Upfronts 2012: New Programming Heads Turner Video StrategyTNT and TBS unveil development slates 5/16/2012 08:59:51 AM Eastern
In an emerging multiscreen world, Turner Broadcasting said
it is evolving its linear television networks into what it calls "branded video
"Our strategy is designed to confront the challenges of
an ever-growing media universe by focusing on the strength of our brands, the
power of our programming and the ability to deliver branded video content that
can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere and on any device," Steve Koonin,
president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said in a statement before Turner's
presentation Wednesday morning. "To reach our destination, we will focus
on leading with the strength of the TBS and TNT brands; cementing each
network's foundation with popular, high-profile acquisitions; expanding our
lineup of scripted and unscripted original series to a year-round model; and
maximizing multi-screen opportunities."
Turner also announced new original programming designed to
rejuvenate TNT and TBS.
"Turner continues to make investments in programming
that has broad appeal with viewers, and our commitment to producing originals
throughout the year and content for all screens will provide tremendous
opportunities for our clients and their brands," said David Levy,
president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. "As
viewer habits progress and we evolve into a one media world, advertisers
continue to look for opportunities to engage with consumers on multiple screens
and platforms. Turner's leading portfolio of linear and digital brands, with
enhanced original content, provides our advertising partners with greater reach
for their messages, across multiple screens, genres and demographics."
Turner said that TNT has nine original series for the
summer, including the reboot of Dallas.
Also on tap are a medical drama Monday
Mornings, and unscripted series Boston
Blue and 72 Hours. TNT will also
be airing its first reality competition show The Great Escape.
TBS is premiering two new sitcoms this summer, Men at Work and Sullivan & Son. Those will get leads-in from The Big Bang Theory, which has given the
channel a boost since it was added to the lineup.
Later in the year, TBS will add Wedding Band and Cougar Town,
which moves from ABC.
TBS also has in the works King of the Nerds, Deon
Cole's Black Box and Who Gets the
"Whatever the form or genre, we're using what we call
the 'popcorn mindset' as the guiding principle behind all our development.
From a storytelling perspective, that simply means that TNT's dramas are meant
to entertain and excite viewers, take them on a ride and land them safely at
the end," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT,
TBS, and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Here is a list of projects at TNT and TBS:
TNT Scripted Series
King and Maxwell -
Bestselling author David Baldacci's popular characters Sean King and Michelle
Maxwell aren't your typical pair of private investigators. Both are former
secret service agents, and their unique skill set (not to mention their
razor-sharp chemistry) often gives them a leg up on both suspects and
conventional law enforcement. Baldacci serves as a consultant on the project.
Executive Producer: Shane Brennan. Producer: Karen Spiegel and Grant
Anderson. Studio: CBS Television Studios.
The Last Ship -
In this exciting action/adventure project based on the popular novel by William
Brinkley, the crew of a naval destroyer is forced to confront the reality of a
new existence when a pandemic decimates most of the earth's population. Michael Bay (Transformers) intends to direct the
pilot if it is green lit. Executive Producers: Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew
Form, Hank Steinberg (showrunner and writer) and Steve Kane (writer).
Production Company: Platinum Dunes.
This suspenseful, action-packed drama is being developed by Howard Gordon,
Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Mark Bomback from the novel Legends by Robert Littell. The
story follows a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum, who has an uncanny
ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. But his own
identity comes into question when a mysterious stranger suggests that Martin
isn't who he thinks he is. Executive Producers: Howard Gordon, Jeffrey
Nachmanoff, Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin. Studio: Fox Television
Lew Archer -
Based on the title character from Ross McDonald's popular novels, this project
from The Closer creator James
Duff and Close to Home creator Jim Leonard follows the sleuth many
consider to be "the original P.I." Executive Producers: James Duff, Jim
Leonard (writer) and Steve N. White. Studio: Warner Horizon
Tom Clancy's Homeland
Security - This event-based procedural written by Javier
Grillo-Marxuach and set in Tom Clancy's world of espionage pits a select
team of domestic intelligence operatives against enemies within and without,
from narco-traffickers and nuclear terrorists to cyber-criminals and human
smugglers. Executive Producers: Tom Clancy, Michael Ovitz, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and
Untitled Steven Bochco Murder Mystery project - This
suspenseful and intriguing crime drama will intimately dissect a single murder
case over an entire season, from the commitment of the crime through the
investigation, arrest and trial. Executive Producer: Steven Bochco (writer).
Co-Executive Producer: Eric Lodal (writer).
Untitled Ron Shelton family drama - A disgraced
football coach loses his high-profile job in Los Angeles and winds up
moving his three kids and 70-year-old father to Louisiana. But this might just
be the fresh start they need in this insightful drama from the writer/director
of Bull Durham. Executive Producers: Ron Shelton (writer), Michele
Weisler and Andrea Buchanan.
TNT Unscripted Series
American Troubadours - From
one of the executive producers of American
Idol and film star Matthew McConaughey, this new reality competition
series is on a mission to discover the best unsigned bar band in America,
singer/songwriter bands that represent the greatest tradition of rock and roll.
Executive Producers: Nigel Lythgoe, Matthew McConaughey and Anastasia
Brown. Production Companies: Nigel Lythgoe Productions and J.K.
Cold Justice -
This docudrama, produced by Emmy winners for such series as Law & Order, Project Runway and Top
Chef, will follow former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and crime scene
investigator Yolanda McClary as they crack cold cases. Executive
Producers: Dick Wolf, Tom Thayer, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz.
Production Companies: Wolf Films and Magical Elves.
Rivals - From
the producers of Laguna Beach and
Jockeys comes this riveting
series set in the glamorous world of thoroughbred horse racing. Executive
Producers: Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein for BermanBraun; Gary Ravet
for Promark Productions; and Gary Auerbach and Tina Gazzero for Go
24/7: Los Angeles -
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Robert Port crafted this gripping,
all-access look at the men and women who protect the streets of Los Angeles.
Executive Producers: Robert Port, Michael Goldstein and Michael
Larkin. Production Company: Port Films.
TBS New Series
Men at Work -
Series premiere: Thursday, May 24, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Sullivan & Son - Series premiere:
Thursday, July 19, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Wedding Band - New series coming in
Cougar Town - Joins TBS original
series lineup in early 2013
King of the Nerds (working
title) - New series coming soon
Deon Cole's Black Box - New series
coming in 2013
Who Gets the Last Laugh? (working
title) - New series coming in 2013
TBS Scripted Series
The Kid - To
try and get his game back, a young and socially naÃ¯ve golf prodigy named Quinn
teams up with Joey, an unconventional new caddy. But much to the dismay of his
father, Quinn learns more than just golf, as this new duo makes its way into
the high-rolling, fast-moving big-time world of professional golf. The Kid is written by Donald Todd from
a story by Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger and
writer Jay Hass, along with David Morse (TremÃ©) and professional golfer Phil
Mickelson's longtime caddy, Jim "Bones" Mackay. Executive Producers: Donald
Todd, Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin. Production Company: The Shephard/Robin
Company. Studio: Warner Horizon Television.
Most Likely - It
has been ten years since high school, and the former "most likely to succeed"
star student returns to his hometown after losing his job. He winds up working
for the former (and still) "most popular" jock in this mismatched buddy comedy
penned by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time
Machine). Executive Producers: Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David
Kissinger. Co-Executive Producer/Writer: Josh Heald. Production Company: Conaco
LLC. Studio: Warner Horizon Television.
Zone Lord -
Conan O'Brien serves as executive producer on this sitcom with an intergalactic
twist. Three roommates awake one morning to discover an evil but very hip alien
has moved into their building, along with his diminutive navigator. Executive
Producers: Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger. Co-Executive
Producer/Writer: Ross Venokur. Production Company: Conaco LLC. Studio: Warner
TBS Unscripted Series
Norm MacDonald Is
Trending - TBS has ordered a pilot presentation of this talk show from
some of the executive producers behind Sports
Show with Norm MacDonald and Real
Time with Bill Maher. SNL alumnus
and former "Weekend Update" anchor Norm MacDonald hosts as he
and his team of correspondents sort through the churning mass of pop culture
and social media to pull out the funniest, most bizarre and entertaining events
so you don't have to. Executive Producers: Norm MacDonald, Marc Gurvitz and
Lori Jo Hoekstra.
Game Show - This big, unique and physically challenging competition
series is being developed by Jared Hoffman and produced by Alloy Digital's
Generate Studios, which was co-founded by Jordan Levin and Pete Aronson. Executive
Producer: Jared Hoffman. Production Company: Generate Studios.