Headlines http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines The latest Headlines, news and blog posts from ABC News contributors and bloggers. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 03:12:11 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Jockey Accused of Zapping Horse Near Finish Line http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/jockey-accused-of-zapping-horse-near-finish-line/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/jockey-accused-of-zapping-horse-near-finish-line/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:41:43 +0000 Enjoli Francis http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527599

Jockey Roman Chapa is facing a felony charge of unlawful influence on racing based largely on a photograph taken during a race earlier this month.

When Chapa won the Jan. 17  race riding Quiet Acceleration at the Sam Houston Race Park in Texas, a snapshot of the photo finish circulated. He reportedly asked that the image be taken down, raising suspicions.

Horse race scam foiled by a quirk of fate.

Horse trainer pleads guilty to animal abuse.

Members of Congress tackle horse “torture.”

Prosecutors now allege that the photo showed Chapa, 43, holding a buzzer in his left hand. Buzzers are used to send an electrical shock to the horse.

Barry Abrams of ESPN’s “In the Gate” said the alleged device was intended to startle the horse and make him run faster.

“It doesn’t really hurt the horse,” Abrams said. “It more gets his attention. … It’s just meant to kind of startle him.”

Investigators said the jockey told them that the picture was photoshopped by someone trying to frame him.

Abrams said incidents like this were not common.

“Just about all the tracks these days have stewards positioned all over the rack track — both with their own eyes and with cameras everywhere — so it’s very difficult nowadays to execute such a thing effectively,” he said.

ap chapa lb 150129 16x9 608 Jockey Accused of Zapping Horse Near Finish Line


Chapa’s track record is questionable.  In 2007, he was suspended for using an electrical device on a horse. And in 1994, he was suspended for using a nail to make a horse run faster.

Chapa did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News.

Andrea Young, president of the Sam Houston Race Park, said in a statement that the park was “pleased” with how fast the investigation had moved.

“These sorts of actions have no place in horse racing, and are a disservice to the tens of thousands of people involved in our sport who play by the rules every day. We will continue to support this investigation in every way possible,” Young said.

If he is convicted, Chapa faces up to 10 years in prison.

ABC News’ Ryan Owens, Matt German and Shahriar Rahmanzadeh contributed to this story.

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Seattle Seahawks Gnome Travels to the Super Bowl http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/seattle-seahawks-gnome-travels-to-the-super-bowl/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/seattle-seahawks-gnome-travels-to-the-super-bowl/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:38:16 +0000 Enjoli Francis http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527597

Branden and Dana Smith are hoping their famous traveling gnome will bring them luck in the form of Super Bowl XLIX tickets.

“The gnome has to work his magic,” Dana Smith said. “We are going to that game.”

See, their gnome is not the average garden variety. It’s a legend in its own right.

“Oh my goodness, Washington, Oregon, down to the Golden Gate Bridge, Yellowstone National Park. He’s been all over,” Dana Smith said. “I’m pretty sure he’s already been to Arizona so this is his second trip. Our gnome is more well-traveled than we are.”

Stolen Seattle Seahawks gnome comes home.

Missing garden gnome mysteriously returns.

Super Bowl XLIX: Facts and Figures Ahead of the Big Game

Weeks after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory in 2014, the Smiths of Tumwater, Washington, received the gnome bearing the Seattle Seahawks logo as a gift from Branden Smith’s mother.

KOMO traveling gnome 06 jc 140912 16x9 608 Seattle Seahawks Gnome Travels to the Super Bowl

The garden gnome owned by Branden and Dana Smith of Tumwater, Wash. went missing for six months and was returned with a calendar full of photos showing him in various locations. KOMO photo.

The seven-year season ticket holders promptly put it on their front lawn. In March, though, three days later, it disappeared.

Six months later, in September and on the first day of the NFL season, the gnome was returned. But it didn’t come empty-handed. With the gnome came a calendar including photos of its travels around the western US.

“They took him on a little vacation,” Dana Smith said. “They fed him, gave him beer.”

On Wednesday, the couple left their home to make the 22-hour trip to Phoenix, Arizona, with the gnome.

The Smiths said they brought the gnome to Phoenix to take pictures, meet Seahawks players and hopefully score tickets to the big game.

“It’s the Super Bowl!” Branden Smith said. “With everything that happened, we knew we were going down here. We weren’t going to leave him at home.”

ABC News’ Cecilia Vega and Brinda Adhikari contributed to this story.

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NEW DETAILS IN VANDERBILT COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS’ ASSAULT TRIAL Airs on “20/20″ Friday, January 30, 10 PM ET on ABC http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/new-details-in-vanderbilt-college-football-players-assault-trial-airs-on-2020-friday-january-30-10-pm-et-on-abc/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/new-details-in-vanderbilt-college-football-players-assault-trial-airs-on-2020-friday-january-30-10-pm-et-on-abc/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:25:23 +0000 Alyssa Apple http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527593 NEW DETAILS IN VANDERBILT COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS’ ASSAULT TRIAL 

Airs on “20/20″ Friday, January 30, 10 PM ET on ABC


It is the scandalous crime that has made headlines across the country — college football stars at one of the country’s most prestigious schools just this week convicted of assaulting a fellow student while she was unconscious after a night of out-of-control drinking. What really happened inside a Vanderbilt dorm room? ABC News Correspondent Ryan Smith has new and surprising details in the most complete account yet of the attack, which was recorded on a cell phone and sent out, and the attempted cover up. “20/20″ airs on FRIDAY, JANUARY 30 (10:00 – 11:00 pm ET) on the ABC TELEVISION NETWORK.

 ”20/20″ is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir.  David Sloan is senior executive producer.

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“Nightline” is #1 for the Week http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/nightline-is-1-for-the-week-2/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/nightline-is-1-for-the-week-2/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:51:50 +0000 Alyssa Apple http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527589 Ratings Report: ABC News Programming

For the Week of January 19, 2015


“Nightline” is #1 for the Week


“Nightline” Ranks #1 in Total Viewers 13 of Last 14 Weeks


ABC News’ “Nightline” ranked No. 1 in Total Viewers (1.492 million) for the 5th week running for the week of January 19, 2015, based on Live +Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research.  In fact, “Nightline” has won the week in Total Viewers in 13 of the last 14 weeks.  “Nightline outdelivered CBS’ “The Late Late Show” (+371,000) and NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (+70,000) in overall viewers. 

“Nightline” also led the CBS program in Adults 25-54 (+160,000) and Adults 18-49 (+157,000).  

Season to date, ABC News’ “Nightline” ranks No. 1 in Total Viewers (1.684 million), outdelivering CBS’ average of “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”/”The Late Late Show”/”The Talk – After Dark” (+256,000) and NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (+131,000).   

NOTE: Due to the Martin Luther King holiday (1/19/15), ABC’s and CBS’ Monday telecasts were coded as specials and are excluded from the weekly average.  ABC’s and CBS’ weekly averages are based on four days (Tues-Fri), while NBC’s averages are based on five days.

Jim Gaffigan was the guest host for CBS’ “The Late Late Show” from Mon-Wed, while Judd Apatow was guest host from Thur-Fri.

ABC News’ “Nightline” is anchored by Dan Harris, Juju Chang and Byron Pitts. Roxanna Sherwood is executive producer, and Steven Baker is Senior Broadcast Producer. The program airs weeknights from 12:35-1:05 a.m., ET on the ABC Television Network. Together with “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Nightline” is part of ABC’s winning late night strategy of airing news and entertainment programming. 

Week of January 19, 2015:

PROGRAM AVERAGES            TOTAL VIEWERS    A25-54(000)/Rtg   A18-49(000)/Rtg 

ABC ”Nightline”                               1,492,000        576,000/0.5       455,000/0.4

CBS “The Late Late Show”                1,121,000        416,000/0.3       298,000/0.2

NBC “Late Night”                                 1,422,000        644,000/0.5       523,000/0.4


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD weeks of 1/19/15, 1/12/15 and 1/20/14.  Most Current: 2014-2015 Season (9/22/14 – 1/25/15) and 2013-2014 Season (9/23/13 – 1/26/14).  Averages based on regular telecasts.  “Nightline” premiered in its new time period in January 2013.  *NBC’s year-ago week averages based on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

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ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Ranks No.1 on Sunday in Adults 25-54 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/abc-news-this-week-with-george-stephanopoulos-ranks-no-1-on-sunday-in-adults-25-54/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/abc-news-this-week-with-george-stephanopoulos-ranks-no-1-on-sunday-in-adults-25-54/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:01:36 +0000 Alyssa Bernstein http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527586

ABC News’ “This Week” is the Only Public Affairs Program to Improve Week to Week

And Grows the Most Year to Year in Adults 25-54

ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” ranked as the No. 1 public affairs program in Adults 25-54 (931,000) on January 25, 2015, based on Live +Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research.  “This Week” led NBC’s “Meet the Press” by 93,000 Adults 25-54 and CBS’ “Face the Nation” by 97,000 Adults 25-54. 

For the 2nd straight telecast, “This Week” increased over the prior week in Adults 25-54 (+6% – 931,000 vs. 882,000 on 1/18/15)In addition, “This Week” stood as the only public affairs program to grow week to week in the key adult news demo as CBS’ “Face the Nation” (-29%), NBC’s “Meet the Press” (-10%) and Fox’s “Fox News Sunday” (-14%) all turned in double-digit losses.

“This Week” improved on its year-ago telecast in Adults 25-54 (+23% – 931,000 vs. 759,000 on 1/26/14)“This Week” was up the most year to year in Adults 25-54 compared CBS’ “Face the Nation” (-17%), NBC’s “Meet the Press” (+6%) and Fox’s “Fox News Sunday” (-21%).


Growing for the 3rd season in a row, “This Weekis up in Adults 25-54 (+4% – 855,000 vs. 820,000) season to date versus the same point last season to its strongest news demo performance in 6 years – since the 2008-09 season.  Competitively, “This Week” is outdelivering NBC’s “Meet the Press” for the 2nd year in a row, leading the NBC program by its largest margins during a season in 18 years in Total Viewers (+68,000) and in 22 years in Adults 25-54 lead (+80,000) – since the 1996-97 and the 1992-93 seasons, respectively.

Jonathan Greenberger is Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, and also serves as the Executive Producer of “This Week.” Robin Sproul serves as Vice President, Public Affairs and Executive-in-Charge of “This Week”

Follow “This Week” on Twitter @ThisWeekABC.

Sunday, January 25, 2015       TOTAL VIEWERS      A25-54 (000)/Rtg

ABC ”THIS WEEK”                  2,740,000           931,000/0.8

NBC “MEET THE PRESS”             3,196,000           838,000/0.7

CBS ”FACE THE NATION”            3,461,000           834,000/0.7

CBS ”FACE THE NATION-2″          2,236,000           534,000/0.4

FOX ”FOX NEWS SUNDAY”            1,210,000           389,000/0.3

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 1/25/15, 1/18/15 and 1/26/14 or as dated.  Most Current: 2014-2015 Season (9/22/14 – 1/25/15) and 2013-2014 Season (9/23/13 – 1/26/14).  Averages based on regular telecasts.


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“GMA” is #1 for the Week of January 19th http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/gma-is-1-for-the-week-of-january-19th/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/gma-is-1-for-the-week-of-january-19th/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:42:43 +0000 Alison Bridgman http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527579  

“GMA” is #1 for the Week


“GMA” Substantially Increased Its Adults 25-54 Season Margin

Over NBC’s “Today” Versus the Same Point Last Season


“GMA” is Delivering its Largest Adults 25-54 Season Margin

Over NBC’s “Today” in 23 Years



ABC News’ “Good Morning America” finished as the No. 1 morning program in Total Viewers (5.355 million) and Adults 25-54 (2.004 million) during the week of January 19, 2015, based on Live +Same
Day Data from Nielsen Media Research. ”GMA” outdelivered “Today”
(4.931 million and 2.000 million, respectively) by 424,000 Total Viewers and by 4,000 Adults 25-54.


Season to date, “GMA” is the No. 1 morning newscast in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54. 

“GMA” is leading NBC’s “Today” by 620,000 Total Viewers and by 162,000 Adults 25-54.  In fact, “GMA” has substantially increased its season margin over “Today” versus the same point last season in Adults 25-54 (+53% – 162,000 vs. 106,000).


Furthermore, ranking No. 1 for the 3rd straight season in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, “GMA” is seeing its largest season margin over “Today” in Adults 25-54 in 23 years -since the 1991-92 season.

During the week, “GMA” beat “CBS This Morning” in Total Viewers (+64%), Adults 25-54(+97%) and Adults 18-49 (+106%).  


**Note: Due to the Martin Luther King holiday (1/19/15), ABC’s, CBS’ and NBC’s Monday
telecasts were coded as specials and are excluded from the weekly averages.

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Watch Dramatic Helmetcam Rescue of 3 Children From Apartment Fire http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/watch-dramatic-rescue-of-3-children-from-fresno-apartment-fire/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/watch-dramatic-rescue-of-3-children-from-fresno-apartment-fire/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:00:59 +0000 Jonah Lustig http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527560

The Fresno Fire Department released dramatic helmetcam video from an apartment fire in which three children left home unattended were rescued by firefighters.

The video shows firefighters in the California city battle through flames and smoke as they attempt to locate the children, whose ages range from 1 to 4 years.  According to a statement from the department, firefighters were able to locate and remove the kids within four minutes of arrival on the scene.

“The firefighters would say it’s just their job. But to get a rescue of this magnitude is something we really don’t come across every day,” said Agapito Martinez, public information officer for the department.

Martinez says the video contains helmet camera footage from two different firefighters. The rescue came as a surprise to officials, as firefighters were originally called to the scene for reports of smoke in a building, according to Martinez.

The three children were taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries due to smoke inhalation, according to the statement. No firefighters were injured in the rescue. The Fresno Police Department is investigating why the children were  left home without supervision.

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Viral Video Captures Dog Stumbling Across Ice In Slow Motion http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/viral-video-captures-dog-stumbling-across-ice-in-slow-motion-3/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/viral-video-captures-dog-stumbling-across-ice-in-slow-motion-3/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:35:22 +0000 Jonah Lustig http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527544 ht quinn the dog kb 150127 16x9 608 Viral Video Captures Dog Stumbling Across Ice In Slow Motion

Quinn, a 5-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog, was captured in slow motion sprinting across a patch of ice. (Courtesy TJ Parker)

A video of a dog attempting to run over a patch of ice in slow motion is taking the Internet by storm.

The video was shot by TJ Parker of his dog Quinn, a 5-month old Bernese Mountain Dog, at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire.  In the video, Quinn sprints across a patch of ice and loses his footing as Parker captures the moment in slow motion.

“She went from freaking out in shock to pure bliss,” said Parker, who told ABC News it was Quinn’s first time seeing snow and ice on the ground.

@QuinnTheBerner learning all about ice

A video posted by TJ Parker (@tjparker) on

Parker says Quinn repeated the run several more times through the day. More photos and video of Quinn can be found at the dog’s official Instagram page, @QuinnTheBerner.

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Christine Connor & XCON Join Lincoln Square Productions http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/christine-connor-xcon-join-lincoln-square-productions/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/christine-connor-xcon-join-lincoln-square-productions/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:13:48 +0000 Alyssa Bernstein http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527535  

ABC News President James Goldston sent the following note to the news division announcing that Christine Connor and her production company XCON will be joining Lincoln Square Productions.  

Team -

I’m delighted to announce that Christine Connor and her production company XCON will be joining Lincoln Square Productions, in our first ever overall producer deal.

Christine and her team are devoted to creating high quality factual content that is both engaging and intelligent. XCON will continue to develop new non-fiction narrative programming with an emphasis on historical docudrama. They will be based at 125 West End Avenue.

For the past 15 years, Christine has developed a career focused on telling fascinating stories and developing content that both entertains and challenges viewers. She has originated and worked on shows for many networks including:  A&E, Discovery, History, truTV, Animal Planet, TLC, Sundance, Lifetime, OWN and Style.

Then in 2011, Christine began her own production company, XCON. Under XCON, Christine continues to take big stories and turn them into great television. She created Investigation Discovery’s first ever Emmy-winning show, A Crime to Remember, which is currently in its second season, and continues to break ratings records for that network. Christine also created and produced National Geographic’s critically acclaimed GOING DEEP with David Rees and developed ABC’s Final Witness, that she then executive produced with our own Rudy Bednar.

This is a very exciting step forward as we continue to build out a world class non-fiction organization. It continues our momentum at Lincoln Square Productions, with new ABC Primetime series, like our just announced “Moment of Truth,” starting on Saturdays in March, and our original series for cable— shows like “Watt’s World” and “New York ER.” It is our goal to attract the best storytelling talent out there and we couldn’t be more excited that Christine and XCON are part of that effort.

Please join me in welcoming Christine.


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“World News Tonight with David Muir” Delivers Closest Total Viewer Performance with “NBC Nightly News” in Over 3 Months http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/world-news-tonight-with-david-muir-delivers-closest-total-viewer-performance-with-nbc-nightly-news-in-over-3-months/ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2015/01/world-news-tonight-with-david-muir-delivers-closest-total-viewer-performance-with-nbc-nightly-news-in-over-3-months/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:48:14 +0000 Van Scott http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/?p=527527 “World News Tonight” Scores Largest Single-Day Victory Over “NBC Nightly News” in Over 2 Years, Outperforming the Network by 394,000 Total Viewers on Tuesday

Season to Date, “World News Tonight” is Improving the Most in Total Viewers (+6%), Adults 25-54 (+5%) and Adults 18-49 (+3%) Compared to NBC (+1%/-6%/-7%) and CBS (+2%/+1%/+1%)

“World News Tonight with David Muir” averaged 9.125 million Total Viewers, 2.191 million Adults 25-54 and 1.484 million Adults 18-49 during the week of January 19, 2015, based on Live +Same Day Data from Nielsen Media Research.

“World News Tonight” turned in its closest Total Viewer performance with the NBC program in over 3 months (since w/o 9/29/14). The ABC News evening program outperformed “NBC Nightly News” on Tuesday (1/20/15) by 394,000 Total Viewers (9.453 million vs. 9.059 million) to deliver its largest single-day victory in over 2 years – since 9/28/12, based on regular telecasts.

“World News Tonight” narrowed its gaps from the previous week with “NBC Nightly News” in Total Viewers (-9% – 319,000 vs. 350,000) and Adults 18-49 (-32% – 152,000 vs. 224,000).

In addition, “World News Tonight” cut its margins on the year-ago week with “NBC Nightly News” by double-digits in Total Viewers (-66% – 319,000 vs. 948,000) and Adults 18-49 (-36% – 152,000 vs. 236,000). In fact, “World News Tonight” has decreased its year-to-year margins with the NBC program in 17 of 18 weeks of the season.

Season to date, “World News Tonight” has slashed nearly all of its season margin with “NBC Nightly News” in Adults 25-54 (-93% – 18,000 vs. 264,000), delivering its closest news demo performance with the NBC program in 7 years – since the 2007-08 season. In addition, “World News Tonight” cut its season gaps with “NBC Nightly News” by 41% in Total Viewers (607,000 vs. 1.032 million) and by 53% in Adults 18-49(134,000 vs. 288,000) to its closest performances in 6 years and 7 years, respectively – since the 2008-09 and the 2007-08 seasons, respectively.

“World News Tonight” is improving versus the same point last season in Total Viewers (+6%), Adults 25-54 (+5%) and Adults 18-49 (+3%). “World News Tonight” is averaging its largest overall viewer audience in 7 years and strongest in the key adult news demo in 4 years – since the 2007-08 and the 2010-11 seasons, respectively. In addition, “World News Tonight” is improving the most in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 compared to “CBS Evening News” (+2%/+1%/+1%) and “NBC Nightly News” (+1%/-6%/-7%).

For the week, “World News Tonight” led the “CBS Evening News” by 1.393 million Total Viewers, by 272,000 Adults 25-54 and by 249,000 Adults 18-49.

NOTE: On Monday, “World News Tonight” was coded as a special and the telecast is excluded from the weekly averages. ABC’s weekly averages are based on 4 days (Tues-Fri).

ABC “World News Tonight with David Muir” airs at 6:30 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network. Almin Karamehmedovic is the executive producer of the broadcast. Follow David Muir and the “World News Tonight” team online: @DavidMuir; @WNTonight; facebook.com/DavidMuirABC; facebook.com/WorldNewsTonight.

EVENING NEWS (Week of January 19, 2015)



TONIGHT            9,125,000   1.8/7; 2,191,000 1.2/5; 1,484,000   6.0/11

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS   9,444,000   1.9/7; 2,311,000 1.3/6; 1,636,000   6.2/12

CBS EVENING NEWS   7,732,000   1.6/6; 1,919,000 1.0/4; 1,235,000   5.0/ 9


Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 Live + SD weeks of 1/19/15, 1/12/15 and 1/20/14. Most Current: 2014-2015 Season (9/22/14 – 1/25/15) and 2013-2014 Season (9/23/13 – 1/26/14). Averages based on regular telecasts.

- ABC -

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