Spill the Tea, STARZ!

Written by: Anne Gavin


UPDATE: Several hours after this post was published yesterday, STARZ informed some Facebook Outlander fan groups that the event on April 4th in New York City would be a "private" screening for Media, industry and contest winners and not open to general fans.  Let us know how you feel about this turn of  events in the comments section below.

Occasionally I write news pieces for this Blog in addition to original content.  You can't imagine how much fun it is to be able to obsess over my favorite television series (and books) and then have a forum on which to report on the latest casting or production news or expound on all my deepest, darkest Outlander musings, feelings and expectations.  But, with less than a month now until Season 2 premieres, I find myself breaking into a cold sweat, experiencing heart palpitations and regular outbursts of anger and anxiety.  Because the Outlander Cast Blog is written by fans for fans, I am guessing many of you feel the same.  Droughtlander taking its toll, you say?  Well, not quite.  Read more about the reasons for my anxiety after the jump...

I do have a regular job -- one that keeps me pretty busy, pays me well and which I love.  But, these last few weeks I have been completely pre-occupied.  Ever since the actual date of the broadcast premiere of Outlander was announced, I find myself neurotically scouring the Internet multiple times throughout the day and night for any news on Season 2 and, most importantly, what STARZ/Sony has planned for the Premiere.  In the past STARZ has held ticketed Red Carpet Fan-centric events where they pre-screen the new season's first episode days before the actual broadcast premiere.  While limited in terms of numbers of fans that can be accommodated, there was still a chance a regular fan could score a ticket. And, score one I did last April for the Mid-Season Premiere of Season 1, part 2, in New York City.  Granted, I waited in line 7 hours and made it into the second show by the skin of my teeth -- but made it in, I did.  And, I enjoyed every stinking minute of watching Episode 109 days before most others could and being within a stone's throw of our favorite Outlander stars, who made a quick appearance before dashing off the stage.



But, now as Season 2 approaches and we have an air date, I wait...checking Outlander STARZ's Facebook and Twitter like a woman possessed looking for any details about a Premiere Event.  Last week Facebook flashed a "memory" post from my timeline last March.  It was the date I scored my ticket for the Outlander Mid-Season Premiere in New York -- March 6, 2015 -- for the event on April 1st.  This unfortunate reminder (eff you very much Facebook!) made me think that last year we knew what was happening by this time.



And now -- less than a month from Season 2 premiering -- we squirm...

I have posted on the Outlander Starz Facebook page -- respectfully, of course -- asking...begging for any information about a Premiere Event in New York City.  Canadians and New Zealanders seem to know more than we do in the States because both networks that broadcast Outlander in those respective countries are offering a contest for tickets to attend the "New York City Premiere" which -- according to published contest rules -- is taking place at the American Museum of Natural History on Monday, April 4th.  Aha. So, this confirms there is a Premiere Event.  OK.  That's something, right?  Turns out the American Museum of Natural History has a gargantuan IMAX Theatre inside.  That seems promising and likely to accommodate a decent number of fans all the way up to the nosebleed section.  So, why don't we know anything more?  Why hasn't there been something...anything about how a fan can attend the Premiere Event on April 4th?  I even know media who already have a relationship with STARZ PR -- including the owners of this Blog -- who have heard nothing, nada, zippo about press credentials or any details about the Premiere Event on April 4th.

Then this week we see "The Writer's Bloc" (a non-profit organization) in Los Angeles announce they are hosting a "Tribute to Outlander" two weeks before the actual broadcast premiere date.  The event is being held at the 473 seat Writer's Guild Theatre in LA and costs just $10 per person to attend.  Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Ron Moore, Tobias Menzies and lots and lots of Outlander's writers and co-producers also attending.  Nice.  And, the event sold out in under an hour!  I am guessing the Outlander Southern California group jumped on this.  Good for them.  Hey, STARZ -- I'd be OK with something like this in New York City...heck...I'll watch the Season 2 premiere at home like everybody else if you did something like what you are doing with the Writer's Bloc in LA.  But, you HAVE TO TELL US ABOUT IT.  Like NOW!

And, then there is Sam Heughan.  Off, it seems on some "Outlander World Tour."  We hear he'll be in Japan and Australia and who knows where else, doing fan events the next few weeks as a build-up to Season 2's broadcast premiere on April 9th.  In fairness, we do know that Sam will be in New York City presumably for several days prior to the premiere because he is Grand Marshal of the Tartan Day Parade taking place on premiere day, April 9th.   Outlander STARZ is even a parade sponsor.  GREAT.  But even Sam, it seems, doesn't know who else will be there from the cast or even maybe what's he's doing for the Premiere Event given his recent Tweet to series author, Diana Gabaldon.



At "The Gathering" Outlander fan event in Cologne, Germany this past weekend, I made one request of my friend who was attending -- to swear to me that she would inquire of every single cast member she met while there whether they were attending the New York City Premiere.  Graham McTavish said he didn't know and likely had a scheduling conflict.  Duncan Lacroix said (get this) he "hadn't been invited."  WHAT?  Seriously, STARZ?  Why in the heck wouldn't you invite Duncan Lacroix, whose character, "Murtagh", is wildly popular with Outlander fans.  I mean -- this just makes me CRY!  STARZ -- what are you doing?

I hate to be a whiner.  Really, I do.  I happily eat up every single drib and drab of Outlander news that comes my way with gusto.  I feel lucky when we get something news worthy enough to include on the Blog.  Because then -- I get to write about my favorite fixation.  But, the time has really come, STARZ, to let us know what you have planned for April 4th in New York City and whether there is even a chance for us regular fans to attend.  We are just looking for a little something -- a scrap -- so we can plan our trip to the Big Apple get a hotel room and yes, meet up with some other fans to dish about Outlander.  Or, if you aren't doing something for fans outside of Tartan Week events, then just TELL us, so we can lick our wounds and move on.

But, here's the thing.  That little Black Jack on my shoulder is telling me that this hush-hush approach to the April 4th event may be part of STARZ's Grand Plan.  Perhaps there will be no "Premiere Event" for fans.  No long lines or flasks of whisky to share while waiting.  No breathless anticipation, no glimpse of Sam or Caitriona on the Red Carpet, no new friends to meet, no talk of most anticipated scenes from Season 2, no Outlander comradery like we experienced at last year's New York City event at the Ziegfeld Theatre.  After all, STARZ well knows that all of us will be watching on April 9th NO MATTER WHAT.  So, why host a fan event when the network is focused on getting NEW fans?  Methinks that maybe April 4th at the American Museum of Natural History is for the Media Only and a few lucky contest winners.  Just maybe...instead of a "Tartan Affair" it's a "Private Affair."  STARZ -- say it isn't so!  And, if it is so, then just SPILL THE TEA and put us out of our misery!


Do you think Outlander Fans will be included in the Premiere Event in New York City?  What are your feelings about how STARZ has handled PR for Season 2 and the Premiere?

40 comments

  1. From what I have heard...The Museum of Natural History event is a $4,000 a person ticket (if you're not press) which includes a reception with cast and producers. I've also heard about an Emmy panel being held in NYC. Not sure if the general public is invited to that one either. Also nothing about any kind of unveiling of the costumes at Saks (on the 22nd) which Ron Moore did last year in LA. It was lovely.

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    1. Cara Rule -- thanks for reading and commenting. Had not heard the Museum event was $4k for non-media. Wow. Ok. Well, that certainly doesn't bode well for regular fans. I did see yesterday the news about the Emmy panel. Nice it will be Webcast but it would be great to have an opportunity to see it live -- like the Writer's Bloc event in LA. Bottom line -- it's looking like the Premiere will be a "Private Affair." I am sad about it but will still watch on April 9th. Again, thanks for your comment. Come back to see us again at the Blog soon for more Outlander news and original content.

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  2. http://www.emmys.com/events/scotland-paris-behind-scenes-journey-outlander

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  3. Let the conversation begin! Love it Anne. I feel your angst.

    Sure there's an enormous fan base, but one thing has been missing from the mix.

    Credibility inside the industry. The private events are to cultivate critical acclaim, whose absence has been baffling fans since the beginning. No BAFTA Scotland noms, no Emmy noms, no SAG noms.

    Assuming the events are broadcasted, more fans will see them. In turn, a whole new level of industry support will exist, and help us to ensure subsequent seasons.

    Is that the end goal? The strategy this time around uses binoculars, not bifocals.

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    1. Holly Richter-White -- Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you in that I am ALL about generating more broad support for Outlander. And, that includes industry, of course. But, this is a business and subsequent seasons will be based on audience numbers and audience support. Why can't you do both? Branch out like they are doing with events with Emmy members, Writer's Guild (LA), etc. but also provide some access to actual fans both old and new? It's not my strategy to make but it seems like the old adage "make new friends but keep the old. Those are silver, these are gold" might apply here to a somewhat fledgling network with a huge hit on their hands -- made that way by a loyal fan base that has literally pushed this series into the limelight.

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  4. I think last year, they were really not sure about having a strong rating, a good fan base, how it would be received. Now they know, without a doubt, there is a STRONG fan base, so (and I say this sadly) I don't think the push is as hard to garner fans or get fans involved as it is to have the PR machine rolling, because it HAS been rolling like crazy. I am disappointed, and I feel like I missed out on any chance of ever seeing them at any special event or con, but at least there's the show. You WOULD think they'd announce the premiere at least, and say it was for press only or something to that effect, to at least answer the question. This is cutting it so close and they've got to know people have figured out the date and place by now.

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    1. Laine -- thanks for reading and commenting. I think all you say is true...but it's very disappointing for all of us regular fans who love Outlander and have worked hard to make sure the show is recognized and seen by many. Whether it's social media, contests, etc. -- fans have really built this show up to where it is today. I think ALL of the cast and producers would agree with this. So, it's just sad that there isn't more of an effort to provide some fans access to a pre-screen of Season 2, Episode 1 -- as they have done in the past. But, I'll get over it and will be watching on April 9th. However, makes me wonder...is this what STARZ really thinks of us? Again, thanks for stopping by. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content.

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  5. Anne great piece. I am extremely sad and upset that Starz has decided to ignore the people that got this show to where it is today. And yes come April 9th I will be tuning in.

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    1. Donna -- thanks for reading and commenting. Me, too. Very sad...and disappointed. It doesn't seem right, but I guess that's show business. I'll be watching on the 9th regardless because like you, I love Outlander. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content. We love hearing from our readers!!

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  6. This: https://exclusives.timewarnercable.com/en-US/Contest/STARZ-Outlander-NYC-Premiere-Sweepstakes.aspx

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. I am not a Time Warner subscriber, but for those that are, this is a nice opportunity. Odds aren't that great, but at least one can try!!!! Appreciate you reading the post and leaving this link for others to see. Much appreciated. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content. We love hearing from all our readers!!!!

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  7. Since I am in "fly over country" where we never get big premiers or events, I really don't care. I would love just to see the building or bus ads! Or the EW magazine. I think it is ok that they are doing these events in the industry if then they get more interest there. It seems that social media is a better fan builder than anything else anyway. And there seems to be much more stuff out there than last time although I was not as keyed into the show media before S1 aired. I didn't know any of the fan sites existed. So now I am getting all I need that way. My co-workers see all my pictures on my computer desktop and ask me questions, which may get new fans too. And I got another co-worker to read all the books last season. So we can do our part in our own little pieces of the world and Starz can spend money to open the big doors that will help get the big money and fame to continue on. Whatever gets us S3 and beyond works for me.

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    1. Suzanne Cole-Rice -- I REALLY appreciate you adding your thoughts about this post. I really struggled with writing it as I didn't want to come off as "entitled" or thinking that we should "get something" just because we did in the past. I was more lamenting the fact that there was very little if any communication about the events around the Premiere even though it was obvious, per contests to win tickets, that there was going to be an event. But, I totally agree with you that building interest within the industry is a great thing and much of the PR (EW, photos, etc.) have been great. Just wish STARZ could see their way clear to do all this AND include fans in the Premiere. But, yes, getting a Season 3 is most important so I am definitely with you on that. Again, thanks for reading and commenting. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content.

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    2. I'm also from the celebrity wasteland known as the US Midwest and can't get disappointed that a NYC or an LA event is closed to fans. EVERYTHING is closed to us. Even finding a copy of the EW is an hourlong adventure. I say bring on whatever they can do to get many more seasons. I've been a fan for decades and am just THRILLED that I can see what I've only dreamed of for so long.

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    3. Kathleen H -- I feel your pain about not having accessibility to a lot of Outlander events. I do consider myself fortunate that I live not far from NYC and was able to attend last year's Mid-Season Premiere event. And, of course, I love seeing the books turned into this wonderful series. Not crazy about how STARZ handled lack of fan accessible Premiere this year, however. They could have communicated this earlier. That's all. But, I will look forward to tuning in on 4/9 and, hopefully, many more seasons.

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  8. Anne,so well written,I always found Starz PR rather odd,not giving much info ever to the true fan's of the books & the series,they really should give a lot more info out especially premier times etc.What i found odd OL has a huge following in the States,must say there is also here in OZ&NZ,but its hard for us to get there,but You Guys certainly deserve a lot more and Anne there is only truth & humor in this post!I'm just still waiting weather will get season 2?! We better.Hope there is some light for You Guys in the USA for all the promos.

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    1. zsuzsip -- As always -- LOVE hearing what you have to say. Yes...news on Season 3 would be great. Maybe soon... Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.

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  9. Sorry I meant season 3 of course!

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  10. I think there is a live feed for the April 5 Emmy voting members-only event in NYC so we can watch online. I have been to events in the auditorium where they are having this event. It is small...the huge Zeigfeld theater Closed recently. Starz needs to pack in Emmy voters, not fans. Don't we want nominations next year? Trust Starz, they know what they have to do...

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    1. Joyce K. -- Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate all the points you make. But, STARZ/Sony is a huge network with presumably, a good amount of resources. I don't argue that they should be doing more to reach out to the Industry, because as you say, it's important to bring them along so Outlander can get more recognition at Awards time. But, they should be able to do both this AND pull off a few events that are open to fans. The fans have helped Outlander get this far in a big way. But, end of day, I'll get over it, watch the Premiere on April 9th and hope for a Season 3. Again, thanks for adding your two cents. We LOVE hearing from our readers. Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content.

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  11. I think that STARZ is having the same struggles that DG had when first published. What genre do you put it in? Does Starz market it as a sci-fi adventure? Does it market it as a romance? Does it market it as a historical show? As we know as fans, it is all of those things. Once watched, it is addicting! Starz needs to get the industry to really watch it, to get behind it as the fans are so that industry talks about the show, so that shows like The Tonight Show with JF and Ellen, will take notice and invite the cast/crew to come on. I do not feel snubbed if there is no fan premiere. I would prefer to see them at more conventions where more people have the opportunity to interact, and perhaps those who do not have a lot of money to afford tickets to a premiere can meet the actors.

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    1. Lisa P. Coder -- thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that more Industry outreach is needed and I am glad STARZ is putting some effort into this. But, I think it doesn't have to be one or the other when it comes to Premiere time. As a large network with lots of resources, they should be able to also put together a few events accessible to regular fans centered around the Premiere. However, it is, what it is at this point. And, by the way, the "Cons" are not cheap. To register and get into any of the panels cost some big bucks. But, that said, I'll lick my wounds and still watch on April 9th :) Again, thanks for stopping by the Blog and adding your perspective. We love hearing from our readers. Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content!

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  12. So super annoyed by this I can't even begin to say. It's a mistake to ignore the people who have helped make Outlander so popular for Starz. I know getting BIG media is important--no one wants this series to go through all 8 (9?) books more than I do, but come on! NOTHING for the fans other than live streaming? Seriously? Grrrrr......

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    1. janet reynolds -- I hear 'ya sister! Thanks for reading and commenting. We'll just have to scratch out heads at this and tune in on April 9th!

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  13. On April 9, after viewing the costumes in the Saks Fifth Avenue Windows, I will go with friends to catch the Tartan Week parade...that night I am hosting a viewing party at home with Rob Roy's and Shepherd's pie. It reminds me of the good old days when we would grab a glass of wine, lock the door to the den to keep out the kiddies, and watch Sex In The City. Those are the very best fan events!

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    1. Joyce K. -- that sounds like fun! Can I come? :) Good attitude! Like I said in the piece, we will ALL be tuning in on April 9th regardless... Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back to the Blog again soon for more Outlander news and original content!

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  14. Like Joyce K. I will be in NYC on the 9th to see the costumes and the Parade. Currently trying to get tickets to attend the Parade Post Party hoping Dear Sam will male an appearance. I have been scouring the internet looking for any venue that would be hosting a viewing of the Premiere to no avail. I guess I will have to return to my hotel room with a dram and watch on my laptop.

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    1. Unknown -- maybe Joyce K will invite you to her viewing party in NYC!!! And, if not, I am SURE you will meet some new friends at the Parade and make a plan to watch somewhere together. That's one thing about Outlander fans...We love to meet each other and talk incessantly about Outlander! I met some fab ladies at last year's premiere!! Have fun. Thanks for stopping by the Blog and reading and commenting. Come back and see us again soon!

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  15. I have been neurotically scouring the Internet since the date was announced as well!

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    1. That's how I found you blog! Hehe

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    2. Unknown -- good to know I'm not the only neurotic Outlander crazy out there! Crazy devotees always welcomed at the Outlander Cast Blog!! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back and see us again soon!

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    3. Onestacie -- Well, it doesn't matter how you found us you are here now! Welcome! I hope you will come back and see us at the Blog soon for more Outlander news and original content. Love hearing from our readers so comment away!!

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  16. Hi there! I'm actually a New Zealand based prize winner who WON tickets to New York to the event on the 4th April (still buzzing!). We don't know any details about the event sorry - the above is the most we know which is why I stumbled across this googling for more info, so except the date and that it's in NYC I can't tell you more. But I will be trying to take lots of photos for Instagram and Twitter and all the NZ Outlander fans, so I promise I will try and share as much as I can :) Sorry you can't all come along with us! (PS: I'm a huge fan, not a new viewer, and have read all the books at least three times) (Well OK, I actually stopped in the John Grey series...but Outlander - which I knew as Crosstitch - and all the followed, I obsessed over from age 15!) Oh! And Instagram and Twitter is @lozheaphy

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    1. Loren -- CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Wow. That is fantastic. So excited for you. You will be able to meet ALL the Outlander stars, I am sure and be one of the first to hear the new title theme and see episode 201. AWESOME! Happy for you. What an adventure. We'll be sure to follow you on IG and Twitter. If you want to send any exclusives to the Outlander Cast Blog (photos or stories), we'll write it up and credit you. You can email me at annega@microsoft.com HAVE A GREAT TIME!!!!!

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  17. I don't live too far from New York and was hoping to go to the premiere and Tartan Day. I don't expect to get into the premiere but hope to see the red carpet arrivals (I have to see Sam Heughan in person, just have to!)If there are no fan events or screenings in really sucks for the people who became fans after the S1 premiere. If I would have discovered the show then, I would have been there with bells on!

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    1. Daye Garr -- Good for you for trying to catch a glimpse of the stars on the Red Carpet. However, it makes me sad that wonderful fans like you only have this -- craning necks and maybe, maybe seeing the stars from across the street. It's very disappointing how STARZ handled this. They could have had a least one Fan Event in New York -- similar to what they did in London, Australia and Japan this week and the upcoming event in Los Angeles. These are events that couldn't accommodate everyone BUT at least regular fans would have a chance to get in. But, instead, everything in New York is restricted access -- everything. Sad that devoted Outlander fans on the East Coast have to resort to standing across the street... But, for your sake, I hope you do see Sam and Cait and others and can tell the rest of us all about it! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back again soon to the Blog for more Outlander news and original content!

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  18. I am so disappointed at this news. I am a huge fan of the books and show. I tried not to watch the show till I finished reading the series. I wanted my imagination driven by Diana's writing to form the character impressions. I failed and binged watched season 1 last summer. I feel like a teenager obsessed with a boy band. I tried for a few days to get tickets to Tartan Day Parade after party in hopes of getting a photo with Sam Heughan. Sold out so fast..not even a chance. Now I will have to suffice to watch from the street. I have been searching for premiere details and ran across UK contest sites. Your blog burst my bubble that there was still hope for NYC fans.

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    1. Jennifer Denney --Yes, I feel your disappointment. I do hope you are able to get After Party tix. But, if not, there will be TONS of Outlander ladies to hang out with and several NY Celtic bars are doing some Outlander themed drinks. I think there even be a bar crawl! Also, check out the Outlander Cast Blog for news about both Sam and Cat appearing on some NY based TV shows. There may be a chance to catch them coming and/or going from those various media appearances. Either way, I am SURE you will have fun in NYC. Spring in NY is the BEST! Thanks for reading and commenting. Come back and see us again soon here at the Blog!

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    2. OOOPS. Sorry I misspelled your last name Jennifer Dennehy!

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