Articles for Kid Nation Season 1

Forty kids, forty days, one ghost town and zero parents.  That‘s the formula for the new reality program Kid Nation slated to appear on CBS this fall.It‘s being called the "Lord of the Flies" of reality television, but it‘s unlikely that CBS - or its lawyers - would allow for this experiment to devolve into that kind of chaos.  The show‘s initial previews show that this might be more of a Junior United Nations-type experiment in diplomacy and self-government for the group of kids, who range in age from eight to fifteen years old.Nevertheless, despite that rather dry description, the previews also make the show seem surprisingly compelling, and seem to indicate the show might have some real depth beyond its catchy premise.   Read more »
Either Kid Nation is a great idea for a reality television show, or a prime example of the downfall of American society.  Perhaps both.  I know when I first heard about the concept for Kid Nation, I thought (like I‘m sure others did), “Really?  CBS made a Lord of the Flies reality show?  What the hell?”  For those unaware, Kid Nation is an upcoming CBS reality show in which they took 40 kids, ages 8-15, to an abandoned town in New Mexico and filmed what happened when they were left alone for 40 days.  It‘s an undeniably enticing concept, but one that wouldn‘t seem to be, you know, legal.  Well, since the show finished airing, there have been various complaints from parents of the “contestants” as well as outside inquiries into the legality of the whole production.  Today, CBS spoke out and defended Kid Nation. Read more »
With a little over a week before the controversial new reality show, Kid Nation, goes on the air, CBS has announced that it will push through with the scheduled broadcast amid various issues surrounding the program. The upcoming series, which left 40 youngsters between the ages of eight and 15 in a ghost town somewhere in New Mexico, appears to be a modern-day take on the premise of William Golding‘s classic novel, Lord of the Flies. The Kid Nation children were left to fend for themselves, without the presence, guidance, supervision and care of adults, to see if they could create and organize a structured society on their own. Read more »
In BuddyTV‘s 2007 Fall TV Guide, we scoured the new shows for this year‘s biggest potential hits and misses. We found the ones that you should be following and which ones will probably get canceled early. The hits include Journeyman, Kid Nation and Dirty Sexy Money while the misses are Samantha Who?, Viva Laughlin, and Nashville.We all know about the controversy surrounding CBS‘ new reality show Kid Nation.  It was inevitable.  If you place 40 kids in a ghost town with no adult supervision, there are going to be ethical questions raised.  It appears that CBS will not incur any legal damage, but that‘s not I want to discuss. What I‘m wondering is, will Kid Nation become a ratings success?  For a variety of reasons, I‘m leading towards "yes."  Regardless of reviews, regardless of bad press, regardless of production values or presentation, Kid Nation is bound to become a big hit, at least this season. Read more »
Premiere Date and Time: Wednesday, September 19, 8pmNetwork: CBSTime Slot Competition: Pushing Daisies, Deal or No Deal, Back To You and ‘Til Death, America‘s Next Top ModelHost: Jonathan Karsh Read more »
There are people out there who didn‘t want to like Kid Nation from the start.  They heard the news stories that CBS and the production crew treated the kids poorly and forced them to work all day.  They heard that 40 kids would be left alone to rebuild a town and decided it was going to be some chaotic Lord of the Flies kind of show.  Yet the debate over the integrity of the show only generated buzz and last night, Kid Nation premiered on CBS, of course, receiving mixed reviews.  As a mother of a fifth grader, I‘m here to stand up and say: I liked Kid Nation. Read more »
Who doesn‘t like the hedonism of children?  Kid Nation was exactly, precisely, on the money, as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Not that the concept itself is so bad, I was intrigued with the idea from the beginning, but my fear was these kids would be herded around by a camera crew of directors putting words in their mouths.  There was some controversy, as you know, that the children were actually being fed impromptu scripts verbally.  That would constitute work, and the show would then be subject to child labor laws.  Well, after watching this show, who can say with a straight face that these kids were not being fed at least half of their lines. Read more »
There has been a lot of hand-wringing over the past few weeks about Kid Nation and the treatment of the children featured on the show. So what do the kids think?One child featured on the show, eleven-year-old Guylan Qudsieh who enjoys video games and fencing, and says Fidel Castro is world leader he admires (huh?), recently talked about his experience on the show. While he obviously can‘t give away any details about what happened on the show, he talked about the overall behind-the-scenes experience. He seems to think all of the outrage about Kid Nation is misplaced. Read more »
Amidst the mixed sentiments surrounding the concept of CBS‘ new reality series, Kid Nation, along with the legal and ethical buzz attached with the televised social experiment, show executive producer Tom Foreman attempts to shed some light on the ongoing buzz that has taken television by storm.Kid Nation features 40 children aged 8 to 15 as they try to create an adult-free functioning society in an abandoned ghost town, located in Bonanza City, New Mexico.  Though the integrity of the show has generated so much noise since it premiered on September 19, the show has a lot more to offer with its pragmatic kids‘ perspective as compared with other reality shows with adult participants. Read more »
I was looking forward to this week‘s Kid Nation after last week‘s premiere episode pleasantly surprised me.  I am a reality lover.  I watch it all from Survivor to Idol to The Amazing Race to Top Chef to The Hills.  I can‘t help myself.  There‘s something that‘s interesting to me about real life.  Or ... as real as the producers let it be.  Most of the premiere episode felt genuine, this week‘s, a little forced.  You‘ll see why as we breakdown episode two of Kid Nation.The council reads through the journal of a "pioneer" who was there long before they came to the New Mexico town.  When the pioneers needed protein, they turned to their chickens, which they killed and ate.  The kids are faced with a tough decision thanks to the producers.  There‘s a ready supply of candy and root beer, but no protein.  Do the kids kill the chickens or make do with what they have? Read more »
Kid Nation was already in firestorm of criticism for its controversial treatment of the kids. With the second episode, and the slaughtering of the chicken, it was only a matter of time before the criticism started from another quarter.And it has: on Friday, an animal-right organization called Last Chance for Animals (LCA) “strongly criticized CBS for staging the killing of a chicken for entertainment.” YouTube also received part of the criticism for allowing that clip to remain on the site. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Mike continued to play the role of President George W. Bush, Laurel pahked her cah in the Hahvahd Yahd, Taylor told everyone to starve (the Kid Nation equivalent of "Let them eat cake"), and a fourth Town Council member may or may not have appeared.  Sophia was awesome, preparing to lead a revolution Greg worked his butt off and still didn‘t get the gold star, Michael won for simply doing his required job and talking a lot, Jimmy went home, Emilie cried about killing chickens, Jared was totally awesome, and a whole lot of kids have yet to get any quality screen time.This episode begins with Greg starting a huge Bonanza City party in the saloon.  The kids get sloshed as Jared takes a shot of root beer while Laurel chugs one down.  I guess Kid Nation is a lot like a college prep course. Read more »
Is it me or are the kids of Kid Nation starting to sound a little coached?  I know, I know.  Some of you said this from day one, episode one.  Don‘t get me wrong.  I still like the show and I‘m still glad it‘s on but I felt a little creeped out last night.  Jared, in particular, seems like he‘s given lines to say.  There‘s part of me that holds out hope that he‘s just a really smart kid, who is wise beyond his years.  Maybe.  They‘re all so well spoken, though!  Did they bring in kids who are brilliant or who can regurgitate lines that they‘re fed? Read more »
It would seem to be obvious that a TV show would need more viewers to generate increased ad revenue, but that‘s not always necessarily the case. An important consideration for marketing is exactly who is watching. Sometimes, the right set of eyes can be as important as the number of eyes.It would appear to be the case for Kid Nation. The number of viewers for the third episode was down overall about 20% from the series premiere. The premiere had 9.4 million viewers, dropped to 7.6 million for the second, and down to 7.4 million for this third episode. At the same though, the number of ads for this third episode were up 60 percent from the second, and almost triple from the premiere. So what is attracting the advertisers? Read more »
Last week on Kid Nation, Taylor told everyone to "DEAL WITH IT!" but the kids refused.  They called for a re-election, but she cried and half-heartedly apologized, and they forgave her.  For now.  Birthday girl Mallory won the Gold Star, which once again upset foul-mouthed Greg.  Sophia continued to be awesome and we were introduced to several additional Kid Nation inhabitants: brash cowboy Colton, would-be leader Zach and genuinely nice person Morgan, who is a threat to win a  Gold Star from here on out.  For my money, so is Jared, because every nation needs laughter, and that boy is brilliant comic relief.Last week I asked for your opinion on Taylor, and with more than 250 votes, 70 percent said she needs to get booted off the Town Council.  Will her Nixon-ian downfall ("I am not a cook") occur tonight?  This episode deals with religion, and if I were in charge, I would‘ve titled it "One Kid Nation, Under God." Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Kid Nation, the citizens of Bonanza City were faced with some tough issues.  The main source of disagreement came from religion, thanks to the suggestion of the producers journal that the town council hold a religious ceremony.  The other issue was a moral dilemma.  If you are upper class and you don‘t HAVE to work, should you?  Those questions were answers and the kids came out of it more understanding than when they went in.  Well, most of them, at least. Read more »
Much of the buzz surrounding Kid Nation has centered on the treatment of the kids through the structure of the show, the conditions they are living under, and the challenges – like the controversial chicken-butchering episode – they face.However, of course at the heart of this story of kids experiencing a highly unusual situation of making a society for themselves without parents is, of course, the kids. Each of the children involved is more than a reality show participant, they‘re someone‘s son, daughter, brother, sister, grandkid or friend. They‘ve got likes and dislikes and experiences out “in the real world” that you might not get a chance to see on the show.So CBS has provided some additional biographical information and details about the Kid Nation participants, in a format designed by the kids themselves. One interesting story is Morgan. Her bio shows a thoughtful and serious young woman with a budding talent. Read more »
On the CBS show Kid Nation, 40 kids spend 40 days rebuilding a town, pioneer style.  They‘re faced with town meetings, separation of class, the choice to work, the choice to help others, and an opportunity to do something very few kids their age get the chance to do.  Yet, the show came under heavy fire even before the premiere episode.  Today, some of the parents of the participants spoke to BuddyTV.  Green team member Morgan‘s mom, Amanda, fellow teammate Sophia‘s mom, Laurie, and blue team Michael‘s mom, Laurie, spoke out and responded to the people who think their children are overworked on a show that is fake or forced.  They say their kids had the times of their lives. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Sophia, Morgan and Zach were all totally awesome, working together and helping out not because they had to, but because they wanted to. The Town Council, and more specifically Taylor, was met with hostility over its poor leadership skills and penchant for bossiness. Jared‘s role as Bonanza City Class Clown was momentarily usurped by Alex‘s hilarious religion survey.In my recap of the third episode of Kid Nation, I wrote the following: “Seriously, when are these kids going to overthrow this Town Council? Viva la revolucion!” Some readers mocked my desire for a peasant uprising. Well, who‘s laughing now? Not only is tonight‘s episode finally about re-electing the Town Council, but I even foresaw the episode title. Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Kid Nation, the town was faced with politics and town council elections which turned Bonanza City upside down.  The worst came out in some of the kids while others had their best moments.  The kids had a choice between dental hygiene and a political party complete with barbecue for their reward and the toothbrushes won.Tonight was the first episode where some of the kids really started to get on my nerves.  When the journal told the council that the town was going to hold elections, I immediately flashed back to my 7th grade student council elections.  All these years later, I still cringe at the thought of having to give my speech and running against the popular girl in my class.  I lost.  But at least I didn‘t have to lose miserably while on national television. Read more »
On this week‘s Kid Nation, Zach won the election to lead his group. But who is this young man back home and away from the cameras? CBS has provided some additional background on the kids of Kid Nation, so let‘s get to know Zach.Appropriately, some of the questions center on leadership, and – considering that he just won an election – one might wonder if at least one of the answers was given before the taping. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: elections were held for the Town Council, and while Laurel and Anjay retained their positions, Mike and Taylor were replaced by Guylan and Zach. Greg finally won a Gold Star.Tonight‘s Kid Nation should be interesting. How will the new Town Council be different from the old one? How will Mike and especially Taylor react to no longer being in power? Who will win the Gold Star, seeing as how all the major players who deserve one already have one? And why, oh why, didn‘t we get to see more of Jared last week? Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Kid Nation, the kids were faced with the tough task of cleaning up Bonanza City.  The town council voted who would be helping with the garbage and not everyone was happy to hear their name called.  The town finally got some nutritious foods and ganged up on a common enemy.  A very deserving person won the gold star after moving an entire town.Does anyone notice how there is a core group of kids that are featured consistently and then each week, depending on the issue, a new kid is introduced to the audience?  When the issue was nobody working, we met Sophia.  When the issue was religion, we met Morgan.  When the issue was elections, we met Guylan.  This week, when the town falls apart, DK stepped up to make a change. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: DK worked hard, was the obvious Gold Star choice, then wanted to go home, but was talked into staying by Guylan. Mike adjusted fairly well to a powerless life, but Taylor…not so much. She upped her obnoxious level to 11, and earned the wrath of nearly every other inhabitant of Kid Nation. Once again, she vowed to “try,” though she doesn‘t seem to understand that word.Tonight‘s episode begins with Divad finally making her presence known, and it‘s super genius.  She takes free food from the kitchen, prepares it, then resells it on the cheap.  The Town Council resents her free market style.  Equally upset is Jared, who tries to horn in on her snack shack action because he doesn‘t think it‘s fair that she has a monopoly.  He flips out and messes with her stuff, but she shrugs it off. Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Kid Nation, one kid got the idea to take something that others could get for free and resell it.  Greg went back to his old ways after winning the gold star a few weeks back.  Someone lobbied for votes to win the gold star.Here was one good thing about the episode.  Less of Taylor.  She‘s gotten enough screen time and we were introduced to some new citizens of Bonanza City, Nathan and Divad.  Nathan and Divad were both hard workers but were portrayed very differently.  Nathan was shown as the victim, because Greg wouldn‘t stop picking on him.  Divad was overconfident, feeling she deserved the gold star and tried to bribe other people to cast their vote for her, whether she admitted it or not. Read more »
This week on CBS‘ Kid Nation, our young settlers get into a contest of abilities and skills, when they stage a talent show in the episode called “Starved for Entertainment.”Kid Nation is coming up on the two month mark since debuting last September 19.  Last week, in the episode “The Root of All Evil,” Divad drew the ire and possibly, envy of some of her town mates when she took free food and used it to start her own little snack business.  Hopefully, there‘ll be less tension and politics this week, with an installment that promises more entertainment and whimsy than business. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Divad became a businesswoman desperate for people to notice how hard she‘s working, Pharaoh worked hard too, but the Town Council questioned his motives, and adorably quirky home-schooled Nathan won a Gold Star for not acting like a kid.  Also, Jared became even awesomer by dressing up like the Bonanza City Pimp.Tonight‘s Kid Nation features a talent show!  I don‘t care if they‘re kids, I‘ll be putting on my best Simon Cowell impression, so they better bring it.  Sophia starts this episode by staging a bored sit-in, getting all the kids to just lay down in the middle of the town for no reason.  I don‘t know why these kids are so bored, they just need to watch Jared and they‘ll be entertained like me.  He proves me right by blaming the Dark Ages on the elimination of art and entertainment.  Jared is going to become the most popular guy when he gets to college. Read more »
On last night‘s episode of Kid Nation, the town practically died of boredom before the journal told the town council to do something to entertain everyone.  They came up with the idea of a talent show and for once, the town came together and stopped screaming at each other.  I have to admit, I felt a little lost without hearing Taylor shrieking, "Deal with it!" but I recovered quickly.  We were introduced to some new townies, including Savannah, Natasha, Migle, and Kennedy. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Bonanza City held a talent show, and some girl named Kennedy made a total fool of herself. Not only did it convince fellow Kentuckian Savannah to stay, but it won her the Gold Star. Divad slowly steamed, and if this were a movie, she would be the Bond villain, hatching a master plan to become the ruler of the world.Laurel is crowing that half the Gold Stars have gone to members of the green district.  The green team parties about how sexy they are with their Gold Stars, and Jared laments that it‘s unfair.  The Magic Journal tells the Town Council to mix up the districts.  Zach thinks it‘s a good idea (of course he does, he has Taylor on his team), but Laurel doesn‘t like it, because she wants to consolidate her power. Read more »
There are only 12 days left for the citizens of Bonanza City on Kid Nation and you know what?  I hate to say it but it can‘t come soon enough.  Ever babysit a kid and after a few hours, just stare at the clock waiting for their parents to come home?  Ever hang around kids too long at a birthday party when birthday brat syndrome kicks in?  I‘m really at the point where I‘ve had enough of many of the kids.  They‘ve overstayed their welcome, had too much camera time, whined, cried, and screamed just a LITTLE bit too much for my patience.   Want to know why somebody is looking to leave every week?  Because every day of their lives in Bonanza City, people are screaming their heads off and going insane.  As we get ready to wind down and send the kids back to their own parents, let‘s take a look at last night‘s episode and hand out some gold stars of our own (and some less than stellar moments, too). Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: the teams were mildly shaken up as Emilie and Nathan swapped places on the red and blue teams while BFFs Greg and Blaine were split up when Blaine moved to yellow.  The Town Council floundered, but Blaine flourished out of the shadow of Greg and won a Gold Star.  At the end, no one was happy and re-elections were called.  Blaine, Greg, DK and Michael all raised their hands to run.Last week BuddyTV had four polls to see how viewers would vote, and all the incumbents lost by sizable margins.  The biggest blowout was DK over Guylan with 92 percent, while the closest was Michael, who still got more than two-thirds of fans‘ votes.  Will the kids of Kid Nation mimic the feelings of viewers? Read more »
CBS has announced the date for first season finale of the controversial reality series, Kid Nation.  According to the network‘s press release, the show‘s freshman run will end on Wednesday, December 12, at 8pm ET/PT. Kid Nation follows 40 children aged 8 to 15 as they create and run their own society with minimal adult supervision.  The show is set in Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, a privately owned town built on the ruins of Bonanza, City in New Mexico.  Serving as the show‘s host is award-winning director Jonathan Karsh. Want to know what‘s in store for the children on the season finale of Kid Nation?  Read on for some mild spoilers. Read more »
Taylor has been a controversial figure on Kid Nation. On the one hand, many people are hesitant to harshly judge a very young person too hard based on an edited presentation on a reality show. On the other hand, many viewers also feel that this aspiring beauty queen hasn‘t exactly been Miss Congeniality on Kid Nation thus far.Whatever you might think of the young woman, she is still is, of course, just a pre-teen with many of the same interests as other young people. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Greg, Blaine, DK and Michael were elected as the new Town Council, and the town resented Greg‘s bullying. Former Town Council member Laurel won the Gold Star for no discernible reason other than she used to be on the Town Council.On day 31, Taylor is hanging out with the chickens, and she says that she hates ugly chickens and wish they would all die.  Then she informs us that she once put make-up on her dog, but it didn‘t make it any prettier.  Sophia and Greg are planning their dinner menu, and it includes 10 fresh chickens.  Greg wants to kill the pretty chickens, which makes Taylor go off.  She‘s angry that they‘re bossy and acting like the President of the world.  I thought she liked bossy presidents. Read more »
Kid Nation, a CBS reality series that revolves around 40 children trying to run a society with minimum adult supervision, has been at the receiving end of much criticism since it premiered in September.  The network has been accused of exploiting the young cast members, but executive producer Tom Forman has defended the series, saying that they made sure the show would not go beyond ethical boundaries. “I‘m not surprised it was provocative, because the minute we started talking about making this show with young people, we knew it was going to be,” Forman told Broadcasting & Cable.  “But we had a tremendous responsibility to those kids and their parents.  We had a huge responsibility to our viewers to make a show that was not just entertaining, but ethical, too.” Read more »
We are less than two weeks away from the season finale of CBS‘ social experiment, Kid Nation.  Many gold stars have been handed out, a few kids have opted out and headed home, and we‘ve seen the best and worst in just about every member of Bonanza City.  Council members have come and gone, rewards have been won and lost, and only the pretty chickens are roaming the town.  The main reason the show took 40 kids and put them in this abandoned town was to answer a simple question.  Could the children build a better city than the adult pioneers who failed long before them?  The answer?  Nope. Read more »
Previously on Kid Nation: Taylor wanted to kill all the ugly chickens. After returning to her former difficult nature, Taylor‘s punishment was not being allowed in the arcade, so she worked hard and finally showed a little change. The whole town slowed down when the kids spent all their time in the arcade, so the Town Council padlocked it, then elected Sophia as the town sheriff. Hunter became the sixth member of the green district to win a Gold Star.Sophia is practicing manifest destiny, roping off a spot of land in the middle of town and ordering that no one is allowed in unless they pay her five cents.  It‘s actual another social experiment, because she wants to prove that people always want what they‘re told they can‘t have, and naturally, the kids all want to walk on her land. Read more »
It is clear that when casting Kid Nation, producers were looking for some very specific children. They, of course, were looking for the antagonists like Taylor and Greg who were going to create drama and buzz. They wanted the creative types, like Morgan and Kennedy. They looked for hard workers because there was actually WORK to be done in Bonanza City. Luckily, they had lots of them in kids like Hunter and Sophia. Then, there were the intellectuals like Jared and Alex. Combine those personality types and it makes for a good season of Kid Nation, which wraps up next week. Read more »
This summer, CBS‘ Kid Nation, a reality series that has 40 children running a society with minimum adult supervision, faced a serious dilemma when New Mexico officials claimed the network and Good TV Inc., the production company behind the show, failed to apply for proper work permits or waivers for the kids.  The officials also said that they were not allowed to enter the set, a ranch near Santa Fe.  The controversy intensified when a letter from a participant‘s mother claiming the children were being abused and put in danger became public. However, it now seems like the government has had a change of heart, as officials recently announced that they have dropped the investigation, which had them rifling through the 22-page contract between Kid Nation producers and parents. Read more »
Here we are, the last episode of the first season of Kid Nation.  While we wait to hear if there will be a second season, I find myself surprised that I‘m going to miss this show and these kids.  I‘ll miss Sophia‘s wisdom, Jared‘s quirkiness, Greg and Blaine‘s toughness, Taylor‘s selfishness, and even Anjay‘s spineless practicality.  But most of all, I‘ll miss all those kids who I‘ve never seen before.  Going through the cast list, I realize I have no idea who Maggie, Madison, Jasmine, Gianna, Campbell and Brett are.  There‘s another dozen or so I only recognize vaguely from one episode.  What happened to Divad?  It looked like she was on the verge of becoming a major player, then she vanished.  CBS needs to call in the team from Cold Case or Without a Trace on this one. Read more »
Alright, look.  I like Kid Nation.  I really do.   I‘d love to meet these kids and talk to them about their time in Bonanza City.  I wanna pinch the cheeks of about half of them and wring the necks of the other half but all have made an impression on me.  I really loved that I had a show to watch with my son that not only was entertaining, but raised different issues that we talked about over the last 13 episodes.  However, just like I‘ve gone back and forth about whether or not I like Greg, I went back and forth on whether or not I liked last night‘s finale of Kid Nation. Read more »
CBS‘ Kid Nation was on the receiving end of much criticism even before it premiered in September, and even though all the negative talk that surrounded the series eventually faded, executive producer Tom Forman knows that the early controversy had a crippling impact on the show‘s performance. "It‘s not the kind of buzz you want to launch with,” Forman told USA Today.  Read more »
CBS‘ Kid Nation, a reality series that features 40 kids trying to run their own town with minimum adult supervision, received a lot of negative buzz even before it premiered and during its first few weeks on air.  Many bashed the network and the show, saying they were blatantly exploiting children.  However, for show participant Morgan Wood, Kid Nation proved to be a worthwhile experience. "There‘s not one thing I regret (about the experience)," the 13-year-old Morgan told The Indianapolis Star.  "There were so many new things I was able to do." Read more »
This past fall, 40 children from all across the country participated in a social experiment/reality show called Kid Nation.  One of those 40 children was Hunter Jeffers, a 12 year old from Martinez, Georgia.  He had a quiet presence throughout the first half of the season but because a leader and a role model.  A hard worker who never asked for anything in return, Hunter won a coveted gold star, awarded to him by the town council, and worth $20,000.  The money, he said at the time would help secure his future and education but he didn‘t just spend the money on himself.  Since being home, Hunter has donated money to charity and helped raise money for organizations such as the Make A Wish Foundation.  This month, he spoke to local news station WDRW in his home state of Georgia about his positive experience on Kid Nation. Read more »

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