03/18/22: Leslie Jones gets dramatic for Starz

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday March 18, 2022

Today’s Premieres
Apple TV+: WeCrashed
discovery+: Ranch to Table
HBO Max: Lust
Hulu: Life & Beth
Netflix: Human Resources; Is It Cake?; Standing Up; Cracow Monsters; Alessandro Cattelan: One Simple Question; Young, Famous & African
The Roku Channel: The Newsreader

Saturday’s Premieres
OWN: Love & Marriage: Huntsville at 8p; Marry Me Now at 9p

Saturday’s Finale
CW: Great Chocolate Meltdown at 8p

Sunday’s Premieres
BYUtv: Making Good at 7p
HBO Max: Amsterdam
Paramount: Bar Rescue at 10p
PBS: Call the Midwife at 8p; Sandition on Masterpiece at 9p; Before We Die at 9p
Travel Channel: Expedition Bigfoot at 10p

IN THE NEWS

Amazon has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM – and MGM staffers got a warm welcome. “We look forward to working with you as we create the next phase of MGM’s rich history together,” wrote Amazon Studios and Prime Video SVP Mike Hopkins in an email. The deal won the approval of EU regulators, and the US Federal Trade Commission did not file a legal challenge before a mid-March deadline. However, the FTC’s failure to register an objection doesn’t necessarily guarantee it’s all smooth sailing from here. “The FTC does not comment on any particular matters. However, we reiterate that the Commission does not approve transactions and may challenge a deal at any time if it determines that it violates the law,” said FTC spokesperson Betsy Lordan.

Spectrum Networks announced plans to dedicate a team of journalists to cover nationally relevant news and events and their impact on local communities. Spectrum News NY1 veteran journalist Annika Pergament will move from her current role as “Mornings on 1” co-anchor to become a national news anchor. The team will be headed up by Sam Singal, Spectrum Networks’ VP of Editorial and Content. “We are implementing a comprehensive news strategy that will allow us to continue to meet the growing needs of our audience,” said Alison Hellman, SVP, Content, Strategy and Marketing, Spectrum Networks. “Our audience looks to us as their definitive source of information, so it’s essential for us to connect on all of the issues that matter to them.”

NBC’s “American Song Contest,” premiering Monday, March 21, has lined up brand partners M&M’S, T-Mobile, and Wells Fargo. Integrations include M&M’S tapping into NBCU’s commerce capabilities through an out-of-show ShoppableTV enabled brand spot; T-Mobile serving as the show’s voting partner, and providing one of the Top 10 finalists the opportunity to have their song featured in an upcoming T-Mobile commercial; and custom spots from Wells Fargo. “With our incredible world leading brand partners, we are taking this show a step further elevating the viewer experience by placing fans directly into the action of each artists journey, each song, each round of elimination,” said Mark Marshall, President, Advertising and Partnerships, NBCU. “American Song Contest” is based on the hit “Eurovision Song Contest.”

Fox News is challenging election system company Smartmatic’s claim of $2.7 billion in damages in its defamation suit. Noting that Smartmatic “has not turned a profit since 2016,” the company’s claim that it stood to make $3.1 billion over the next five years is “divorced from reality,” said Fox News lawyers. FNC is appealing a judge’s rejection of its efforts to dismiss the suit.

Sharon Osbourne is joining Piers Morgan on upcoming UK channel TalkTV. Osbourne left her hosting job on CBS’s “The Talk” last year, after her defense of Morgan’s controversial comments about Meghan Markle received backlash. Osbourne will host a current affairs show on the new channel.

“Inclusion is when you take diversity to the next level – not only are minorities present or employed by the company, but their ideas and opinions are welcomed and sought after by the company,” says Tenia L. Watson, Executive Producer of “The Real.” Read more about what companies are doing right – and wrong – when it comes to DEI in Cynsiders.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Bunim/Murray Productions and Animoca-backed tech venture Virtual Arts have partnered to form Wonderfuel, leveraging NFTs to explore audience-driven, audience-funded programming. Wonderfuel will roll out a full slate of shows to air on both traditional networks and streamers, alongside Web 3.0 platforms. NFTs will be minted and released alongside the shows, so that fans can become NFT owners and gain access to unique rewards, from involvement in creative decisions to sharing in prizes and fan experiences.

Magilla Entertainment (“Moonshiners,” “Beach Front Bargain Hunt”) has joined forces with producer Michael Sugar’s Sugar23 (“Dickinson,” “13 Reasons Why”) to develop a slate of unscripted projects. Sugar23 Head of Alternative and Unscripted David Hillman will spearhead the partnership for Sugar23, working alongside Magilla Co-Founders Laura Palumbo Johnson and Matthew Ostrom, and President Jason Fox. Among the initial projects in development are a cooking series, a prank competition and an intergenerational dating social experiment.

WE tv has greenlit “Kold x Windy,” a scripted drama exposing the reality behind Chicago’s south side and its street culture. The series, from creators Kenny Young, Phil James and Vernon “Xtreme” Brown, will debut in fall 2022 on WE tv and ALLBLK.

Canadian film and television producer Vince Buda (“Crown and Anchor”) and actor, writer and musician Matt Wells (“Schitt’s Creek”) have launched a production company, Greater Hood Productions. The first slate of original content includes travel/motivational docuseries “Moving On,” among other projects.

Halcyon Studios, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company recently formed to create premium scripted television content, shared its 2022 slate. Projects include “Dinotopia,” based on fantasy books by James Gurney; “Under the Wave at Waimea,” adapted from Paul Theroux’s novel; horror show “Death Line”; an untitled project from LA noire author James Ellroy; and an update of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea.

Cinedigm has inked a strategic partnership with multi-platform producer Roundtable Entertainment that will include co-financing and co-owning the IP of original films to be distributed domestically on Cinedigm’s OTT networks and on other third-party streaming platforms. The partnership also plans to launch multiple enthusiast streaming channels together that will leverage Cinedigm’s streaming capabilities. Cinedigm is taking a minority shareholder position in Roundtable Entertainment.

Prime Video is developing a baking competition tasking chefs to concoct creations inspired by Dr. Seuss characters. Super Delicious (“Cupcake Wars”), Amazon Studios and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are producing.

Casting notes: “SNL” alum Leslie Jones will recur on season two of Starz drama “BMF”…Eric Bogosian (“Talk Radio”) has joined the cast AMC’s upcoming “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.”…Kathryn McNamara will play the female lead in CW pilot “Walker: Independence.”…Newcomers (and twins) Railey and Seazynn Gilliland landed the leads in IMDb TV dramedy “High School.” Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Kyle Bornheimer (“Avenue 5”) play the girls’ parents….Hoyeon (“Squid Game”) has joined the cast of Apple TV+ thriller series “Disclaimer,” opposite Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline….Alice Eve (“Belgravia”) will star in CBS drama pilot “Early Edition,” a reboot of the 1996-2000 series.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

OWN reality series “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” returns for season four on Saturday, March 19 at 8p. What’s the secret to the show’s success? “When I created ‘Love & Marriage: Huntsville,’ it was important to me that we were building a series that could appeal to a wide range of demos, not just female viewers,” executive producer and CEO & Founder of Kingdom Reign Entertainment, Carlos King, tells Cynopsis. “I think that’s part of what makes the show so successful and what led to the franchise expansion to D.C. – people can see themselves in the cast. We’re excited to return to OWN for what is, by far, the most explosive and unexpected season yet!”

Netflix’s “Resident Evil,” based on the video game franchise, will make its debut Thursday, July 14. The live-action series is set in the year 2036, after a deadly virus causes a global apocalypse.

Season two of “The Flight Attendant” lands Thursday, April 28 on Apple TV+. Episodes will drop weekly through May 26.

Freddy Dodge and Juan Ibarra help struggling miners learn how to run a successful business when Discovery’s “Gold Rush: Freddy Dodge’s Mine Rescue” returns Friday, April 1 at 9p.

“Pinecone & Pony,” an animated kids series based on the book The Princess and the Pony, premieres Friday, April 8 on AppleTV+.

Season 14 of “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” focuses on global Black activism, from artists using their voices to everyday people advocating for change. The docuseries from Black Public Media and WORLD Channel kicks off on Monday, April 4 at 8p.

Late-night variety series “Ziwi” returns to Showtime on Sunday, May 1 at 11 p for the second season’s first installment of six episodes. A second batch will air later this year.

He’s got game: Andrew Zimmern has launched his Outdoor Sportsman Group digital original series “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen” on OutdoorChannel.com. The show also will appear on Outdoor Channel in September 2022.

COMING UP

“South Park” will celebrate 25 years on the air with a concert at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in Colorado on August 10. “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be on hand for the festivities, which will feature performances by Primus and Ween, who wrote songs for the series and starred in the season two episode, “Chef Aid.” “We’re so excited to go home and play at Red Rocks, a place that’s been known for hosting the most legendary Artists and Musicians,” said Parker and Stone. “Until now.”

AMC is airing a marathon of “Breaking Bad” for five consecutive weeks beginning Saturday, March 19 at 4p, leading up to the sixth and final season of “Better Call Saul,” which premieres Monday, April 18 at 9p on AMC and AMC+. Airing on Saturdays, the marathon will feature behind-the-scenes interviews and bonus content, including “Better Call Saul” “Easter eggs” and Breaking Bad trivia.

Documentary “Warrior Women With Lupita Nyong’o” premieres Monday, March 28 at 8p on Smithsonian Channel. The film follows Nyong’o as she journeys across Benin, West Africa to uncover the truth behind the women who helped to inspire the characters in Marvel film “Black Panther.”

The Producers Guild of America revealed the lineup of presenters for the 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, March 19 at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. Taking the stage will be Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Denis Villeneuve, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Casey Bloys, Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Jamie Dornan, Michelle Yeoh, Aunjanue Ellis, Jung Ho-yeon, Troy Kotsur, Linda Lavin, and David Alvarez.

Antenna TV celebrates sitcom sidekicks with an April Fool’s Day marathon featuring the likes of Arnold Horshack from “Welcome Back, Kotter” and Flo from “Alice” starting Friday, April 1 at 5a.

TECH

Qonsent, the consent enablement and consumer trust platform, and Encantos, a web3 platform empowering creators who help kids learn, are collaborating to address data privacy issues affecting children. “Aside from COPPA there has been little focus put on the protection of children online. COPPA is just a legal action that many have found ways to circumvent,” said Steven Wolfe Pereira, CEO, Encantos. “Our mission has been to create a platform and community for creators, parents, and children to foster learning in a safe environment. By working with Qonsent, we’re ensuring our platform is fully compliant with data privacy laws and we’re also creating an environment of transparency between creators and parents regarding how and when a child’s data might be used.”

Comscore is partnering with Standard Media Index to offer the industry’s first advanced eCPM metric for linear TV advertising. The eCPM metric combines census-based pricing data from SMI with census-based viewing data from Comscore to create estimated CPM-based pricing metrics. The solution is available through the Comscore eCPM module hosted on the HiveMensio platform. “We’re excited to partner with SMI to accelerate the transparency of metrics related to ad spend associated with every quarter hour of TV viewing across the most comprehensive set of advanced audiences,” said David Algranati, Chief Product Officer, Comscore. “As consumer viewing behavior continues to rapidly evolve, eCPMs unified metric will provide both the buy side and sell side a greater understanding of the competitive marketplace.”

LiveRamp is teaming with Iris.TV and SpringServe to provide buyers with contextual data that enables them to use more of their cross-screen inventory in targeted and addressable campaigns, announced the company. Univision is among those jumping aboard. “Partnering with LiveRamp has enabled Univision to accelerate our transformation of its adtech capabilities and deliver sophisticated targeted solutions for marketers to reach the diverse Hispanic audience,” said Univision’s Brian Lin, SVP, Product Management & Advanced Advertising Solutions.

STREAMING

Netflix has brought back “Servant of the People,” the 2015-19 satirical comedy series starring now-Ukranian President Volodmyr Zelensky as a high school principal whose denunciation of corruption leads to his election as president of Ukraine. The series was originally part of Netflix’s 2017-21 library. Noting the spike of interest in the show since the Ukraine crisis, distributor Eccho Rights said, “While the real-world scenario facing Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people is far more grim and appalling than the comedy of the series, there are obvious parallels with the real-world situation, and ‘Servant of the People’ is a fascinating, important, and historic piece of television.”

ScreenHits TV is partnering with Wurl to deliver and monetize FAST channels in ScreenHits TV’s current territories, as well as several new territories later this year. The channels will be distributed on the ScreenHits TV app available across several platforms including on Fire TV, iOS and Android TV now being rolled out across smart TV brands. “With Wurl’s reach to 300 million-plus connected TVs worldwide across 50 countries, ScreenHits TV will have access to a selection of premium channels for our live feed that we can partner with as we grow in new territories,” said Rose Hulse, Founder and CEO, ScreenHits TV.

Progressive news network TYT is launching on streaming news service Local Now. “TYT’s addition to Local Now could not have come at a better time, as we all are highly tuned in to what’s going on in the world around us,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Local Now parent company Allen Media Group. “As the leading streaming service for local and national news, we’re excited to add another source of informative news and commentary to our stellar lineup.”

UPFRONT CALENDAR & UPDATES

This year’s theme for the IAB NewFronts (May 2-5): “Stream On.” Hosting the event will be “titan of the fitness community” and Senior Pelaton Instructor Alex Toussaint. The theme for the IAB Podcast Upfront (May 10-12) is “Hear and Now,” focusing on the rise of podcasting with host Franchesca Ramsey (“MTV Decoded”).

March 22: NBCUniversal’s One22 Conference at 11a (30 Rock Studio H, NYC)
March 23: Fox’s Content Drives Commerce Brand Partnership Summit (Fox Lot, LA)
March 24: Nickelodeon at 4p (Palladium Times Square, NYC)
March 28: National CineMedia at 11:30a (Film at Lincoln Center, NYC)
April 5: PlayFronts (NYC): Meta (9:20a), Activision Blizzard (9:40a), Frameplay (10a), Niantic (11:05a), Admix (11:25a), Unity (11:50a), Zynga (1p), Bidstack (1:20p), Riot Games (1:45p), Anzu (2:10p), Twitch (3:15p), IGN (3:35p), SuperAwesome (3:301), and PlayerWON (4:10)
April 5-7: Magna’s Equity Upfront
April 6: Disney’s Sports Summit (virtual); AMC Networks at 6:30p (The Peak in Hudson Yards, NYC); National CineMedia at 11a (Academy of Motion Pictures, LA)
April 12: Black Owned Media Upfront at 1p (virtual)
April 13: FETV (Empire State Building, NYC)
April 25: Disney Storyteller’s Showcase
April 26: FETV (Empire State Building, NYC)
May 2-5: IAB NewFronts (NYC)
May 2: NBCUniversal/Peacock NewFront
May 3: Roku at 11:30a (Caldwell Factory, NYC)
May 10-12: IAB Podcast Upfront (virtual)
May 16: NBCUniversal (Radio City Music Hall, NYC); Telemundo (Ziegfeld Theater, NYC); Fox (Skylight, NYC)
May 17: Discovery (Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC); Disney (Basketball City at Pier 36, NYC); YouTube Brandcast at 8p; Univision (Javits Center in NYC)
May 18: Paramount (Carnegie Hall, NYC); WarnerMedia (Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC)
May 19: The CW (New York City Center Theater, NYC)

GOING GLOBAL

Off The Fence announced multiple deals for “The Secrets to Civilisation.” The series, produced by OTF Studios, Impossible Factual and CuriosityStream, has been picked up by international platforms and VOD services including ZDF ARTE, NRK Norway, ORF and VRT Belgium, RTV Slovenia, DR TV Denmark, Yleisradio Finland and Viasat World for its channels across Europe, CIS and Asia.

ADQ and E-Vision, investment companies based and Abu Dhabi, inked a binding agreement with Starz to acquire a 57% stake in Starzplay Arabia. Starz will continue to honor content licensing agreements.

APX Capital Group signed a multi-part deal with Mathew Knowles and his music and entertainment company Music World Entertainment Group, The deal will incorporate MWEG’s film and TV division into a newly created unit, Music World Films & TV, within APX Capital Group to be managed by Knowles with a ?250 million starting budget for film and TV co-productions completed between Italy and the US.

CYNOPSIS SPORTS CMO EXCHANGE 2022
Tuesday, May 24th @ 1:00pm ET

CALLING ALL SPORTS MARKETING LEADERS!

Join your peers to learn and discuss how to take advantage of shifting landscapes, create more targeted messaging and evaluate campaigns more effectively.

Check out the agenda

RATINGS

Nielsen Top 10 Streaming Chart for the week of February 14
Show, # of episodes, minutes (millions)
Inventing Anna (Netflix), 9, 3238
Love Is Blind (Netflix), 23, 1439
Encanto (Disney+), 1, 1224
Ozark (Netflix), 37, 1083
Reacher (Prime Video), 8, 935
Sweet Magnolias (Netflix), 20, 898
NCIS (Netflix), 354, 856
Cocomelon (Netflix), 15, 661
Criminal Minds (Netflix), 329, 647
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime), 28, 499

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, March 16
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Goldbergs 2.79 (0.5), The Wonder Years 1.99 (0.3), The Conners 2.93 (0.5), Home Economics 1.84 (0.3), A Million Little Things 1.91 (0.2)
CBS: Survivor 5.06 (0.8), Beyond the Edge 2.58 (0.4), FBI 1.97 (0.2)
CW: The Flash 0.59 (0.1), Kung Fu 0.47 (0.1)
FOX: The Masked Singer 4.03 (0.7), Domino Masters 1.69 (0.4)
NBC: Chicago Med 6.35 (0.7), Chicago Fire 6.66 (0.8), Chicago PD 5.33 (0.7)
Telemundo: Exatlon 0.97 (0.3), Hercai: Amor Venganza 1.23 (0.3), Pasion de Gavilanes 0.77 (0.3)
Univision: Soltero con Hijas 1.51 (0.5), Mi Fortuna es Amarte 1.64 (0.5), Madre 1.75 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Tom McDonald has been named EVP, Global Factual/Unscripted Content for National Geographic, effective June 2022. McDonald joins from BBC Studios, where he is Managing Director of Factual Productions.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM PREMION
 

This Day in History
1987 – The US performed a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site.

Friday Fun Fact
Possums do not play dead – they pass out from fear of their predators.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
In what year was there the first net loss of satellite, cable and telco subscribers over a 12-month period, billed as the first proof of cord-cutting? 2013. Kudos to: Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which controversial 1998 comedy was yanked after four episodes? (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.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
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Roberta Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
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Executive Director of Sales
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917-545-3129
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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
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This is the opportunity to be part of the National Sales West Region team, evangelizing the Premion brand and generating sales revenue. Are you excited about disrupting the traditional and doing something different in the television space? Join in! Full info HERE (3/31)

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As part of the National Sales team’s West region, you will focus on sales of OTT/CTV advertising solution to agencies and clients, and be responsible for revenue achievement across the region. PREMION is the best OTT & Streaming Platform as recognized by TechLeadership, Gabbcon, & Cynopsis. Full info HERE (3/31)

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ANALYST, LINEAR & DIGITAL AUDIENCE RESEARCH
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REGIONAL SALES MANAGER
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As part of the National Sales team’s Northeast region, you will focus on sales of OTT/CTV advertising solution to agencies and clients. Maintain responsibility for total revenue achievement across the region. PREMION is the best OTT & Streaming Platform as recognized by TechLeadership, Gabbcon, & Cynopsis. Full info HERE (3/29)

DIGITAL SALES MANAGER >>
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HEAD OF PRODUCTION >>
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PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT/SENIOR >>
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AD SALES PLANNER
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ART DIRECTOR, GLOBAL CREATIVE CONTENT
A+E NETWORKS
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FilmRise/NYC, NY: Maintaining a yearlong editorial calendar to identify marketing & promotional opportunities with streaming partners. Creating and submitting TV & movie recommendations for marketing stunts to streaming partners. Managing brand presence and messaging on YouTube with direct to consumer product team. Experience in the entertainment industry preferred. Full info HERE (3/19)

COORDINATOR, INTERNATIONAL SALES
FilmRise/NYC, NY: Assist the International Sales team with all administrative duties: scheduling meetings, schedule department calls, managing conference/festival schedule & appointments, coordinate travel bookings for department, prepare and submit expense and budget reports, reach out to new contacts as needed, coordinate internally with various departments. Full info HERE (3/19)

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
FUTURE TODAY (FTI+)
LA, CHICAGO or NYC

Represent FTI+ (independent publisher), selling an expansive portfolio of AVOD apps, focus on kids content along with TEEN, family, entertainment & lifestyle. 5+ years selling linear/OLV exp req. Biz dev position inclusive of direct, pmp/pg. Solid relationships across verticals. Full info HERE (3/18)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING SALES >>
GAC MEDIA/NYC:
Responsible for prospecting, selling, stewarding, and reporting on all business, as it relates to Direct Response Advertising; work externally with Clients to maintain current business, develop new business and service overall Client needs; strive towards the pricing guidelines that align with the overall Sales team revenue goals. Full info HERE (3/18)

FRIDAY MARCH 18
ABC: Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: NCAA Basketball Tournament
CW: Charmed, Dynasty
FOX: WWE Friday Night Smackdown
NBC: The Blacklist, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, Great Performances, Zelensky: The Man Who Took on Putin
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Hercai Amor y Venganza, Pasiones de Gavilanes
Univision: Soltero Con Hijas, Mi Fortuana es Amarte, Madre

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