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ID scores high in Nielsen’s measurement of “length of viewing,” an obscure statistic advertisers love: it means the network’s viewers tend to hang around longer than they do at other places. It also indicates the network has an attractive identity in itself, that viewers are tuning in more to ID than to specific shows.

“Although we may change the titles every hour, we may have a slight variation … the one common denominator is they are incredibly riveting,” Schleiff said. “They are incredibly compelling. They are incredibly emotionally moving.”

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David Bauder can be reached at dbauder(at)ap.org and on Twitter (at)dbauder.