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Old 02-26-2013, 02:47 PM   #61
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I think the article is overstating things. NBC didn't do anything meaningful to compete in February sweeps, did they? If they really cared that much about February sweeps they would have made sure to get The Voice and Revolution back by then I think they will do quite well in May sweeps. I assume that this was a strategic decision somehow, but I guess they might have "actually been trying" in February.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #62
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I think the article is overstating things. NBC didn't do anything meaningful to compete in February sweeps, did they? If they really cared that much about February sweeps they would have made sure to get The Voice and Revolution back by then I think they will do quite well in May sweeps. I assume that this was a strategic decision somehow, but I guess they might have "actually been trying" in February.
I don't think they purposefully "tanked" February sweeps. No network would do that, when the sweeps periods are so important and there are only a couple of them per year. However, I do think the NBC execs were a little overconfident after their success in the fall and thought they could use February to launch some new stuff, rather than continuing their fall hits. Hopefully they've now seen the error of their ways and realize that schedule continuity is something they have to maintain as much as possible. That lesson will be pounded into them when Revolution comes back to a sub 2.0 after the long hiatus.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #63
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You're arguing semantics now. Their 'place' is irrelevant.



And therein lies the rub. There is also the potential to be worse - and actually a complete failure. By keeping some of the older shows, they know to what degree they will suck if nothing else improves. Remove that constant and there is no telling how low they could go. You simply don't take that kind of risk. You get rid of the worst, keep what's salvageable and try again next year to develop a few more keepers. At which point you again get rid of the worst and continue to build the brand rather than throwing **** at the wall and hoping it all works out for the best. Given their track record of new shows failing, your 'start from scratch' method would end in utter failure.
That's what being an entrepreneur is all about isn't it? Look at just about every successful business man and they took a risk like that. Right now, you KNOW you have a failure, and you have little potential for it to improve. So you take the risk and reinvent yourself. Sure it might be a colossal failure, but it could be a HUGE success. They are heading down the tubes now, it's time to take that risk. Obviously we have a difference of opinion here. It's not my money. But this is what business has become in the 21st century. Everyone hedges their bets. That's why we celebrate companies like Apple who take risks. Apple got that way because they were in NBC's shoes and reinvented themselves because they had inspired leadership. No risk, no reward.

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ou said "nobody" is watching. That is not true. NBC isn't always the lowest rated shows. Even if they are, they still have an audience of at least a few millions viewers. The word will still get out to them.
Relatively. Isn't this thread about them setting record lows in ratings? You're selling your new stuff to a smaller audience than even Univision. Obviously the trick is how do you get them to watch. A bold move is going to pique interest. Ultimately, if there's quality there that people want to watch, they will stay, but by blowing things up, it increases the options.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #64
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I think the article is overstating things. NBC didn't do anything meaningful to compete in February sweeps, did they? If they really cared that much about February sweeps they would have made sure to get The Voice and Revolution back by then I think they will do quite well in May sweeps. I assume that this was a strategic decision somehow, but I guess they might have "actually been trying" in February.
What meaningful things did the other networks do to compete?
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #65
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #66
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #67
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The difference between NBC and Apple is that Steve Jobs (since his return) was never in fear of losing his job. He could make a couple mistakes and knew that he'd still be able to continue running the company. This allowed him to create a more long-term focus throughout the company, and allowed the company to spend several years developing a new product.

Conversely, the entertainment industry chews up and spits out executives on a regular basis. Even successful networks make changes all the time. So the suits at NBC aren't interested in building for the long term, because the chances that they'll still be in their jobs 5 or 10 years from now are slim to none.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:57 PM   #68
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What meaningful things did the other networks do to compete?
They certainly didn't take their two highest-rated entertainment shows from the fall and put them on hiatus for 3+ months.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #69
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I don't think they purposefully "tanked" February sweeps. No network would do that, when the sweeps periods are so important and there are only a couple of them per year. However, I do think the NBC execs were a little overconfident after their success in the fall and thought they could use February to launch some new stuff, rather than continuing their fall hits. Hopefully they've now seen the error of their ways and realize that schedule continuity is something they have to maintain as much as possible. That lesson will be pounded into them when Revolution comes back to a sub 2.0 after the long hiatus.
I think a long hiatus is fine for a show like NCIS or a sitcom, but for a serialized show, it's a recipe for disaster. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson when they tried this with Lost and then with Heroes. People forget what's going on, and they either have moved on to something else or get bored after a few episodes because they have lost interest.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:08 PM   #70
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Right now, you KNOW you have a failure, and you have little potential for it to improve.
That is the point your whole argument is based on and it's flawed, if not just wrong. The network is not a failure and it does have plenty of potential to improve. They won the ratings sweeps in the fall for Pete's sake. NBC has several viable shows right now. The Voice and Revolution (their highest rated shows outside of football and which weren't on during this sweeps period distorting the overall health of the company), Grimm, Biggest Loser, Parenthood (won it's timeslot), and Chicago Fire are all capable shows. Then they have some real turds that rated so low that they disproportionately distort the overall ratings (Do No Harm, Animal Practice, Smash, New Normal, Guys with Kids, 1600 Penn). There is no need to reinvent the network.

I'm not sure why you are so intent on believing this is a viable strategy when several people have shown why it is not. I mean, you started off the whole conversation saying you were probably wrong. You were proven correct in that aspect yet you still keep going. I don't get it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:25 PM   #71
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What meaningful things did the other networks do to compete?
They aired episodes of their hit shows. That's basically how CBS won February Sweeps - by just showing things that were already ratings winners.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #72
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They aired episodes of their hit shows. That's basically how CBS won February Sweeps - by just showing things that were already ratings winners.
Well they didn't do anything special, they aired their regular programming. You were right before, it was strategic. I guess they'd rather have the higher May sweeps numbers.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #73
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Well they didn't do anything special, they aired their regular programming. You were right before, it was strategic. I guess they'd rather have the higher May sweeps numbers.
But the difference is that every other network figures out how to take 22 episodes and ensure that 10-12 of them are aired in November, February, and May. For some reason, NBC took its two biggest shows from the fall (not counting SNF) off the air for 3+ months, meaning they didn't air them during Feb. sweeps. Every other network would have figured out a way to air them during both Feb. and May, even if that meant taking a couple weeks off in March and April. In fact, if Revolution is going to have 22 episodes this season, and it starts on March 25 and airs one episode per week, there will be three episodes left to air after May sweeps and the regular TV season ends. That's simply poor strategic planning.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #74
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They really need to just air Bitch Hunter already.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #75
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That is the point your whole argument is based on and it's flawed, if not just wrong. The network is not a failure and it does have plenty of potential to improve. They won the ratings sweeps in the fall for Pete's sake. NBC has several viable shows right now. The Voice and Revolution (their highest rated shows outside of football and which weren't on during this sweeps period distorting the overall health of the company), Grimm, Biggest Loser, Parenthood (won it's timeslot), and Chicago Fire are all capable shows. Then they have some real turds that rated so low that they disproportionately distort the overall ratings (Do No Harm, Animal Practice, Smash, New Normal, Guys with Kids, 1600 Penn). There is no need to reinvent the network.

I'm not sure why you are so intent on believing this is a viable strategy when several people have shown why it is not. I mean, you started off the whole conversation saying you were probably wrong. You were proven correct in that aspect yet you still keep going. I don't get it.
They won fall sweeps on the strength of their two hit shows, which I said to keep, SNF was a HUGE ratings winner, but the problem is, it can only be ON during the fall. The Voice was a huge hit as well, and they deserve kudos for that. We'll see how well Revolution does with the long hiatus. The rest? borderline at best, but ok, you want to keep those shows, fine. But again, this thread is about them having the lowest sweeps ratings IN THE HISTORY OF NETWORK TV. How can you say it's anything but an abject failure? Look I hope you are right. Parenthood is one of my favorite shows, and they deserve some success. Grimm? Can't say I watched it, but you have to wonder how it would do if it were on another night. The Biggest Loser? It's done ok, but it's ratings haven't been that strong recently.

So maybe blowing up everything isn't the way to go, but their marketing is a disaster. To me, the only way to change their image is to do something drastic. I'm not talking Jay Leno drastic but they need to reinvent themselves.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:26 AM   #76
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But the difference is that every other network figures out how to take 22 episodes and ensure that 10-12 of them are aired in November, February, and May. For some reason, NBC took its two biggest shows from the fall (not counting SNF) off the air for 3+ months, meaning they didn't air them during Feb. sweeps. Every other network would have figured out a way to air them during both Feb. and May, even if that meant taking a couple weeks off in March and April. In fact, if Revolution is going to have 22 episodes this season, and it starts on March 25 and airs one episode per week, there will be three episodes left to air after May sweeps and the regular TV season ends. That's simply poor strategic planning.
Or they don't believe that Revolution could compete against strong sweeps competition, so they are holding it back when it might be up against a few extra reruns or whatever. Maybe that's not a bad strategy if they discussed it with the advertisers, who might wind up with a bigger audience as a result of not being up against stronger competition. I don't think the hiatus was a good idea in the first place for that show.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #77
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The reason that NBC held back on Revolution is they wanted to keep it paired with the Voice. I guess that they thought that Revolution would tank in the ratings if it didn't have the Voice as a lead in. They do run the risk of singing show fatigue and the results of a long hiatus for Revolution. We'll know soon enough just how bad of a decision it was when they finally do come back in March.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #78
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Or they don't believe that Revolution could compete against strong sweeps competition, so they are holding it back when it might be up against a few extra reruns or whatever. Maybe that's not a bad strategy if they discussed it with the advertisers, who might wind up with a bigger audience as a result of not being up against stronger competition. I don't think the hiatus was a good idea in the first place for that show.
Except that it held its own just fins against sweeps competition in November. Nothing new has been added by the other networks in that time slot. It would still be competing with Castle and Hawaii Five-0, which it beat in the fall.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:33 AM   #79
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The reason that NBC held back on Revolution is they wanted to keep it paired with the Voice. I guess that they thought that Revolution would tank in the ratings if it didn't have the Voice as a lead in. They do run the risk of singing show fatigue and the results of a long hiatus for Revolution. We'll know soon enough just how bad of a decision it was when they finally do come back in March.
We know they held it so it could remain paired with The Voice. The question is, why did they choose to keep The Voice off the air during February sweeps? Fox seems to have to problem making Idol last through both Feb. and May sweeps.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:34 AM   #80
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Besides Sunday Night Football (and that depends on the teams) I haven't watched an NBC show since I stopped watching the office a few seasons back.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #81
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If NBC scraps their lineup, they'd be starting from scratch with completely unproven shows. It would be like a baseball team firing all their players and then going out on the street and filling their roster with 25 random guys who have never played at all.
30 minute sitcom? Add one of the "Friends"? I'd watch that.

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I think a long hiatus is fine for a show like NCIS or a sitcom, but for a serialized show, it's a recipe for disaster. You'd think they'd have learned their lesson when they tried this with Lost and then with Heroes. People forget what's going on, and they either have moved on to something else or get bored after a few episodes because they have lost interest.
Definitely agree with this. These long breaks are killers; half the time for the shows the other half for fans.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #82
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We need to kill the baseball analogy, because TV networks don't have minor league shows in development just waiting to get called up to the bigs. If NBC scraps their lineup, they'd be starting from scratch with completely unproven shows. It would be like a baseball team firing all their players and then going out on the street and filling their roster with 25 random guys who have never played at all.
I disagree with that last part. To switch the analogy a bit to football, it'd be more like firing the entire team and replacing them with drafts. You might end up with some hall-of-fame all-stars.... or you might end up with some draft duds. In other words, if they were to do it, it would be gambling, pure and simple. They'd have to hope whatever they can buy or develop is better than what they've got now.

The problem with NBC right now is (and now I'm switching back to a baseball metaphor) their "minor leagues," the shows they have in development, aren't much better than what they have now.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #83
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I disagree with that last part. To switch the analogy a bit to football, it'd be more like firing the entire team and replacing them with drafts. You might end up with some hall-of-fame all-stars.... or you might end up with some draft duds. In other words, if they were to do it, it would be gambling, pure and simple. They'd have to hope whatever they can buy or develop is better than what they've got now.

The problem with NBC right now is (and now I'm switching back to a baseball metaphor) their "minor leagues," the shows they have in development, aren't much better than what they have now.
OK, to continue the draft analogy, NBC would have the last pick in every round, since talent would definitely prefer to be on CBS, FOX, or ABC rather than NBC. There simply aren't enough viewers on NBC right now.

As for NBC's "minor leagues," the success to failure ratio of network TV development is crazy. Every year, the networks read hundreds of scripts, make dozens of pilots, order 8-12 pilots to series, and are lucky if 1-2 of those gets renewed for a second season. Based on those stats, there is no reason to believe that anything NBC has in development is even as good as what they're currently airing.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #84
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We know they held it so it could remain paired with The Voice. The question is, why did they choose to keep The Voice off the air during February sweeps? Fox seems to have to problem making Idol last through both Feb. and May sweeps.
I'm guessing it was more of a timing issue than anything else. I believe The Voice is the first singing show since the first season of American Idol to try to do two cycles in a single season. They probably had to wait until March to accommodate the schedules of the four mentors.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #85
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I disagree with that last part. To switch the analogy a bit to football, it'd be more like firing the entire team and replacing them with drafts. You might end up with some hall-of-fame all-stars.... or you might end up with some draft duds. In other words, if they were to do it, it would be gambling, pure and simple. They'd have to hope whatever they can buy or develop is better than what they've got now.

The problem with NBC right now is (and now I'm switching back to a baseball metaphor) their "minor leagues," the shows they have in development, aren't much better than what they have now.
Well we don't know if they are better or worse. What we do know is that based on their history the last few years, there have been some critically acclaimed shows that have never gotten off the ground simply because people aren't watching NBC. CBS throws out basically the same police procedural over and over again, and they get ratings. NBC could throw out the same exact show and it would tank. It's a tough spot. How do you get people to watch?

I'm a hockey fan....6 or 7 years ago, the Rangers would put out the same crappy retreads year after year, and it just got boring and nobody wanted to watch. Finally they got smart, and got rid of most of these old retreads who they KNEW they were going to continue to stink with and brought up a bunch of kids. Now, they were interesting to watch to see how the new blood would do. You knew some would be washouts, but some would be stars. But you knew that what they had before was the same old crap and wasn't going to improve. There was an excitement around the team that wasn't there for years. That's my reasoning about NBC killing their schedule. Create a buzz, make some noise, do something risky. Because what they are doing now isn't working all that well.

BTW, NBC won the fall sweeps, but would they have if you took away SNF? The Voice? I doubt it. In fact, I doubt they would have been that much better than they are now.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #86
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OK, to continue the draft analogy, NBC would have the last pick in every round, since talent would definitely prefer to be on CBS, FOX, or ABC rather than NBC. There simply aren't enough viewers on NBC right now.

As for NBC's "minor leagues," the success to failure ratio of network TV development is crazy. Every year, the networks read hundreds of scripts, make dozens of pilots, order 8-12 pilots to series, and are lucky if 1-2 of those gets renewed for a second season. Based on those stats, there is no reason to believe that anything NBC has in development is even as good as what they're currently airing.
Or they could have a run like ABC had a couple of years ago where lots clicked. Could it be worse than what they have now?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:59 AM   #87
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I'm guessing it was more of a timing issue than anything else. I believe The Voice is the first singing show since the first season of American Idol to try to do two cycles in a single season. They probably had to wait until March to accommodate the schedules of the four mentors.
There's a lot of concern out there that the 2 cycles of The Voice will burn it out with the viewers. NBC betting so hard on it being the torch bearer could really blow up in its face, and that seems to be what just happened.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #88
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Which podcast? I'm looking for a new one.
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Hoffer may be referring to Firewall & Iceberg (iTunes link), by Dan Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix.com. Thought I would mention it even if that's not the one Hoffer means, because I'd recommend it to anyone who likes insightful TV criticism and talk. You do need to have a high tolerance for lame patter and poor sound quality, but the core of the podcast is really good.
Actually, I was talking about the IGN podcast Channel Surfing. They just seem to talk about the kinds of shows I watch. Stuff on HBO, Showtime, sitcoms, etc... There isn't any talk of procedurals or reality or whatever else I'm not into.

I also like their movie podcast Keepin it Reel. There again they talk about movies I watch, like super heroes and action and etc...

IGN is probably aimed at a younger audience and I have a child-like mind when it comes to TV and movies.

I'll give that Firewall podcast a try. I listen to way too many video game and tech podcasts. I could use more TV and movie podcasts.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #89
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In fact, if Revolution is going to have 22 episodes this season, and it starts on March 25 and airs one episode per week, there will be three episodes left to air after May sweeps and the regular TV season ends. That's simply poor strategic planning.
That's WAY beyond poor strategic planning. That's, like, USA Network strategy (where they deliberately try to put on new content when everyone else is in reruns). This works well for USA because it's a cable channel, but you CANNOT run a network that way. The network schedules and sweeps times are based on a knowledge of when people watch televison and when they're too busy doing other stuff. In the summer, people get busy with graduations, weddings, vacations, and general summer-type stuff that is likely to disrupt the faithful weekly routine of sitting down to watch a show. Similarly, people are usually too busy over the holidays with family events, travel, and such.

USA managed to carve a niche for itself by having fun, fairly fluffly programing that people could watch during these "dead" zones. Occasionally, the networks have experimented with putting a show on in these slots to get attention and then moving it to the "regular" schedule once it's established (Fox did this with The O.C. and Glee both. I think WB does it pretty regularly, but I don't follow any shows on the WB well enough to say for certain that this is the case. ) But realistically, even if NBC tried to compete with USA at this point, quite frankly, USA has better programming.

So this leaves us with the question: What the heck is NBC doing blowing off February sweeps and not showing signs of ANY coherent strategy to attract viewers? Why the random hiatuses when they have nothing in the pipeline to fill up that empty time and attract viewers??

Either the network heads are less competent than your average McDonald's employee or they're deliberately trying to sink the network for some reason.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:25 PM   #90
billypritchard
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I think most folks see that 'sweeps' periods are a thing of the past, at least on the national level.
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