02/10/21: Dylan Baker and Harry Hamlin cast in Nat Geo’s “The Hot Zone: Anthrax”

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Wednesday February 10, 2021

Today’s Premieres
CBS: “Tough as Nails” at 8p
Netflix: “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel”

Today’s Finale
HBO: “C.B. Strike” at 10p

IN THE NEWS

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch assured analysts Fox News will “return to our ratings dominance” once the news environment normalizes post-election. Although the net has experienced a double digit dip in ratings in recent weeks, during Fox’s quarterly earnings call, Murdoch said that there is no plan to change course. “In the journalism business…you work out what your market is and you produce your best product you can possibly produce for that target market,” he said. “The success of Fox News throughout its entire history has been to provide the absolute best news and opinion for a market we believe is firmly center-right. And we don’t pivot or change that.” With strong election advertising in the quarter, Fox Corp. exceeded analysts’ expectations.

In a further indication of its faith in its news strategy, Fox Corp. signed Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, to a new multi-year contract. “Suzanne’s track record of success, innovative sprit and dedication to excellence make her the ideal person to continue to lead and grow Fox News,” said Murdoch.

As for the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from voting tech company Smartmatic, Fox News filed a motion for dismissal, arguing that the First Amendment allows the news media to host a forum for interviewing Trump’s lawyers, even if those guests offer outrageous allegations. “Interviewing lawyers advocating for the President is fully protected First Amendment activity, whether those lawyers can eventually substantiate their claims or not,” reads the motion. “If those surrogates fabricated evidence or told lies with actual malice, then a defamation action may lie against them, but not against the media that covered their allegations and allowed them to try to substantiate them.”

Not surprisingly, the most-watched part of the Super Bowl was the halftime show, according to second by second analysis of tune in behavior conducted by Alphonso. That benefited beverage brands Cointreau and Modelo, both of which captured 95% of the total Super Bowl audience for their spots just before the half. Cointreau’s ad scored the highest tune-in; other brands whose timing maximized tune-in with at least 75% of the overall game audience include Anheuser-Busch, Cadillac, Huggies, Oatly, Uber Eats, and YouTube.

NBC set Thursday, March 25 at 8p as the sixth and final season finale for “Superstore.” The comedy reached over 37 million viewers last season; NBC announced in December the show was ending its run.

Comcast announced a $5 million grant program as an extension of Comcast RISE. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will grant 500 BIPOC-owned, small businesses in five cities $10,000 each. The application window is March 1-14, and grants will be awarded in May; businesses are able to continue to apply for the marketing and technology services on an ongoing basis.

Top social platforms’ adherence to media responsibility has improved significantly, according to IPG Mediabrands’ latest Media Responsibility Index. Across nearly all 10 Media Responsibility Principles, platforms delivered an average lift of 11%, with the largest increases in the agency network’s Promote Respect and Accountability principles, as well as many platforms improving their efforts to reduce Hate Speech and Misinformation/Disinformation. “We created the Media Responsibility Index with the belief that social platforms would welcome our Index as a helpful tool, rather than being perceived as another ranking. This current Index shows that the platforms heard our call to action and moved swiftly to work together to be better and contribute to a more positive future for advertising and our world,” said Elijah Harris, Global Head of Social, Mediabrands’ agency Reprise.

Forty percent of TV content viewers 18+ report owning an antenna, up from 29% year over year, according to Horowitz Research’s State of OTA 2020 report. With an estimated 121 million TV households for the 2020-2021 TV season, this translates to approximately 48.4 million households with an antenna. Large increases in antenna penetration were found among Black households (YOY 27% to 39%), among White, non-Hispanic households (25% to 43%), and among 18-34 year-olds (20% to 42%), a 110% increase year over year.

It’s time for action and fairness in business, but how can you ensure your company is working towards change and evolving into a more equal economy? Join our FREE webinar on February 23 at 1 PM to hear a panel of CEOs discuss strategies and guidance on how to collectively ensure accountability in the industry. Save your seat now!

Cinema advertising network National CineMedia and restaurant technology platform for guest engagement Ziosk struck a deal for a new Digital Out-of-Home relationship. The new NCM/DOOH group, which was created to unite brands with audiences beyond theaters in a variety of complementary venues, will sell Ziosk media inventory alongside NCM’s Noovie entertainment content and trivia programming on Ziosk’s national restaurant entertainment and media network.

Comcast is moving Cartoon Network from its expanded basic “Digital Starter” lineup to its “Digital Preferred” or other “Preferred” packages starting April 13. Nickelodeon and Disney will remain in expanded basic. “With programming costs continuing to rise, moving Cartoon Network allows us to avoid passing these rising costs to customers, while still offering the channel for customers who value it,” Comcast is alerting customers via their monthly bills.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

The CW gave a straight-to-series order for “The 4400,” a reboot of the sci-fi series that ran on USA from 2004-07. Ariana Jackson will write and executive produce alongside Anna Fricke and Laura Terry. The net also picked pilots for Ava DuVernay’s “Naomi,” and a “Powerpuff Girls” live-action series, based on the Cartoon Network animated series, from Berlanti Productions.

Spectrum Originals and BET announced the pickup of “Long Slow Exhale,” set in the world of women’s basketball. Produced by Paramount Television Studios, the 12-episode series comes from executive producer, showrunner and creator Pam Veasey (“L.A.’s Finest”), director and executive producer, Anton Cropper (“L.A.’s Finest”) and John Dove (“L.A.’s Finest”). Bruna Papandrea (“Big Little Lies”) and Casey Haver (“Tell Me Your Secrets”) will executive produce for Made Up Stories and series star Rose Rollins (“The L Word”). After a nine-month exclusive run for Spectrum, the series will have a second window on BET.

HBO Max has picked up “Search Party” for a fifth season, and signed showrunners Charles Rogers and Sarah-Violet Bliss to a two-year overall deal to develop new programming for the streamer. “Charles and Sarah-Violet are the masters of genre-blending and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!” said Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max. “It’s been a joy working with them – they are whip smart, wildly funny and have such a distinctive worldview.”

National Geographic Documentary Films is partnering with filmmaker Dawn Porter (“Good Trouble: John Lewis”) and Trailblazer Studios on feature documentary “Red Summer” (wt), shedding new light on a century-old period of intense racial conflict, the two-day Tulsa Massacre in 1921 that led to the murder of as many as 300 Black people. The film will premiere in June on National Geographic, commemorating Juneteenth.

Nat Geo also has two feature documentaries, a ten-part series order, and a one-hour pilot in the works from E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (“Free Solo”) and their Little Monster Films. The docs include “Thai Cave Rescue” (wt), previously to have been directed by Kevin Macdonald, and “Tompkins,” telling the story of conservationist Kristine Tompkins. Series “Into the Unknown” follows elite adventure athletes, and pilot “Photographer” follows conservation photographers on an expedition to the Bahamas.

Nat Geo WILD ordered “America’s Funniest Home Videos: Animal Edition.” Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) hosts the show, premiering Sunday, June 20 at 8p. “A spinoff of the ABC hit, ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos: Animal Edition’ presents knee-slapping, tear-jerking animal humor to Nat Geo WILD!” said the net.

Peacock ordered a limited series based on the Universal film franchise, “The Best Man.” Ten-part dramedy “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” comes from the film’s writer and director, Malcolm D. Lee, and Dayna Lynne North (“Insecure”). Reprising their movie roles will be Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau. “We’re excited to reunite this beloved cast for a limited series run of ‘The Best Man’ for Peacock,” said Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “With a powerhouse duo like Malcolm and Dayna at the helm, fans will fall in love with our favorite group of friends all over again.”

FanVestor, owner of crowdfunding fan investment and commerce platform fanvestor.com, has opened FanVestor Studio in Woodland Hills, CA with plans to develop a slate of programming featuring video. The company recently completed the build out of a video podcast studio.

AGC Television is producing “Leopard Skin,” a crime thriller written and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez (“Jett”), who also serves as showrunner. Lantica Studios is providing production services; Carla Gugino (“Watchmen”) heads the ensemble cast.

Casting notes: Guy Pearce is reuniting with his “Mildred Pierce” co-star, Kate Winslet, for HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown.”…J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) will take on the the role of “I Love Lucy” co-star William Frawley in Amazon’s Aaron Sorkin film, “Being the Ricardos.”…Harry Hamlin (“Mad Men”) will play Tom Brokaw and Dylan Baker (“The Good Wife”) will play the FBI’s Ed Copak in National Geographic’s “The Hot Zone: Anthrax.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

Season five of Fox’s “The Masked Singer” debuts Wednesday, March 10 at 8p. The game show will be followed at 9p by the series premiere of variety show “Game of Talents,” hosted by Wayne Brady and described as, “taking the awe, wonder and spectacle of a large-scale variety show and infusing it with a clue-centered, high-intensity investigative game.”

During National Geographic’s TCA session on Tuesday, the network and Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) shared the new premiere date for anthology series “Genuis: Aretha.” From 20th Television and Imagine Television, this season will launch in the US with double-stacked episodes across four consecutive nights, beginning Sunday, March 21 at 9p. The premiere episodes will be available the next day on Hulu, culminating in a celebration of Aretha Franklin’s birthday, with all eight episodes available to stream by Thursday, March 25. The series was originally slated for a May 2020 debut, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Also on the spring slate for Nat Geo: “Race to the Center of the Earth” premieres Monday, March 29 at 10p; Gal Gadot’s “Impact” debuts Monday, April 19; and Gordon Ramsay’s “Uncharted” returns for season three on Monday, May 31 at 9p, followed by “Breaking Bobby Bones” at 10p.

Season two of HLN Original “Series Lies, Crimes & Video” premieres Sunday, February 21 at 9p with weekly, back-to-back, hour-long episodes. The premiere episodes cover the twisted murder at a Lululemon in suburban DC, and the mass shooting in 2017 on the Las Vegas strip.

It’s you against the clock. Your application for the 9th annual Sports Media Awards expires tonight at 11:59 PM ET tonight. This is your last chance to get on the industry’s most prestigious and referenced list for elite players. Enter now.

New episodes of “Good Eats” launch Thursday, February 18, but not on Food Network. The show, hosted by Alton Brown, is instead headed to sister streamer discovery+.

COMING UP

Grammy-nominated group BTS will offer a fresh take on MTV’s “MTV Unplugged” franchise with a performance on Tuesday, February 23 at 9p.

The 6th Annual “Latin American Music Awards” – placed on hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic – will be broadcast live on Telemundo Thursday, April 15 from Florida, starting with the red carpet pre-show at 7p. The event will pay tribute to influential Latin artists as voted by music fans, in the tradition of the “American Music Awards.”

“First Date: The Musical,” starring Samantha Barks (“Les Misérables”) and Simon Lipkin (“Avenue Q”) will arrive BroadwayHD on February 12. The production, directed by Dean Johnson and produced by Lambert Jackson productions, was live streamed for a limited time in October 2020.

Lifetime biopic “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” will premiere Saturday, April 3 at 8p. Joaquina Kalukango (“Slave Play”), Jason Dirden (“Fences”), Olivia Washington (“The Butler”) and Rob Demery (“Lovecraft Country”) have joined the film, starring Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black”) as the gospel legend.

Also on the way from Lifetime: “Lust: A Deadly Sins Saga” (wt) and “Envy: A Deadly Sins Saga” (wt), based on two books from the Seven Deadly Sins anthology by Victoria Christopher Murray. “Lust” premieres Saturday, April 17 at 8p and stars Keri Hilson (“Love By The 10th Date”), Tobias Truvillion (“One Life to Live”), and Durrell “Tank” Babbs (“The New Edition Story”). “Envy” makes its debut Saturday, April 24 at 8p, with stars Serayah (“Empire”), Rose Rollins (“The L Word”), and Kandi Burruss (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”).

Reelz follows the paths of two pop icons in “Cher: Story of Her Songs” on Sunday, February 21 at 8p, followed at 9p by “Celine Dion: Story of Her Songs.”

Valentine’s Day specials from kids’ series “Pinkalicious & Peteriffic” (PBS Kids) has six more airings until V-Day: today, February 10, and February 12-14.

ID’s fan appreciation event is returning for another virtual edition, with special appearances by true crime favorites. Attendees will receive sneak peeks of upcoming true crime offerings from discovery+, and registered fans will be able to access surprises, insider knowledge, and a chance to have their questions answered. The sixth annual IDCON: Dead of Winter takes place via Zoom on Saturday, February 27 at 4p.

Doc “Making Tracks on Mars,” following NASA rover Perseverance, debuts Sunday, February 14 at 10p on Smithsonian Channel. A companion augmented reality app will be available free to download on the Apple Play store and Google Play.

STREAMING

Delays in Super Bowl live streams across platforms were between 42.2 and 46.2 seconds behind real time, according to Phenix’s streaming delays data. The drift between different devices watching live streams on the same apps had delays ranging from 51.1 – 61.4 seconds.

Female and Latina-owned digital media company Canela Media announced the launch of Canela News, a free live-streaming newscast for US Latino cord cutters. The Spanish-language daily newscast will cover topics relevant to US Latinos, including breaking news, sports, immigration, and more. On March 8, Canela News will begin broadcasting daily live 30-minute segments Monday-Friday at 6p and repeats at 9p on the advertiser-supported streaming service Canela.TV, which will also be distributed on FAST channels. There will also be a daily segment focused on sports.

Kantar has partnered with podcast platforms Megaphone, ACAST, and Midroll. “As these are direct integrations, with multiple platforms, we can be even more accurate in exposure ID for dynamically inserted ads of these podcasts – especially critical as we enter a cookieless world,” said James Jarzab, VP, Partnerships, Kantar.

The Universal Kids YouTube channel, launched with 47,000 subscribers less than two yeas ago, has exceeded 1 million subs. The platform revamped its digital series “Get Out of My Room” as a “room reveal” programming play, launching a content strategy based on what resonated with its key audience. Throughout its run, the digital series grew from 160,000 viewers in 2018 to over 115 million in 2019.

TECH TALK

Clinch, a provider of cross-channel dynamic creative optimization technology to advertisers, announced a partnership with location technology platform Foursquare to bring enhanced, real-time attribution measurement to omnichannel DCO. With Foursquare Attribution, Clinch’s creative technology will be able to measure foot traffic driven by digital campaigns across retail store locations, restaurants, car dealerships, and more. “We are focused on building full spectrum omnichannel solutions that work seamlessly across all digital environments from one unified platform. Foursquare is a key component to measure, understand, and report true omnichannel campaign effectiveness,” said Oz Etzioni, CEO at Clinch.

Brightcove announced the launch of Brightcove Cloud Playout, a feature that enhances Brightcove’s end-to-end video platform, enabling content owners and organizations to program a scheduled playout of both on-demand video assets and live footage or events into a single stream for a broadcast-grade “live TV” experience. Early adopters of this capability include AMC and BookMyShow. In March 2021, SXSW Online will be the first Brightcove customer to utilize Cloud Playout for its conference and festivals.

GOING GLOBAL

All3Media International has signed its first partnership with Tuesday’s Child Television, landing sales rights to “Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig.” The original factual series was commissioned by Channel 4

Hat Trick International has sold 50 episodes of the US version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” exclusively to UKTV in the UK

AMC Networks International – UK announced that its portfolio of ViacomCBS UK channels, which consists of CBS Reality, CBS Justice, CBS Drama and Horror Channel, delivered its highest ever share of adult commercial impacts with a 3.19% share of commercial impacts, up 17% versus 2019.

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RATINGS

 

Super Bowl LV drew total TV audience of 96.4 million viewers and 91.6 million on CBS, according to Nielsen, down 15% from last year and the least-watched game since 2007. On the flip side, it was the most live-streamed Super Game in history, averaging 5.7 million viewers per minute, up 69% from last year.

CBS’s Super Bowl post-show, “The Equalizer,” scored 20.4 million total viewers, down 14% from the post-game audience for “The Masked Singer” on Fox last year, but still earning a hefty 5.1 rating among A18-49.

Opposite the Super Bowl, dramas on Masterpiece made PBS the second most-watched network in primetime and second during the 8-10p timeslot. Driven by “Miss Scarlet & the Duke,” “All Creatures Great and Small,” and “The Long Song,” PBS drew 1.85 million viewers P2+.

HGTV averaged a .45 rating among viewers P25-54 and a .58 rating among W25-54 in January, a respective uptick of 15% and 20% over the prior month. HGTV ranked as the #2 non-news or sports cable network among upscale P25-54 and upscale W25-54, and #7 net in prime among P25-54, up 10 spots over the prior month.

The two-hour finale of Univision’s“Imperio de Mentiras delivered 1.5 million total viewers 2+, 466,000 A18-49 and 159,000 A18-34 on Sunday. The week of February 1, Univision sib UniMás delivered primetime audience growth week-over-week among total viewers 2+ (+4% to 514,000), A18-49 (+6% to 230,000) and A18-34 (+4% to 95,000).

In syndication the week of January 25, six of the top seven talk shows saw ratings rise. “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (2.0 Live+SD national Nielsen, up 5% from the week before) set the pace for the tenth week in a row; “Dr. Phil” (1.9, up 12%) clocked its best numbers of 2021; “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (1.1, unchanged) landed in a tie with “Maury” (1.1, up 10%); “Kelly Clarkson” was up 11%, to1.0, while “Tamron Hall” had a 13% hike, to 0.9. “Wendy Williams” (1.0, up 11%) was also in the plus column.

Hallmark Channel’s first Love Ever After original movie premiere of the 2021 season, featuring new movies every Saturday night in February, kicked off with “Beverly Hills Wedding,” which became the #1 most-watched entertainment cable program of the week and boosted the network to become the second most-watched across entertainment cable in 2021 to-date during Total Day and Primetime among Women 18+, Total Viewers, and Households. The movie premiere averaged 2.4 million total viewers and 295,000 W25-54.

Nielsen’s Top 10 Streaming Shows for the week of January 4
(program, # of episodes, minutes in millions)
“Cobra Kai” (Netflix), 30, 2107
“Bridgerton” (Netflix), 8, 1670
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Netflix), 36, 768
“The Crown” (Netflix), 40, 494
“Virgin River” (Netflix), 20, 475
“The Mandalorian” (Disney+), 16, 411
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix),7, 392
“Gabby’s Dollhouse” (Netflix), 10, 380
“The Great British Baking Show” (Netflix), 65, 323
“History of Swear Words” (Netflix), 6, 314
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, US Viewing through Television

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of Feb 1
Attack on titan (NHK) – 2.79%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 1.48%
One Piece (Fuji TV) – 1.41%
WandaVision (Disney+) – 1.41%
Fate: The Winx Saga (Netflix) – 1.40%
The Office (NBC) – 1.39%
Modern Family (ABC) – 1.37%
How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) – 1.22%
Bridgerton (Netflix) – 1.17%
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) – 1.15%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in theTV Time app within a given day.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of January 25 ranked in order by HH Rtg
“Jeopardy!” (CMV) 6.0 AA
“Wheel of Fortune” (CMV) 5.8 AA
“Family Feud” (CMV) 5.8 AA
“Judge Judy” (CMV) 5.7 AA
“The Big Bang Theory” (WB) 2.7 AA
“Inside Edition” (CMV) 2.4 AA
“Entertainment Tonight” (CMV) 2.3 AA
“Live With Kelly and Ryan” (DAD) 2.0 AA
“Last Man Standing” (DAD) 2.0 AA
“Dr. Phil” (CMV) 1.9 AA

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, February 8
Show, P2+ millions, (A18-49)
ABC: “The Bachelor” 5.47 (1.4), “The Good Doctor” 2.27 (0.4)
CBS: “The Neighborhood” 6.06 (1.0), “Bob Hearts Abishola” 5.54 (0.8), “All Rise” 4.05 (0.5), “Bull” 5.22 (0.5)
CW: “All American” 0.80 (0.3), “Black Lightning” 0.52 (0.2)
FOX: “9-1-1” 6.86 (1.2), “9-1-1: Lone Star” 5.59 (0.9)
NBC: “Ellen’s Game of Games” 3.04 (0.6), “The Wall” 2.77 (0.5), “Weakest Link” 2.40 (0.5)
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos” 1.01 (0.3), “La Suerta de Loli” 1.14 (0.3), “Buscando a Frida” 1.04 (0.4)
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor” 1.86 (0.6), “Imperio de Mentiras” 1.55 (0.4), “Dulce Ambicion” 1.36 (0.3)
Univ Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

This Day in History
1897 – The New York Times began using the slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which actor played the father of main characters on “Providence” (1999-2002) and “Desperate Housewives” (2007-2008)? Mike Farrell. Kudos to: John Ferlazzo/London, Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL, Natalie Leff-WarnerMedia/Atlanta, Anthony Salerno-Horizon Media/NYC, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Joy Aronson/LA, Sally J. Maisel-Wienermania/Van Nuys, CA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which series focused on a high school teacher who teaches his journalism class how to produce a TV news show? (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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MEDIA EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
>>
AROUND ROBIN PRODUCTION COMPANY/WASHINGTON, DC: Looking for a Media Executive Consultant who can connect a content creator with distribution partners. Will be tasked with consulting production company on strategy of selling content. Must have experience in sales, traditional and digital media, and distribution strategy Full info HERE (2/16)

KEY ART DESIGNER/SENIOR DESIGNER >>
SJI ASSOCIATE/REMOTE:
Looking for a passionate designer, enthusiastic about working on creative and conceptual design projects. The designer will work within a team of Art Directors and Designers to create high impact key art, and streaming platform product art. Candidates should be well versed in design principles for both print and digital deliverables. 7+ years agency experience, background in entertainment design preferred. Full info HERE (2/16)

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 10
ABC: “The Goldbergs,” “American Housewife,” “The Conners,” “Call Your Mother,” “For Life”
CBS: “Tough As Nails” [p], “SEAL Team,” “S.W.A.T.”
CW: “Riverdale,” “Nancy Drew”
FOX: “The Masked Dancer,” “Name That Tune”
NBC: “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”
PBS: “Nature,” “NOVA,” “Europe’s New Wild”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerta de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Te Acuerdas de Mi,” “Dulce Ambicion”

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