01/20/21: ViacomCBS sets launch date for Paramount+

 

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Wednesday January 20, 2021

Today’s Premieres
CW: “Riverdale” at 8p, “Nancy Drew” at 9p
HBO: “C.B. Strike”
Netflix: “Daughter From Another Mother,” “Spycraft”

Today’s Finale
PBS: “When Disaster Strikes” at 10p

IN THE NEWS

Ready to launch: ViacomCBS streaming service Paramount+ will debut in the US and Latin America on Thursday, March 4, with further international rollouts beginning March 25 in the Nordics. Paramount+ is a rebrand and expansion of CBS All Access, which debuted in 2014. The company is hosting an investor event offering an overview of its streaming strategy, including Paramount+, Pluto TV and Showtime OTT, on February 24.

“At Home With Amy Sedaris” has been canceled by truTV after three seasons. The final season of the satirical variety series launches today, January 20 on truTV’s WarnerMedia sib, HBO Max.

After a $39 billion decline in spend in 2020, Winterberry Group estimates advertisers will spend $374.2 billion in 2021, an increase of 10% following the 10.2% decline last year. For the first time, digital will surpass offline, according to the research. “As fast as the market dropped in the first half of 2020, a massive rebound in the direct and digital channels through year end averted the bleak outcome seen in June,” said Bruce Biegel, Senior Managing Partner of Winterberry Group. “For 2021 we expect digital to rise more than 17% on the back of video, CTV, paid social with strong data and data services growth expected. And growth will not be exclusive to digital as offline channels including direct mail and experiential will rise, ultimately bringing aggregate spend almost all the way back to 2019 levels.”

“You Bet Your Life,” hosted by Jay Leno and set to debut in fall 2021, is sold in 85% of the country. Launching on the FOX Television Stations, the revival is also sold on stations from other station groups, including Sinclair, Nexstar, Scripps, Meredith, Gray, McKinnon, Standard Media, Block, Sun Broadcasting and more. “One of my favorite things to do is to talk to regular people and draw humor out of them,” said Leno. “This is a comedy show wrapped in a game that allows me to do just that.”

Fans of Netflix’ “Bridgerton” have reason to be optimistic. In a letter to shareholders, the streamer said, “This title has proven immensely popular and we’ll have some exciting news about ‘Bridgerton’ later this week.” The Shondaland drama, launched December 25, ranks as Netflix’s fifth biggest original series launch.

While American consumer time spent with media rose 2.9% during 2020, to 73 hours weekly, the share of time spent with ad-supported media fell to 44.8%, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage Forecast. “The prime beneficiaries of this paradoxical growth surge in media usage were consumer-supported media, particularly digital video, audio, games, social media and chat services,” said PQ CEO Patrick Quinn. “There’s no doubt that streaming media as a group were the hands-down winners in an otherwise loser of a year for many media stakeholders.”

ViacomCBS, AT&T and Comcast have joined the companies who are halting political contributions to lawmakers who objected to the certification of the electoral vote for Joe Biden, ahead of the storming of the Capitol. In a statement consistent with other participating companies, ViacomCBS said it supports peaceful civic engagement and the orderly transition of power, and therefore condemns the recent attack on the US Capitol, and has “paused contributions from our political action committee to members of Congress who voted against certification of the 2020 US Electoral College results.”

Take that, TikTok: The CW App jumped to the #1 position in Apple’s top US free apps yesterday, as the net launches its new season. The rollout started with “Batwoman” and “All American,” continues today, January 20 with “Riverdale” and “Nancy Drew.” “Walker” and “Legacies” launch tomorrow, January 21. This is the third year in a row that The CW app climbed to #1 during its premiere week.

President Donald Trump could be kicked out of SAG-AFTRA, reports Deadline, after a Tuesday special session of the union’s national board of directors was held, focused on the “Apprentice” star’s role in the violence at the Capitol. The board overwhelmingly found “probable cause” that Trump violated its Constitution – members can be suspended or expelled for “engaging in actions antagonistic to the interests or integrity of the union.” Next step is a hearing by SAG-AFTRA’s disciplinary committee.

Social network Parler, which disappeared after Amazon Web Services terminated its hosting agreements, is back, albeit in stripped down form. The right-wing site was one of the platforms where Capitol rioters communicated before January 6. “Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds,” Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze posted on the site. “Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit.” Reuters reported the IP address used by Parler is owned by DDos-Guard, a company controlled by two Russian men that has been linked to right-wing, racist conspiracy sites.

Discovery is partnering with UNICEF USA to help get 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to frontline health care workers and vulnerable populations in 92 low-and middle-income countries. As part of its RISE (Reducing Inequality and Supporting Empowerment) Initiative, Discovery will donate $1 for every new discovery+ subscription purchased by a consumer to help fund UNICEF USA’s COVID-19 work. “Discovery has a long history of engaging our audiences to join us in giving back, which is one of the company’s core values,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Inc. “This innovative, new partnership gives discovery+ subscribers the opportunity to help UNICEF USA achieve its goal of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to underserved populations across nearly 100 countries.”

The new episode of NBC’s “This Is Us” that was slated for last night was postponed due to COVID-related production delays, tweeted series creator Dan Fogelman yesterday. “But the next few are big ones, and we are close, so we hope you’ll hang in there with us,” he added.

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PRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Holidate”) will direct the pilot for Disney+ series “Turner & Hooch, a reboot of the 1989 film, as well as executive produce. The series from Matt Nix and 20th Television has a 12-episode order.

Channel 5 and Acorn TV have commissioned thriller “The Reluctant Madame Blanc” (wt), following a widowed antiques dealer thrust into a mystery. Acorn Media will distribute the series, co-produced by Clapperboard (“Cold Call”) and Saffron Cherry Productions. The six-parter will have its world premiere exclusively on Acorn TV in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, and will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK, followed by a second window on Acorn TV UK.

NEWS IN THE NEWS

ABC News is the latest to rejigger its Washington assignments as a new administration takes over. Cecilia Vega has been promoted to chief White House correspondent, and Jonathan Karl transitions to chief Washington correspondent and co-anchor of “This Week,” with plans for an interview show on ABC News Live. Mary Bruce will become senior White House correspondent; Rachel Scott shifts to Capitol Hill as congressional correspondent, and MaryAlice Parks will become weekend White House correspondent.

Democratic political strategists Doug Schoen has joined conservative Newsmax TV as an analyst. Schoen will offer analysis on the new Biden administration and the national political landscape. “Doug is a Democrat who plays it fair and square and calls it as he sees it,” said Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy.

With the election over, Fox News Digital is streamlining a staff that had been bolstered for the 2020 cycle. “Fox News Digital has realigned its business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era,” the network said. “We are confident these changes will ensure the platform continues to deliver breakthrough reporting and insightful analysis surrounding major issues, both stateside and abroad.” The move follows trimming at a number of news divisions over the past year.

Spectrum Networks is covering the Inauguration of Joe Biden across its 30-plus news networks. In addition to experts on the ground in D.C. are reporters in regional markets across the country to cover the issues on a state and local level.

AccuWeather TV Network and AccuWeather.com are planning Inauguration Day weather coverage today at 7:40a and 6:40p, including forecasts and discussion of current and past inaugural weather-related events.

SERIES RENEWALS

Peacock renewed its “Saved by the Bell” reboot for a 10-episode season two. “Hopefully we stay on Peacock for many many more seasons, then in 30 years, somebody does a reboot of our reboot and invents the threeboot,” said writer and executive producer Tracey Wigfield.

“Tyler Perry’s Sistas” was greenlit for a third season on BET. The series was the #1 new cable series for African Americans P18-49 in 2020.

Also coming back for season three is TNT’s “Snowpiercer.” Season one of the sci-fi thriller debuted as the #1 new cable entertainment program, with 3.3 milion total viewers across TNT and TBS. Season two premieres Monday, January 25 at 9p.

Estrella TV’s “Tu-Night con Omar Chaparro” landed a sophomore run. The talk show returns for season two Monday, January 25 at 9p.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

“The Muppet Show” begins streaming Friday, February 19 on Disney+. In addition to the first three seasons are seasons 4 and 5, which have never previously been released on home entertainment. The show, which premiered in 1976, includes guest appearances from Steve Martin, Elton John, Liza Minella, Alice Cooper, Julie Andrews and more.

Sports docu-series “Bucket List,” following Brian Bosworth as he tours eight of the best destinations in college football, kicks off Monday, February 1 on Crackle. “Many never get to experience the greatness of the college football landscape,” said Bosworth. “There’s something to be said for the beauty of these stadiums and impressive programs, and ‘Bucket List’ is an inside look at some of the best.”

Starz picked up British/New Zealand drama “The Luminaries,” based on Eleanor Catton’s book. The six-parter, starring Eve Hewson (“The Knick”) and Himesh Patel (“EastEnders”) as star-crossed lovers, will premiere Sunday, February 14 at 9:30p.

“Bridge and Tunnel,” written, directed and produced by Edward Burns (“Saving Private Ryan”), premieres Sunday, January 24 at 9p on Epix. The dramedy series set in the 1980s revolves around a group of recent college graduates setting out to pursue their dreams in Manhattan, while still tied to their Long Island home town.

French-Hebrew language psychological thriller “Possessions” debuts on HBO Max on Thursday, January 28. The Max Original International series tells the story of a young French expatriate in Israel charged with the murder of her husband on her wedding night.

COMING UP

MeTV Network is offering a marathon of love-themed episodes of classic TV shows on Valentine’s Day, February 14, from 10-8p. The stunt starts with “The Flintstones,” and ends with “M.A.S.H.”

Then again, who needs romance? Oxygen’s “Date with Death” Valentine’s Day weekend stunt will feature the two-night premiere of special “Lovers’ Lane Murders” (February 11 and 12) with former criminal prosecutor Loni Coombs, as well as new episodes of “An Unexpected Killer” (February 12), “Killer Motive” (February 13), “One Deadly Mistake” (February 13), “Snapped: Behind Bars” (February 14), and “Exhumed” (February 14).

Bleacher Report and DraftKings are offering football fans a first glimpse at DraftKings’ Super Bowl prop bets in a new reveal show streamed live on the Bleacher Report app. “B/R Drop Zone: DraftKings Big Game Prop Reveal” features experts and celebrity guests, interactive segments, fan giveaways and a reveal of the most talked-about bets for the Big Game on Monday, January 25 at 6p.

Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan will perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl on February 7, and H.E.R. will sing “America the Beautiful.” Kickoff on CBS is 6p.

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Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights to “12 Mighty Orphans,” telling the true story of an underdog football team at an orphanage that went on to play for the Texas state championships. Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw, Wayne Knight, Jake Austin Walker, Treat Williams, Ron White, Scott Haze, and Robert Duvall star.

MTV Documentary Films’ “A Life Too Short,” examining the 2016 honor killing of Pakistani activist Qandeel Baloch, and Tribeca Film Festival winner “My Father The Move,” premiere Friday, January 22 at 7p on Pluto TV.

STREAMING

Netflix added 8.5 million subscribers in 4Q20 (versus a projected 6 million) for a global total of 203.7 million. Revenue was $6 billion, just above estimates; quarterly earnings per share were $1.19, down from an estimated $1.36. The streamer said it anticipates 2021 being break-even, and cash-flow positive beyond that, and might explore returning cash to shareholders through ongoing stock buybacks.

Tremor International announced 127% revenue growth in the Connected TV space in 4Q20 compared to 4Q19. Along with video, which represents more than 80% of Tremor International’s 2020 revenues, CTV is now a significant growth engine for the company, with more than 300 clients executing CTV campaigns through Tremor Video’s demand-side platform in 2020, a 71% increase YOY. “The growth we’ve experienced in the CTV space underscores the significant commitment we’ve made as a company—and on behalf of our clients—to expanding our end-to-end technology stack and data-driven products,” said Ofer Druker, CEO, Tremor International.

Nearly half of Tubi’s audience (48%) doesn’t subscribe to cable, a number that rises to 57% for A18-34, according to the Fox-owned streamer’s audience report, The Stream. Other findings include:
· On average, Tubi users are 20+ years younger than linear audiences.
· 80% of Tubi’s streamers can’t be reached across the top 25 cable networks, and 68% can’t be reached on other AVODs.
· 85% of Tubi streamers live in households of two or more people.
“Our findings highlight Tubi’s young, diverse and nationally representative streaming audience, including viewers in harder-to-reach markets,” said Natalie Bastian, VP, Marketing at Tubi. “This year, streaming should be an always-on touchpoint for advertisers looking to reach incremental audiences outside of their existing linear TV strategy.”

Cinedigm is expanding its presence in the streaming sector with the acquisition Fandor, the indie film streaming service. “As a key element of our recently announced streaming rollup strategy, Fandor will immediately benefit from our streaming distribution muscle, huge library of independent films, Matchpoint technology, cost savings and infrastructure and synergies with our wide portfolio of enthusiast streaming channels,” said Erick Opeka, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Cinedigm Networks.

FilmRise, a film and television studio and streaming network, and talent management company Night Media have entered into an agreement to bring a dozen digital native creators across digital streaming platforms and broadcast television. FilmRise will package and produce broadcast and streaming content from Night Media creator videos. “The opportunity to leverage FilmRise’s vast global streaming network and Night Media’s most popular YouTube creator brands to streaming audiences is very exciting to us and we believe there will be huge cross-over success,” said Max Einhorn, SVP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions of FilmRise.

Redbox is teaming with Screenvision Media to enhance its ability to provide national, regional, and local advertising to customers. The companies will combine efforts under Redbox’s Redbox Connect advertising sales arm. “Audiences are hungry for entertainment and spending increased time with Redbox browsing and enjoying content across our newly expanded services,” said Terrence Coles, Sr. Director Redbox Media Networks. “Partnering with Screenvision Media enables us to expand national campaigns, as well as deploy regional and hyper-local opportunities for our advertising partners to engage with Redbox customers.”

Future Today, a streaming solution that packages branded channels, announced an expansion of its partnership with Moonbug Entertainment that includes the launch of five new omni-platform streaming channels dedicated to Moonbug’s children’s series. The new channels from Moonbug and Future Today offer more than 750 episodes of Moonbug’s original programming and over 100 hours of content.

Pluto TV is launching two new channels. BBC Food focuses on British chefs including Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, and Rachel Allen, while BBC Home brings viewers a look at British home remodeling and garden renovation.

TECH TALK

Canoe Ventures, provider of dynamic ad insertion on video platforms, reported impressions dipped 5% in 2020, to 26 billion – its first decline. While the average number of video-on-demand DAI advertising sessions grew in March and April, thanks to pandemic-related home viewing, viewership declined with TV production delays -from September to December, impressions slid to around 8 million per month. Canoe, owned by Comcast, Charter Communications’ Spectrum and Cox Communications, said
93% of its ad inventory was sold through direct sales teams, with 7% sold through private marketplaces.

Firstlight Media has partnered with Google Cloud to support rapid deployment and expansion of OTT video streaming services. By combining Firstlight Media’s background in solving complex issues for Tier 1 operators with the scale, reach and tools of Google Cloud, Firstlight Media now enables video providers to capitalize more quickly on new market opportunities in delivering AI/ML-powered personalization and monetization. “For the industry, our partnership with Google Cloud exponentially expands options for new services that can rapidly address viewer demand,” said Andre Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Firstlight Media. “Our customers can leverage three formidable resources—Firstlight Media’s cloud native platform, Google Cloud’s platform, and the technology of other Google Cloud partners—all to create opportunities that maximize the long-term value of each subscriber.”

GOING GLOBAL

Hat Trick International signed a first look deal with Pat Younge and Narinder Minhas’ recently launched production company, Cardiff Productions, to represent its forthcoming factual and scripted series on the global market. Based in Wales, Cardiff Productions is a new factual, scripted and digital company launched in May 2020 after the founders exited Sugar Films.

Saloon Media announced the start of production in Toronto on season two of “Hotel Paranormal,” narrated by SNL alum Dan Aykroyd. The 10-part docu-series provides dramatic recreations and paranormal expert insights, and is available for licensing in the US and globally by Blue Ant International.

Imira Entertainment, the kids and family entertainment distribution and production company based in Spain, has inked a deal with the edutainment platform Da Vinci Kids for the distribution of their new edutainment title “Darwin & Newts.”

RMVISTAR has reached an exclusive format licensing deal with One Life Studios for the remake of the Argentinian hit television drama series “La Chica Que Limpia,” for all Indian languages in India’s content marketplace.

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RATINGS

 

Netflix’s “Lupin” is on track to beat the numbers for the streamer’s “Bridgerton” (projected to hit 63 million households in its first 28 days) and “The Queen’s Gambit” (62 million). Estimates have “Lupin,” the first French series to make it on Netflix’s top 10 list, reaching 70 million households in its first month. The streamer’s holiday films delivered, too, with “Holidate” drawing 68 million households in its first 28 days, and “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” attracting 61 million.

The season three premiere of CW’s “All American” on Monday scored a series high 1.06 million viewers and 0.4 among A18-49.

Monday night’s season premieres of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star generated a 1.2/7 rating and 7.0 million P2+ and 0.9/5 and 5.9 P2+, respectively, the top two scripted programs for the night and Fox’s most-watched Monday in nearly five years.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Friday, January 15
Show, P2+ millions, (A18-49)
ABC: “Shark Tank” 4.39 (0.73), “20/20” 4.17 (0.65)
CBS: “MacGyver” 4.99 (0.55), “Magnum P.I.” 5.52 (0.51), “Blue Bloods” 4.61 (0.39)
CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway” 0.85 (0.18), “Whose Line Is It Anyway” 0.72 (0.16), “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” 0.76 (0.16)
FOX: “WWE Friday Night Smackdown” 2.26 (0.67)
NBC: “US Figure Skating Championship” 2.15 (0.29)
Telemundo: “Domo del Dinero” 0.84 (0.2), “Todo Por Mi Hija” 1.71 (0.5), “Falsa Identidad” 0.97 (0.3)
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor” 1.59 (0.4), “Imperio de Mentiras” 1.38 (0.4), “Dulce Ambicion” 1.21 (0.3)
Univ Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

The E.W. Scripps Company appointed Michael Teicher as Chief Revenue Officer for its national television networks business. Teicher has more than 30 years of television sales experience and joins Scripps from 20th Television, where he served as EVP, Media Sales.

ViacomCBS has promoted Jodi Carmichael to SVP, Business & Legal Affairs, MTV Entertainment Group. Carmichael will oversee the legal work for all movies and limited series for the division.

Dina Vangelisti has been named EVP, Content Sales at BBC Studios. Vangelisti previously led the Domestic Television division at Paramount Pictures Worldwide.

Centro has appointed Clayton Kossl as CFO. Kossl was most recently CFO of technology business Paintzen.

Debra L. Lee, former Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, and Rabia de Lande Long, executive coach and management consultant, have joined forces for a new consulting firm, The Monarchs Collective, to partner with organizations and executives to make it easier to discover, develop, and promote exceptional Black and women executives for boards and leadership roles.

Luis Duran will join WarnerMedia in February as General Manager for HBO Max Latin America. Duran most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer for the digital unit of MBC Group.

WGN America tapped Jonathan Killian to serve as VP, Creative Marketing and Brand Communications. Killian joins from CNN International, where he was Executive Director of Creative and Brand Development.

Mioshi Hill has been named President of ITV America’s Sirens Media. Hill was formerly VP of Non-fiction Programming at Lifetime.

IN MEMORIAM

Television executive Richard Lindheim died January 18 of heart failure. He was 81. Lindheim created the drama series “The Equalizer,” wrote and produced “B.J. and the Bear,” and helped shepherd shows including “Star Trek Voyager,” “Frasier,” and “Miami Vice,” among others, during his 40+ years in the entertainment industry.

Comedy writer, producer and showrunner David Richardson died January 18 of heart failure, at age 65. Richardson worked on shows including “The Simpsons,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The John Larroquette Show,” and recently worked on the final season of “F Is for Family.”

Jennifer Bulvanoski, a “cherished teammate and a dearly beloved friend” of her colleagues at A+E Networks, where she was VP of Distribution, Distribution and Digital Content Licensing, passed away on January 11 after a year-long illness.

This Day in History
1998 – “Dawson’s Creek” premiered on The WB.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
For which series has Jane Lynch won Primetime Emmy Awards? “Glee,” “Hollywood Game Night,” “Dropping the Soap,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Kudos to: David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank,

Today’s Trivia Question
On which sitcom did Zendaya guest as a movie star? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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Looking for a Data Engineer who will be directly responsible for developing efficient data ingestion processes and automated management; develop and operationalize of machine learning models; and building robust data platforms to enable scaling of our products. 4+ years’ experience processing large amounts of structured and unstructured data in a cluster-computing environment required or similar experience in academia. Full Info HERE (1/25)

CONTRACTS ADMINISTRATOR >>
THE JIM HENSON COMPANY/LA: Collect and track pertinent data and information from production, talent, and license contracts, assist with negotiating terms and conditions of contracts and draft initial contracts and revise as needed. Minimum of two years’ experience in a law firm, network, or studio. Experience with guild agreements and/or Paralegal training and certification a plus. Full info HERE (1/25)

EVP, GENERAL COUNSEL
>>
CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/STUDIO CITY, CA
Provide strategic legal counsel to Crown Media executives, on matters of the highest profile, impact, complexity or sensitivity and leads the attorney and legal specialist team members. Substantive experience handling and advising on entertainment network legal issues within a broadcast/cable/digital in-house environment is sought. HERE (1/24)

SR. MANAGER, COMMERCIAL CLEARANCE
>>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Ensure Ads are compliant with A+E’s policies and federal guidelines during content and advertising review. Liaise with internal Ad Sales executives and external Ad Agencies. 5+ years experience, preferably at a network working in Ad Standards & Practices/Commercial Clearance. Strong familiarity with rules including FDA, FTC and FCC regulations, indecency and trade libel. Full info HERE (1/24)

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR >>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Creative point in print, promotion, and marketing from concept to development across A&E, History & Lifetime projects. Must be well versed in managing design principles for both print and digital deliverables. Demonstrated hands-on ability to create key art and design projects from conception to completion. Expert in Adobe Creative Suite software and industry standard programs and software. 5 years experience working for network, film or other entertainment outlets. Full info HERE (1/24)

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20 ?
ABC: “The Inauguration,” “Celebrating America,” “The Conners,” “Call Your Mother”
CBS: “One Nation: Indivisible,” “Celebrating America,” “Magnum P.I.”
CW: “Riverdale” [p],“Nancy Drew” [p]
FOX: “The Masked Dancer,” “Name That Tune”
NBC: “Chicago Med,””Chicago Fire,””Chicago P.D.”
PBS: “Celebrating America,” “When Disaster Strikes” [f]
Telemundo: “Noticias Telemundo,” “Falsa Identidad”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Imperio de Mentiras,” “Dulce Ambicion”

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