04/14/21: Social viewing is on the rise; Rumbles of change at CBS News; Netflix hit “Bridgerton” renewed for seasons 3 and 4

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Wednesday April 14, 2021

Today’s Premieres
AXS TV: “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” at 8p, “Live @ Home” at 9p
Discovery: “Expedition X” at 9p, “Josh Gates Tonight” at 10p
Fox Soul: “Worth a Conversation with Jay ‘Jeezy’ Jenkins” at 10p
HGTV: “Bargain Block” at 9p
Netflix: “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!”, “The Circle”
Oxygen: “Living With a Serial Killer” at 9p
Peacock: “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More”

Today’s Finale
CBS: “Tough as Nails” at 8p

IN THE NEWS

One in seven adult SVOD users cowatched an online TV show or movie with friends or family during the pandemic, according to a new study from The Diffusion Group, “The Rise of Social Viewing & Watch Parties.” “The pandemic not only drove home media consumption, but accelerated the use of connected TVs and video-based chat,” said Lauren Kozak, Senior Analyst and author of the report. “Not surprisingly, the two trends coalesced to create a new hybrid, the online watch party.” Six in ten adult SVOD viewers have heard of cowatching, with three in ten acquainted with or using the feature.

CBS News President Susan Zirinsky plans to step down and sign a wide-ranging production partnership with parent company ViacomCBS, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports a search for Zirinsky’s successor has been “ongoing.” While Zirinsky started at CBS News as a production clerk in 1972, she’s been in her current job for only two years, and reportedly wants to return to producing. Also expected to make a move is CBS’ EVP of News Kim Godwin, who has reportedly been offered the top job at ABC News following the exit of James Goldston.

The lawyer for election technology company Smartmatic filed a brief in New York Supreme Court, responding to motions filed by Fox Corporation and Fox News and hosts Maria Bartifomo, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs to dismiss a Smartmatic lawsuit accusing them of defamation. While Fox News argued that mentions of Smartmatic in election conspiracy theories pushed by guests like lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were part of its reporting on a newsworthy event, “The First Amendment does not provide the Fox defendants a get-out-of-jail-free card,” wrote J. Erik Connolly. Responded Fox News, “The filing only confirms our view that the suit is meritless and Fox News covered the election in the highest tradition of the First Amendment.”

Fox News Media has signed former Tennessee Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. as a contributor. The five-term representative will offer commentary across all Fox News Media platforms. “I am excited to join the Fox News Media family and am grateful for the network’s commitment to showcasing a diversity of voices and viewpoints,” said Ford. “I look forward to sharing my unique perspective directly with the viewers.”

NBC is taking to the great outdoors to anchor its primetime Summer Olympics show. Mike Tirico will set up at a fifth-floor studio deck overlooking the Tokyo skyline, which will be shared for “Today” broadcasts. “We’re thrilled to be able to incorporate the live Tokyo cityscape into our most technologically advanced Olympics studio setup,” said NBC Olympics Coordinating Director Michael Sheehan.

Register now for the Measurement and Data Conference on June 15-16. Two days designed to help you master the art of data and hear fresh ideas on buying and selling in the holistic marketplace from ViacomCBS, FOX, Amazon, and more.

Jenna Dewan has been tapped to serve as a judge on CBS’ forthcoming competition format “Come Dance With Me.” The former backup dancer, who founded her own production company, Everheart Productions, hosted the first two seasons of “World of Dance,” as well as Fox’s “Flirty Dancing.”

Seven corporate sponsors have been added to the list of partners for nonprofit marketing education organization Marketing EDGE: DailyPay, Data Axle, Gerber Life Insurance, Liz Kislik Associates, Sprinklr, Wiland, and Worldata. “Marketing EDGE’s programs are conceived as part of a trajectory, a series of steps and processes we call ‘the funnel’, to include our long-standing relationships with academics and institutions nationwide to influence students’ learning and preparation,” said Terri L. Bartlett, CEO and President of Marketing EDGE

SPORTS & ESPORTS NEWFRONTS
Learn how to activate your brand with the fanbase
watching & engaging in sports and esports

 

ONE WEEK AWAY / APR 21-22
Our virtual event for brand & agency execs will have exciting presentations from the following industry leaders in sports and esports: Riot Games, Roku, AEG, Twitch, 100 Thieves, ESL, Belong Gaming Arenas, Subnation, Super League Gaming, Professional Fighters League, Pac-12, ReKt Global, Gaming Community Network and The Game Awards.

[

REQUEST AN INVITE ]

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Netflix hit “Bridgerton,” currently in production for season two, has been renewed for third and fourth seasons. “We think audiences will continue to swoon for this show,” said Bela Bajaria, Netflix VP of Global TV. “We’re planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come.” Noted the show’s narrator, Lady Whistledown, “This author shall have to purchase more ink.”

A+E Studios has entered into a multi-year first look television development and production deal with Silver Lining Entertainment Productions. “The team at Silver Lining Entertainment Productions has an amazing track record of success, and their commitment to putting the artist first and nurturing talent perfectly coalesces with our mission at A+E Studios to develop and produce diverse, audacious content with a unique point of view,” said Tana Jamieson, EVP of Creative Affairs at A+E Studios.

NBC ordered a comedy pilot starring and executive produced by Demo Lovato (“Dancing with the Devil”). “Hungry” follows a group of friends who belong to a food issue group. The net also gave a pilot order to “Someone Out There,” based on the Spanish format “Pequenos Coincidencias,” from Matt Hubbard (“Forever”) and Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan (“The Good Place”).

Director Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) and her production company, Zusa, inked a first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios. Har’el will work with Amazon Studios to develop and create new shows for Amazon Prime Video.

Lauren Ash has inked a cross-platform deal with NBCUniversal Television and Streaming that calls for the “Superstore” actress to develop projects for NBCU networks and streamer Peacock, and includes a pilot commitment from Universal Television. “Lauren was the first actor we cast in Superstore and she impressed us with her considerable talent during the show’s six season run. With the show ending, we want to help Lauren find her next starring vehicle and we are absolutely thrilled that NBCU will continue to be her home,” said Grace Wu, EVP, Entertainment Content Casting, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

Turner Classic Movies and filmmaker Joshua Grossberg are teaming up to search for the original version of Orsen Welles’ 1942 film “The Magnificent Ambersons,” recut after Welles was fired from the project. TCM will sponsor Grossberg’s research trip to Brazil to follow up on leads that he’s developed over his 25-year search. At the same time, the writer-director is chronicling his quest in a feature-length documentary, “The Search for the Lost Print: The Making of Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons,” produced by Joseph Schroeder and Gary Greenblatt under Grossberg’s production banner Under the Dome Ltd.

MTV has renewed dating competition “Double Shot at Love” for a third season. The “Tila Tequila’s Shot at Love” spin-off, starring “Jersey Shore” stars DJ Pauly D and Vinny Guadagnino, comes from SallyAnn Salsano’s 495 Productions.

CASTING NOTES

Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) will star in and executive produce “The Days of Abandonment,” based on the Elena Ferrante bestseller, for HBO Films…Josh McKenzie (“Filthy Rich”) and Chloe De Los Santos (“Fam Time”) landed series regular roles in upcoming NBC drama series “La Brea.”…Brandi Denise (“Power”) has joined the season two cast of BET drama “Games People Play.”…Katie Lowes (“Scandal”) has been added to the cast of CBS’ untitled Tom Smallwood comedy pilot.

Regina Taylor (“I’ll Fly Away”) will play Michelle Obama’s mother in Showtime anthology series “First Lady.”…Added to the cast of Apple TV+ bilingual comedy series “Acapulco” are Jessica Collins (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Chord Overstreet (“Glee”), Vanessa Bauche (“Vecinos”), Rafael Cebrian (“Animal Kingdom”), and Regina Reynoso (“You’ve Got This”)…Jason Canela (“The Glades”) will recur on season three of ABC’s “The Rookie.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

House-hunting series “Happily Wherever” premieres on HGTV Friday, May 7 at 8:30p, telling stories of couples whose ability to work remotely has opened up the possibility of new living locations. The newcomer follows the first of 14 fresh episodes of “My Lottery Dream Home” at 8p.

Telemundo’s “Café con Aroma de Mujer” (“The Scent of Passion”) debuts Tuesday, May 25 at 10p. The series is a new version of a classic Spanish-langauge TV love story.

Bravo’s “Family Karma” is back for season two on Wednesday, June 2 at 9p. The docu-series explores the journeys of nine young Indian American frields.

When reality shows and Pepsi collide: “Match Me If You Can,” a digital series produced by ViacomCBS’ in-house branded content studio, Velocity, gives reality stars another swipe at love. The content concept from Pepsi promotes the nationwide launch of Pepsi Mango as the brand’s first permanent flavor introduction in five years. The stunt debuts during the season 36 finale of MTV’s “The Challenge,” on Wednesday, April 21 at 8p.

Apple TV+ docu-series “Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson” will examine sound creation and technology that has shaped music as we know it. Hosted by DJ Ronson, the show will make its debut Friday, July 30 on Apple TV+.

MTV “The Hills: New Beginnings,” based on the original docu-series, premieres Wednesday, May 12 at 9p. Audrina Patridge, Ashley Wahler, Brandon Thomas Lee, Brody Jenner, Frankie Delgado, Heidi Pratt, Jason Wahler, Jennifer Delgado, Justin “Bobby” Brescia, Kaitlynn Carter, Spencer Pratt and Whitney Port return alongside newcomer Caroline D’Amore. Kristin Cavallari will also appear.

All-star survivalists compete in a 60-day challenge in a new season of Discovery’s “Naked and Afraid XL,” launching Sunday, April 25 at 8p.

COMING UP

Brands onboard for the sixth annual Latin American Music Awards include Ford, Garnier Fructis, first-time brand partner Pepsi, Toyota, Universal Pictures, Verizon 5G and Xfinity. The show will broadcast live on Thursday, April 15 starting at 7p with a red carpet pre-show followed by the ceremony at 8p, on Telemundo.

A&E and WWE’s 10-week programming partnership kicks off Sunday, April 18 at 8p, with “Biography: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin,” followed at 10p by new series “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures,” focused on a hunt for iconic missing memorabilia.

NBC will televise vaccine special “Roll Up Your Sleeves” on Sunday, April 18 at 7p. Presented by Walgreens and created by ATTN: in partnership with Civic Nation’s Made to Save initiative, the show aims to educate viewers, raise awareness and dispel concerns surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines. President Biden will appear during the hour, along with a lineup including Michelle Obama, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Sterling K. Brown, Lana Condor, Billy Crystal, Eric Dane, Ryan Eggold, Dr. Vin Gupta, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Dale Jarrett, Ken Jeong, Joe Jonas, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Matthew McConaughey, Joel McHale, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kumail Nanjiani, Ellen Pompeo, Amanda Seyfried, Jane Seymour and Wanda Sykes.

“VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,” will air and live stream on Saturday, May 8 across ABC, ABC News Live, CBS and YouTube, starting at 8p. Fox will also broadcast the event, hosted by Selena Gomez, and featuring performances from Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R., at 11p.

AccuWeather TV Network and accuweather.com will mark Earth Day and National Parks Week, April 19-25, by highlighting US National Parks, including locations with unique weather characteristics. The stories, told as part of the “AccuWeather Explores” series, will be featured daily throughout the week at 7:40a and 6:40p.

Country lifestyle network Circle will count down to the 56thAcademy of Country Music Awards with “ACM Awards® Circle,” kicking off at 11a on Saturday, April 17, highlighting past and present ACM Award winners and nominees. The ACM Awards air Sunday, April 18 on CBS.

STREAMING

Wildlife brand Love Nature has debuted on Samsung TV Plus in the US market as a 4K FAST linear channel. “Audiences around the world are displaying a growing appetite for free programming to add to their ever-growing entertainment offering. FAST continues to be an exciting opportunity for Love Nature as we seek out new audiences for our award winning content in the US,” said Carlyn Staudt, Global General Manager, Love Nature. “Joining Samsung TV Plus is a significant milestone for our brand as the launch has allowed us to tap into their highly engaged and loyal audience of millions of households.”

New streaming service BBC Select and Beyond Rights announced a deal for new premiere documentaries. Among the titles are “The $50 Million Art Swindle,” “How I Created a Cult,” and “A Brief History of Graffiti.” The service is available in the U.S. and Canada on Amazon Prime Video and the Apple TV app.

TECH TALK

Brands need to shift how they reach and engage with people online, according to a new study by Verizon Media, MAGNA and IPG Media Lab. “The Interactive Effect” reveals that interactive ads are an effective way to increase engagement, as they cast a wider audience net by quickly grabbing attention, and re-engaging those who have previously rejected the brand. The study found environment to be key when leveraging interactive ads: legitimacy and site quality can be the difference between people interacting with these ad formats or not. “Audiences are embracing interactive experiences, and expect the utility to learn more about a brand or message,” said Iván Markman, Verizon Media Chief Business Officer. “The study’s results illustrate consumer appetite for interaction and brands’ ability to deepen engagement, and we expect dynamic, creative, and responsive advertising trends to continue acceleration.”

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GOING GLOBAL

Warner Bros. International Television Production and Toronto-based LoCo Motion Pictures announced a deal that will see WBITVP acquire global (excl. Canada) distribution rights to CBC Digital Original “How To Buy A Baby.”

ViacomCBS International Studios Distribution announced several new format deals, including its first-ever format deal in English-speaking Canada to bring the Comedy Central format “Roast Battle” to Bell Media’s CTV Comedy Channel. In Latin America, Teledoce in Uruguay renewed Comedy Central talk show format, “La Culpa Es De…” (“Blame it On…”) for a second season. Mediengruppe RTL’s TVNOW picked up new lesbian dating show, “Princess Charming,” a spin-off of the original format “Finding Prince Charming,” which first launched on Logo. The distributor also extended its partnership with Mediengruppe RTLGermany to bring a third season of “Finding Prince Charming “and a second season of “Ex On the Beach” to local audiences as TVNOW original commissions.

All3Media International struck deals for “The Drowning,” from Unstoppable Film & Television. Onboard are AMC Networks’ Sundance Now and Acorn TV across the US and South America; rights to the thriller have also been secured by C More for Denmark, a digital rights acquisition by Sky Network Television for New Zealand and a TV/SVOD acquisition by Hellenic Telecommunications for Greece. Dazzler Media has also secured DVD rights for UK and Eire.

Banijay reports “The Write Offs” landed its first international deals. Metronome Productions will produce the local Danish version for DR1, while SBS has ordered its own version which will be called “Lost for Words,” from Endemol Shine Australia.

DIRECTORS. ON-AIR TALENT. TECH LEADERS.

Cynopsis is looking to honor the Top Women in Media leading the charge in the TV & Digital world. Nominations are now open in fourteen categories for our annual Top Women in Media Awards. Who among your team deserves the spotlight?

Winners will be announced at our gala this October!

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RATINGS

New ABC comedy “Home Economics” jumped to an 0.8 rating among A18-49 and 4.1 million total viewers in Live+3 Nielsens, from 0.5 and 3 million Live+SD. That’s the best lead-in retention in the demo for any comedy premiere this season, and the only new comedy to build over its lead-in (“The Goldbergs”) in total viewers.

The series finale of Showtime’s “Shameless” averaged a cross-platform, season-high 1.5 million viewers, up 41% versus the week prior. For its linear telecast at 9p, the episode delivered 695,000 Live+SD viewers, up 33%.

The premiere of Hallmark Channel original movie “As Luck Would Have It ranked as the most watched entertainment program of the day among HHs, W18+, and total viewers, according to Nielsen Live+SD data, boosting Hallmark Channel to rank as the most watched entertainment network in weekend primetime in those measure, and the #2 most watched entertainment network in Total Day for the week among W18+ and total viewers.

UPtv’s Easter Programming reached 6.9 million viewers this year in Live+7 Nielsens, wrapping with the world broadcast premiere of “When We Last Spoke,” which ranks as UPtv’s strongest movie premiere year-to-date in HH and W25-54 delivery.

In syndication the week ending April 4, “Dr. Phil” (1.6 Live+SD national Nielsen rating, up 7% from the week before) jumped into a first place tie with recent talk leader “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (1.6, down 11%). “Live,” which was on hiatus, featured repackaged episodes all week. Amid March Madness and a NASCAR Cup race, as well as coverage of the US Capitol lockdown and the Derek Chauvin trial, “Wendy Williams” (0.9, down 10%) was next in line, tied with “Maury” (0.9, down 10%), which equaled his lowest rating to date.

In its debut week. Fox News late-night show “Gutfeld!” averaged 1.57 million viewers and 307,000 among A25-54. The show has posted double-digit gains in FNC’s 11p hour over the months of February and March in total viewers, A25-54 and A18-49.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of March 29 ranked in order by HH Rtg
“Family Feud” (CMV) 5.1 AA
“Jeopardy!” (CMV) 4.9 AA
“Wheel of Fortune” (CMV) 4.9 AA
“Judge Judy” (CMV) 4.6 AA
“The Big Bang Theory” (WB) 2.4 AA
“Inside Edition” (CMV) 2.2 AA
“Entertainment Tonight” (CMV) 2.0 AA
“Last Man Standing” (DAD) 1.8 AA
“Live With Kelly and Ryan” (DAD) 1.6 AA
“Dr. Phil” (CMV) 1.6 AA
Source: Nielsen

Basic Cable Top 5 for the week of April 5
Primetime (P2+)
Fox News (2,185,000)
MSNBC (1,646,000)
HGTV (1,196,000)
CNN (1,018,000)
TBS (986,000)
Total Day (P2+)
Fox News (1,195,000)
MSNBC (959,000)
CNN (752,000)
HGTV (649,000)
ESPN (483,000)

TV Time Binge Report for the week of April 5
“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC US) – 2.28%
“Attack on Titan” (NHK) – 2.15%
“LOL: Last One Laughing” (IT Amazon Prime) – 1.96%
“Modern Family” (ABC US) – 1.76%
“The 100” (CW) – 1.75%
“One Piece” (Fuji TV) – 1.71%
“Who Killed Sara?” (Netflix) – 1.44%
“The Office” (NBC) – 1.11%
“Naruto Shippuden” (TV Tokyo) – 1.04%
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) –0.98%
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 the TV Time app within a given day.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, April 12
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: “American Idol” 5.38 (0.8), “Rebel” 2.24 (0.4)
CBS: “The Neighborhood” 4.96 (0.6), “Bob Hearts Abishola” 4.74 (0.5), “All Rise” 3.86 (0.4), “Bull” 5.12 (0.4)
CW: “All American” 0.68 (0.2), “Black Lightning” 0.39 (0.1)
FOX: “9-1-1” 2.04 (0.4, “America’s Most Wanted” 1.54 (0.3)
ION: “NCIS: LA” 0.96 (0.2), “NCIS: LA” 1.05 (0.2), “NCIS: LA” 0.99 (0.2),
NBC: “The Voice” 5.83 (0.7), “Debris” 2.62 (0.4)
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos” 1.07 (0.3), “La Suerte de Lol” 1.06 (0.3), “Buscando a Frida” 1.18 (0.4)
Univision: “La Rosa de Guadalupe” 1.51 (0.4), “Te Acuerdas DeMi” 1.57 (0.5), “La Hija del Embajador” 1.39 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

BNC, the 24/7 news network dedicated to covering the issues affecting Black and Brown communities, has announced the appointment of Mark Garner, EVP of Global Content Sales and Business Development for A+E Networks, to its Board of Directors.

Laura Sher has been elevated to EVP, MGM Scripted Television. Sher will continue as co-GM of Epix, along with her new role.

Crown Media Family Networks has tapped Jonathan Sichel to serve as EVP, General Counsel. Prior to joining Crown Media, Sichel acted as EVP of Distribution Sales and Strategy at AMC Networks.

FilmRise has appointed Jonitha Keymoore as Senior Director of Global Acquisitions. Previously, Keymoore was Senior Director, Content Acquisitions at ViacomCBS.

Cindy Chin has joined Spectrum Networks as Managing Director, Digital, Northeast. Chin most recently served as Deputy Editor of Newsday.

Casting director Sharon Klein has been named EVP of Casting, Walt Disney Television. Klein was most recently EVP, Casting for Disney Television Studios and FX Entertainment.

Netflix Chief Talent Officer Jessica Neal is leaving the streamer. “We are incredibly grateful to Jessica Neal for building and leading a best-in-class talent organization over these past four years,” said Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. “She has been a trusted and valued partner, and we wish her the very best.”

Viant Technolgy has named Rasika Narang as SVP of Marketing. Narang previously led global teams at Ogilvy.

The Paley Center for Media named Paul A. Allen as VP, Development. Allen comes to the Paley Center from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, where he most recently held the position of Director, Major Gifts and Grants.

This Day in History
1903 – Dr. Harry Plotz discovered a vaccine against typhoid.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
On which which 1970s sitcom did the main character go from a married man in the first season, to a widower in the short-lived second season? “Doc” (1975-76). Kudos to: Greg West-WATC TV/Atlanta, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
What did “Public Morals” (1996), “Lawless” (1997) and “Dot Comedy” (2000) have in common? (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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CURATOR
>>
THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC/NY: Develop events, series, festivals, exhibits that are topical, culturally relevant, impactful and inclusive. In depth knowledge of history and current trends to conduct research and generate weekly reports. 8+ years managerial experience of a content collection in a research library, archive, museum, or related setting. Full info HERE (4/23)

DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNER
>>
BLUE PLATE MEDIA SERVICES/ SUMMIT NJ
: Day-to-day planning, executing and management of Digital and Social Media campaigns. Evaluate digital media, social platforms and advertising products and manage the RFP process. Strong ability to use and interpret analytical data and arrive at sound conclusions. 5+ years Digital and Social Media marketing experience required. Full info HERE (4/23)

VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & PARTNER INSIGHTS >>
ViacomCBS/NY, NY: Partner and liaise with senior sales management on brand strategy and positioning. Measure the efficiency of traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns and author and present consumer-focused research on brands, generations, trend and categories. 10+ years’ experience in media or consumer research required. Full info HERE (4/23)

WEDNESDAY APRIL 14
ABC: “The Goldbergs,” “Home Economics,” The Conners,” “Call Your Mother,” “A Million Little Things”
CBS: “Tough As Nails” [f], “United States of Al,” “United States of Al,” “S.W.A.T.”
CW: “Kung Fu,” “Nancy Drew”
FOX: “The Masked Singer,” “Game of Talents”
NBC: “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”
PBS: “Nature,” “NOVA”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “La Rosa de Guadalupe,” “Te Acuerdas De Mi,” “La Hija del Embajador”

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