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post #58807 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 08:35 AM
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TV Review
Ken Burns' 'Baseball: Tenth Inning'
By Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle

You don't have to be a San Francisco Giants fan to feel more than a tinge of sadness during "Baseball: The Tenth Inning," the two-part, four-hour addition to "Baseball," the landmark documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Yes, the 2002 World Series loss that gutted Giants fans is there. Yes, Barry Bonds, long the face of the steroids era, is there in full force. There is more detail about Giant failures than anyone needs to recount.

And yet there is a nagging undertone of sadness to "The Tenth Inning." Though Burns believes the resiliency of baseball - its ability to bounce back from scandal and dark days - is ultimately an uplifting, positive story, you can't help but be shamed by the modern era's reckless pursuit of perfection through performance-enhancing drugs and what that did to the record books.

History - and the records within that history - is the hallmark of the American pastime. Even if the comforting excuse these days is, "Well, every era had its own scandal," that's cold comfort to Hank Aaron and Roger Maris and countless others. Yes, each generation seemed to have something it used for an edge - from "greenies" to cut baseballs, corked bats, juiced balls, whatever. But it's difficult to look beyond the bloated steroids era that extended careers and redefined the record books and not feel that some kind of permanent damage was done.

And in the Bay Area, ground zero for BALCO and the steroids scandal, you've got Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds (along with the A's and the Giants) at the forefront of this mess. That's not exactly validating.

And for some people, "The Tenth Inning" won't go far enough with Bonds. That's because Burns and Novick take a far more interesting course in talking about Bonds than merely painting him as the arrogant All-Star who tainted baseball. Instead, they ask "Why?" And it's the right question.

Why would Bonds, who was already one of the greatest players in the game and a first-ballot Hall of Fame lock, put it all in jeopardy? Burns and Novick - to the chagrin of people who hate Bonds, no doubt - don't just conclude that he did it because everybody else did, or that it was purely ego driven. Yes, it was a lot of the latter, but they look to Bobby Bonds, Barry's father and an ex-Giant, to get at the root cause.

And what is that? That neither trusted the baseball overlords, that racism was playing a part (Barry Bonds not getting his due in Pittsburgh or in fans' minds) and that Bonds, having watched the McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run fest that dominated headlines, was not about to go out quietly.

An excuse? No. Just an insight. And Burns notes that there were, ultimately, far more damaging scandals than the steroids era and that time - baseball's truest friend - would deal with the aftermath in a fitting way, as it always has.

If you watched the brilliant, Emmy-winning original "Baseball" documentary (broken up into nine innings), you have felt the passion that Burns and Novick have for the game. It's a subject in their wheelhouse for two history buffs and storytellers who believe that America is best understood by documenting its history, passions and major participants. They are also, respectively, die-hard Red Sox and Yankees fans. And no, they didn't come to blows in the making of "The Tenth Inning."

An argument could be made that so much attention to the history-making World Series runs of both of their favorite teams - which happened after the original documentary aired - is excessive, particularly with the Yankees. But that's a minor quibble in an otherwise superb, informative account.

Burns remains one of this country's greatest filmmakers, and even at a relatively short (for him) four hours, a full story is told. There's wonder, there's sadness, there's hope.

When "Baseball" originally aired, there was a devastating strike that halted the national pastime. The upside was, because of that strike, "Baseball" was the only baseball actually on television, and more than 43 million people watched.

So much has happened since that original documentary - not just the strike but also the influx of foreign players, a stadium-building boom, the resurgence of the aforementioned storied franchises and, of course, steroids. When "The Tenth Inning" ends, you can sense the optimism that Burns extols.

The game is immensely popular. New and old teams are on the rise. Players are better (and no longer on the juice - though that may not last long, as the race for detection marches forward and battles with scientific advances). But the game is the same as it's always been. The beauty, Burns and Novick seem to be saying here, is that the game is far bigger than any player. And it will endure.

Baseball: The Tenth Inning: Documentary. 8 p.m. Tues.-Wed. on PBS.
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post #58808 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 08:56 AM
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Business Notes
Analyst: USA most valuable part of NBC Uni
NBC network worth a negative $600 million
By Gerog Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter - September 27th, 2010

USA Network is the most valuable part of NBC Universal at $11.7 billion, but the NBC network is worth a negative $600 million, according to Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan. He also puts the value of the Universal studio arm at about $4 billion.

Harrigan listed the valuation estimates in a research note on Monday following Friday's news that Jeff Zucker will leave his role as CEO of NBC Universal to Comcast COO Steve Burke after the cable giant acquires the entertainment firm.

"Burke appears likely to focus on revitalizing the NBC network and addressing digital media and subscription model initiatives," Harrigan wrote. "In the interim, Universal head Ron Meyer is apt to remain in position even with uneven market share and financial performance at the Studio," which he doesn't expect to be a near-term priority for Burke. "The NBC Network is simply more important perceptually and from a pop culture vantage point."

According to the analyst, the NBC Universal cable networks make up 78% of NBC Universal's valuation. Thanks to the stronger-than-anticipated recovery in the advertising market, the total company is likely worth slightly more than $32.5 billion, he said. In the Comcast deal, NBC Universal was value at $30 billion.

The negative $600 million value for NBC comes "as it remains a capital call for programming development as long as it remains mired in the #4 network position," Harrigan said.

Thanks to the NBC and Telemundo stations that NBC Universal owns and NBC Universal TV, the value of the firm's overall broadcast division stands at $3.5 billion though, according to the analyst.

The studio's $4 billion and theme park unit's $1.4 billion combine into a total $5.4 billion studio and parks business, according to his estimates.

But both are dwarfed by Harrigan's $32.7 billion valuation for the NBC Universal cable networks, including nearly $6.3 billion for Syfy, $3.9 billion for CNBC, $2.8 billion for MSNBC and $2.6 billion for Bravo.

Harrigan's total adds up to $41.6 billion, from which he subtracts nearly $9.1 billion in corporate and capital expenditures to arrive at a valuation of a bit more than $32.5 billion.

Adding in the $6 billion value of Comcast's cable networks, the combined NBC Universal-Comcast joint venture will be worth $38.6 billion before $9.1 billion of debt, or $29.5 billion when accounting for that debt, Harrigan said. That would put the value of Comcast's 51% stake at around $15 billion.
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post #58809 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 09:14 AM
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Nielsen Overnights
Football gives NBC another Sunday win
Averages a 5.3 in 18-49s, while ABC tumbles to fourth
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - September 27th, 2010

The days when ABC dominated Sundays are long since gone. Even with the premiere of "Desperate Housewives" last night, the network could only muster a fourth-place finish as every network had a relatively solid lineup.

Fueled by "Sunday Night Football," NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 5.3 average rating and a 14 share, according to Nielsen overnights. CBS was second at 3.9/10, Fox third at 3.5/9, ABC fourth at 2.8/7 and Univision fifth at 1.0/2.

"Housewives" averaged a 4.2 rating, still its best rating since January, but off 11 percent from last year. Lead-out "Brothers & Sisters" was actually up a tenth from the May season finale, to a 3.0, as viewers tuned in to see how the drama would handle Rob Lowe's character's death.

In fact, most premieres last night were off from last season, including Fox's "Family Guy" (down 15 percent) and "The Simpsons" (down 14 percent) and CBS's "Undercover Boss" (whose percentage decline is TBD because of football delays, but it will definitely not match last season's 5.2).

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Thirty-seven percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Also, ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

At 7 p.m. CBS was first with a 5.1 for NFL overrun and the start of "60 Minutes," while NBC and Fox tied for second at 2.7, NBC for "Football Night in America" and Fox for repeats of "Simpsons." ABC was fourth with a 1.4 for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and Univision fifth with a 0.6 for the last hour of a Mexican league soccer match.

NBC took the lead at 8 p.m. with a 6.1 for NFL pregame and the start of "Sunday Night Football," while Fox took second with a 3.4 for "Simpsons" (3.7) and "The Cleveland Show" (3.1). CBS was third with a 3.2 for the end of "60 Minutes" and star of "The Amazing Race," ABC fourth with a 2.5 for more "Home Edition" and Univision fifth with a 1.1 for "Mira Quien Baila."

At 9 p.m. NBC was first again with a 6.3 for football, with Fox second with a 4.5 for "Family" ABC was third with a 4.2 for "Housewives," CBS fourth with a 3.6 for more "Race" and Univision fifth with a 1.3 for another hour of "Baila."

NBC finished the night in the lead with a 6.3 at 10 p.m. for more football, followed by CBS with a 3.7 for the end of "Race" and start of "Boss." ABC was third with a 3.0 for "Brothers & Sisters" and Univision fourth with a 0.9 for "Sal y Pimienta."

NBC also led the night among households with an 8.5 average overnight rating and a 14 share. CBS was second at 8.0/13, ABC third at 5.8/9, Fox fourth at 4.3/7 and Univision fifth at 1.4/2.
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post #58810 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 09:34 AM
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Overnight Nielsen Ratings (Live Plus Same Day data)
(From Marc Berman’s September 27th, 2010 Programming Insider newsletter and blog at
Sunday, September 26th
Fast Affiliate Ratings (Live Plus Same Day data)

Total Viewers:
NBC: 13.48 million, CBS: 13.27, ABC: 9.10, Fox: 7.60

Adults 18-49:
NBC: 5.3 rating/14 share, CBS: 3.9/10, Fox: 3.5/ 9, ABC: 2.8/ 7

Yesterday’s Winners:
Football overrun (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), Football Night in America, part three (NBC), Sunday Night Football: New York Giants at Miami (NBC), the Simpsons (Fox), The Amazing Race (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Family Guy (Fox)

Fading Fast:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

Unexpected Erosion:
The Cleveland Show (Fox)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Note: Year-ago results are based on the Live Plus Same Day ratings.

Ratings Breakdown:
Football-ignited NBC won this first Sunday of the 2010-11 season care of the New York Jets at Miami, but its advantage over second-place CBS was only 210,000 viewers. NBC’s adult 18-49 lead was far greater at 36 percent.

The New York Jets at the Miami Dophins last night averaged an approximate 15.93 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/16 share among adults 18-49 for the primetime portion (from 8:30-11 p.m.). Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always approximate. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

Sunday Night Football (NBC): New York Jets at Miami
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 17.88 million (#1), A18-49: 7.0/18 (#1)
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 16.41 million (#1), A18-49: 6.4/15 (#1)
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 15.74 million (#1), A18-49: 6.3/15 (#1)
10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 14.91 million (#1), A18-49: 6.3/16 (#1)
10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 14.72 million (#1), A18-49: 6.3/17 (#1)

Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America as follows:

Football Night in America
7:00 p.m.: part one – Viewers: 6.05 million (#3), A18-49: 2.0/ 6 (#3)
7:30 p.m.: part two – Viewers: 8.68 million (#2), A18-49: 3.3/10 (#2)
8:00 p.m.” part three – Viewers: 13.43 million (#1), A18-49: 5.2/14 (#1)

CBS got a lift courtesy of an approximate 45-minute football overrun, which means that individual program results for the network are estimated. With that in mind, here is how CBS fared by half hour:

7:00 p.m. – Football
Viewers: 17.67 million (#1), A18-49: 5.7/18 (#1)

7:30 p.m. – Football / 60 Minutes (season premiere)
Viewers: 16.37 million (#1), A18-49: 4.5/13 (#1)

8:00 p.m. – 60 Minutes (season premiere)
Viewers: 14.30 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/ 8 (#3)

8:30 p.m. – 60 Minutes (season premiere) / The Amazing Race (season premiere)
Viewers: 13.57 million (#2), A18-49: 3.5/ 9 (#2)

9:00 p.m. – The Amazing Race (season premiere)
Viewers: 10.94 million (#3), A18-49: 3.6/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m. – The Amazing Race (season premiere)
Viewers: 11.35 million (#3), A18-49: 3.7/ 9 (#4)

10:00 p.m. – The Amazing Race (season premiere) / Undercover Boss (season premiere)
Viewers: 11.16 million (#2), A18-49: 3.7/ 9 (#2)

10:30 p.m. – Undercover Boss (season premiere)
Viewers: 11.16 million (#2), A18-49: 3.6/10 (#2)

Keep in mind that The Amazing Race was 90 minutes.

Over at ABC, the two-episode season-premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is showing its age, with a depressed 6.97 million viewers and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 from 7-9 p.m. One year earlier (also two episodes), it opened with an average 8.80 million viewers and a 2.6/ 7 in the demo. Comparably, this is a loss of 1.83 million viewers and 23 percent among adults 18-49. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): season premiere
7:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.01 million (#4), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#4)
7:30 p.m. – Viewers: 6.07 million (#3), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#4)
8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 7.73 million (#4), A18-49: 2.3/ 6 (#4)
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 9.07 million (#3), A18-49: 2.7/ 7 (#4)

Next on ABC was the seventh season-premiere of Desperate Housewives at 12.83 million viewers (#2) and a third-place 4.2/10 among adults 18-49. While this is still a “winning” performance, the year-ago season opener was stronger at 13.64 million viewers and a 4.7/11 in the demo on Sept. 27, 2009. Next on ABC was the season five premiere of Brothers & Sisters at a respectable (and third-place) 9.64 million viewers and a 3.0/ 8 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Comparably, this was almost identical to the 9.38 million viewers and 3.0/ 8 in the demo on Sept. 27, 2009.

Over in the world of Sunday night Fox animation, two repeat episodes of The Simpsons led into season 22 of the longest running animated sitcom in the history of television, and it was on the map with 7.76 million viewers (#3) and a second-place 3.7/10 at 8 p.m. Compared to one year earlier (Viewers: 8.31 million; A18-49: 4.3/12 on Sept. 27, 2009), that was a loss of 550,000 viewers and 14 percent in the demo. Next on Fox was the second season-premiere of The Cleveland Show (Viewers: #4, 6.60 million; A18-49: #3, 3.1/ 8), which lost considerable steam from year-ago series-premiere (Viewers: 9.51 million; A18-49: 4.9/12 on Sept. 27, 2009), followed by the one-hour season premiere of Family Guy as follows:

Family Guy (Fox)
Viewers: 9.13 million (#4), A18-49: 4.5/11 (#2)

Growth for Family Guy out of The Cleveland Show was 2.53 million viewers and 45 percent among adults 18-49. But the year-ago opener was indeed stronger at 10.11 million viewers and a 5.2/12 in the demo.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Note: Previous overnight ratings are available at Marc Berman’s Programmers Insider blog:
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post #58811 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 09:47 AM
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Nielsen Overnights
Football Rules, 'Guy', 'Housewives' Down & 'Cleveland' Tumbles
By Nellie Andreeva,'s TV Editor - September 27th, 2010

Football won the night for NBC with Sunday Night Football and helped CBS take the silver with an overrun, while ABC and Fox's lineups were mostly down on the first Sunday of the season. Here is how the networks, none of which featured new additions to their Sunday schedules, fared:


Desperate Housewives (4.2/10, 12.8 million), which introduced several new cast members, including new housewife Vanessa Williams, was down 11% from last season's premiere, a modest decline compared to last fall's 37% tumble on premiere night. It was up 5% from its May finale. Brothers & Sisters (3.0/8) at 10 PM was flat. Both series posted their highest 18-49 numbers since early January (for Housewives, it was also the largest audience since then.) Reality veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.5/6), which opened the night for ABC, was down 19% from last season's premiere.


Fox's The Cleveland Show, which shined in its debut on the same night last year, was the network's weakest link last night, sandwiched between veterans The Simpsons and Family Guy. In its second season premiere, the Family Guy spin-off (3.1/8) was down 37% from its debut last fall. It's lead-in, The Simpsons (3.7/10) was down 14%, while an hourlong Family Guy (4.5/11) at 9 PM was down 15% but still ranked as the top-rated entertainment program of the night, beating ABC's Housewives.


Because its football overrun ended at 7:47 PM, CBS' fast nationals are jumbled but it is certain that Undercover Boss was down from its blockbuster start last season. The Amazing Race appears close to its last fall premiere as the 8:30-10 PM period, which included 17 minutes of 60 Minutes and 73 minutes of Race posted a 3.6/9 in 18-49. (Last fall's Race debut averaged a 3.4/8). The conclusion of Race's premiere and the season opener of Undercover Boss logged a 3.7/10 from 10-11 PM. For comparison, the first regular Undercover Boss following its launch after the Super Bowl drew a 5.2/13. But in its first cycle, which aired in midseason, Boss never had to face football.


In the fast nationals, the Sunday Night Football game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins posted a 6.5/16 in adults 18-49. While unreliable as it is not time-adjusted, the number is a good indication where NBC will finish the night - on top.
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post #58812 of 100746 Old 09-27-2010, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Television Review
The Tenth Inning
Baseball Continued: Between Rebirth and Calamity

By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times

It seemed improbable in 1994 that Ken Burns would ever feel compelled to update his nine-part documentary on baseball. At 18 ½ hours, Baseball was his longest film yet, and if his critics agreed on anything, it was that it lasted a few too many innings.

After that Mr. Burns made a broad range of documentaries, on Lewis and Clark and Mark Twain, on Frank Lloyd Wright and the boxer Jack Johnson, on jazz (19 hours), on World War II (15 hours) and on the history of American national parks (12 hours). Most of them were settled subjects, like those that preceded Baseball, and fit tidily into Burnsian packages. History, Mr. Burns said, is usually stories that are over.

But Baseball turned out to be different.

The final episode ended in 1992. That was before the players' strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series; before the steroids era began in earnest; and before juiced-up sluggers with cartoonish bodies took home run hitting to absurd levels and helped baseball reach financial peaks, however Faustian the bargain.

So many things were calling us to do this, Mr. Burns said, explaining why he and his co-producer, Lynn Novick, created their sequel, Baseball: The Tenth Inning, which will be seen in two two-hour doses, at 8 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and Wednesday on PBS stations. (Each episode of the original Baseball averaged 6.8 million viewers.)

It's not that we hadn't said enough, Mr. Burns added. But if we accepted our original premise that baseball is a way to understand American history, then the story continues.

By heading into the documentary postseason, Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick risk telling stories that are overly familiar to baseball fans without the benefit of decades of distance. They cannot rely on uncovering or illuminating the past, as they did in Baseball, with evocative black-and-white photos, newsreels, period music and readings by singular voices like Jason Robards, Eli Wallach and Julie Harris.

And since the first Baseball fans have been swamped with a digital age's worth of news, investigative reports, books, documentaries and video, not to mention opinions hurled from sports blogs and talk radio. Major League Baseball even started its own television network in 2009.

So how much can Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick say about the central figure of their sequel the home run king Barry Bonds that is fresh? (Mr. Bonds is to be tried in federal court on a charge of lying to prosecutors about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.) We're not breaking news, Ms. Novick said. We're not making some new revelations that if you're not following the game closely you don't know.

What they offer, they say, is their storytelling and filmmaking skills. How we would interweave the elements might add dimension, layers and context to what is more or less a knee-jerk, binary, good-bad response, Mr. Burns said.

In The Tenth Inning, Mr. Burns offers more than just a contrast between light and dark, between the simple joys of baseball and the greed of the players and owners, between the decency of players like Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr. and the surliness of Mr. Bonds, and between the elegance of the singles hitter Ichiro Suzuki and the brute force of home run bashers like Mark McGwire who captivated fans only to sour them with the artificial sources of their inflated physiques.

In the film, Howard Bryant, an ESPN writer, calls the years since the mid-'90s a period of simultaneous renaissance and calamity, in which record attendance is set against the steroid scandal's shame. Another commentator, Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post, says fans have learned to filter out baseball's self-inflicted indignities to focus on a game that still can entrance.

Mr. Burns insists that The Tenth Inning is an optimistic look at the strength that baseball retains, despite itself. He offers evidence including the rise of Latino players, the success of the former Yankees manager Joe Torre, the 86-year wait for a World Series championship by fans of the Boston Red Sox (My team, Mr. Burns said) and the frequent appearances of the writer and MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle's emotional (if schmaltzy) father-and-sons-and-Red Sox memories.

But most narrative roads in the film lead to Mr. Bonds. A convenient villain whose father taught him to be wary and who grew into his arrogance, he is first seen as a lean and marvelous Pittsburgh Pirate destined for a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Fame induction. But he left the stage as a muscle-bound baseball colossus whose single-season and career home run records fans view with incredulity. Some want to restore those records to their average-size previous owners, Roger Maris and Henry Aaron.

The through line of the story, you can assume, might be the arc of Bonds's career, Mr. Burns said. But the resilience of the game is much more dominant.

Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick have packed The Tenth Inning with a corps of hyperarticulate talking heads, mostly writers, historians and broadcasters. Only a few of those included actually played the game, most prominently the great Pedro Martinez, who has pitched for the Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Expos and Phillies during his 18-year career.

Another addition is Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC host who, as a sports anchor at ESPN, became a public faultfinder of Mr. Burns's Baseball, citing scores of mistakes and criticizing the film. Mr. Burns told USA Today that he was disappointed that Mr. Olbermann, a baseball expert, would have such a petty mind. But in recent years, the two have become friendly (Mr. Burns has appeared on the MSNBC show Countdown With Keith Olbermann), and Mr. Burns invited his old nemesis to be in The Tenth Inning. Mr. Olbermann said the sequel appears to be 100 percent factually accurate.

Tony Kornheiser, who wrote humorously but devastatingly about Baseball in The Washington Post (he called it 18 ½ hours of slurping at the trough of baseball), is not planning to watch The Tenth Inning. Now an ESPN radio and television host, Mr. Kornheiser said: If he's doing something reflective on steroids, good for him. I'm sure it'll be wonderful. I'm watching Mad Men' and Boardwalk Empire.'
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