were ousting Leno again in favor of the younger Jimmy Fallon. “It’s not my decision,” said Leno. “And I think I probably would have stayed if we didn’t have… an extremely qualified, young guy ready to jump in. If they said, ‘Look, you’re fired. We don’t know who we’re going to get. We don’t know what we’re going to put in there. But anybody but you, we just want you out of–’ I would be hurt and offended. But this makes perfect sense to me. I understand this.”

Related: NBC Sets ‘Tonight Show’ Transition With Jimmy Fallon Taking Over In Spring 2014 Read More »

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Howard Stern Mocks Letterman For Leno Détente: Video

A least one Late Show fan isn’t happy over the fact that longtime rivals Jay Leno and David Letterman have evidently patched things up. In an appearance set for tonight’s Late Show With David Letterman, Howard Stern expressed his disappointment with the détente and the Tonight Show host’s recent revelation that he and Letterman talk on the phone. “I work for NBC television now and I’m not speaking to Jay Leno,” the radio host and America’s Got Talent judge told Letterman’s audience. “They ask me to go on his show and I say ‘No, he did Dave wrong, I don’t like it’ …I’m fighting the war, I’m still in the jungle. Check out the exchange here:

Leno On Letterman: What Beef? (VIDEO)
Howard Stern To Return To ‘America’s Got Talent’

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Craig Ferguson Tells Jay Leno What To Do On His Final ‘Tonight Show’: Video

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 6:43am PST

Everybody’s got ideas as to what they’d like to see The Tonight Shows outgoing-and-not-by-choice host Jay Leno do on his last show — more accurately, his second “last” show — in February. That includes his guest last night, CBS’ Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson:

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Leno On Letterman: What Beef? Says Two Chat & ‘He Still Makes Me Laugh’: VIDEO

By | Saturday November 2, 2013 @ 12:20pm PDT

Longtime late night rivals Jay Leno and David Letterman have made peace in the past, although it took Oprah sitting between them to pull off 2010′s surprise joint Super Bowl spot. And while Letterman has repeatedly taken potshots at Leno over the decades, he actually complimented his bitter rival on “a nice long run” this Spring after news of his impending squeeze-out from NBC. And last night on The Tonight Show Leno revealed that the two have been in contact. “We started out together – he still makes me laugh,” he told guest Andy Cohen. “I spoke to him a month ago, we talked about things in TV and what not and what was going on here.” Leno then expressed gratitude to the late Johnny Carson for giving him his break before he inherited the Tonight Show chair (over Letterman), the snub that started their beef back in 1992. Can the ice be melting as Jay heads for the exits – again? Watch it here:

Related: Letterman Slams NBC & Jokes About Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Departure

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Ted Cruz Set For Late-Night Debut On ‘The Tonight Show’ Next Month

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT

The firebrand lawmaker has been the subject of countless jokes on the late-night circuit in recent weeks, but now he’s ready to give his side of the story. Sen. Ted Cruz has booked a November 8 sit-down on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. There’s no shortage of topics for the host and guest to cover, so Cruz’s recent blocking then backpedaling on the confirmation of Ted Wheeler as FCC chairman might not come up. He also appeared on Fusion during its launch day this week. Of course, Cruz has been in the news for a few other reasons lately, so we likely can expect some discussion of, oh, the Obamacare rollout, the government shutdown, the debt ceiling, etc. Maybe the Tea Party-backed senator will even have a few zingers to throw back at Jay Leno.

Obamacare Angles For Starring Role On Primetime TV

Mark Twain Prize Ceremony Filled With Government Shutdown Gags

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‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Grows In Second Week While Jay Leno Off To Biggest Opening In 3 Years

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 10:18am PDT

Jimmy Kimmel‘s aggressive noise-making strategy appears to be paying off as he revs up to take on Lorne Michaels and Jimmy Fallon in his time slot. During the second week of the new TV season, his ABC late-night show grew over Premiere Week, by 2% in overall audience and 10% in adults 18-49. Meanwhile, NBC’s Jay Leno-hosted The Tonight Show and CBS’ David Letterman-hosted The Late Show both dipped slightly from Premiere Week performances in the demo, though Letterman grew in overall audience, according to Nielsen stats out this morning. More important to ABC, for the second week in a row, Kimmel clocked double-digit gains over the same week last year — 34% in overall audience and 42% in the demo. That said, Kimmel’s still No. 2-ranked in the demo as of last week, behind NBC’s No. 1-ranked — and exiting — Leno, who also maintained a 1.3 million lead over Kimmel (and a 716,000 lead over Letterman) among viewers of all ages. Leno, in his second last lap as host of Tonight, is off to his biggest opening two weeks of a new TV season in three years in the demo and total viewers.

Related: Kimmel Scores Record Ratings Making Up With Kanye West

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UPDATE: Early Stats Suggest Justin Timberlake And Bill Clinton Topped Paul McCartney Concert In Late-Night Race: Video

UPDATE: 11 AM: ABC did not order rush national numbers for Paul McCartney’s Jimmy Kimmel Live concert/Hollywood Blvd. shutdown. But in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, NBC’s The Tonight Show (2.9/8) and CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, with former POTUS Bill Clinton as guest (2.6/7), both out-rated JKL (2.3/6) in households.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, Leno (1.0/5) also edged Kimmel (0.7/4) in the 18-49 demo; Kimmel was virtually tied with Letterman (0.7/3). FYI, Kimmel is usually strong in the metered markets relative to final national stats, while Leno is usually flat to a little understated, and Letterman gets understated in the metered markets.

PREVIOUS, 7:18 AM: On the first night of the new TV season, the late-night war escalated between NBC’s The Tonight Show and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. While JKL closed down Hollywood Blvd. for a free Paul McCartney mini-concert (two songs for JKL –  13 more for the estimated 10,000 fans on the street), Tonight welcomed Justin Timberlake, who talked about President Obama, but did not perform because, a source said, he felt under the weather. Timberlake is scheduled to perform his own mini-concert for JKL and fans on Hollywood Blvd. tonight. Check it out below:

Paul McCartney closes Hollywood Blvd:

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight’ Staff Begins To Bail

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno staff isn’t necessarily waiting around for the show’s February finale. Bob Read and LiAnne Read, for instance, are moving over to Chelsea Lately. Bob Read is now supervising producer for Chelsea Handler’s late-night talker, producing all celebrity guests. LiAnne Read is associate producer in the talent department. They both started in 2001 — Bob Read was most recently a co-producer while LiAnne Reed was a talent coordinator

In early August, Tonight EP Debbie Vickers told staff that, per terms of Leno’s exit deal with NBC, cast and crew would be paid until his contract expires next September. The Jay Leno-hosted Tonight Show will air its last episode February 6. It was unclear how many crew and staff were at that meeting on the show’s Burbank lot. At one point it was reported Tonight had about 170 total staffers, including some contract workers. NBC declined comment on today’s news. Read More »

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