Bravo is happily giving a home to Turner Network Television castoff drama Breaking News.
The series, centered on a fictional news network, premieres on Bravo July 17,
nearly a year-and-a-half after production wrapped.
TNT scrapped plans to air the series last year after New Line Television
delivered the 13-episode order.
But TNT's loss is Bravo's gain, according to executive vice president
and general manager Ed Carroll. "On basic cable, there are few examples of
successful scripted drama," he said. "Instead of a pilot and an act of faith, we
have 13 episodes."
Breaking News' producers said they are still a little stumped at why TNT
abandoned the series. "That's the $20 million question," executive
producer Gardner Stern said, referring to the estimated cost of the series. "No one
from TNT ever called me to explain."
Stern speculated that corporate changes at TNT's parent company, AOL Time
Warner Inc. (around the time Turner Broadcasting System Inc. chairman Jamie Kellner arrived), and
TNT's desire to appeal to a different audience led to the decision never to air
TNT walked away from a second series, financial drama Bull, as
The Breaking News cast emphasized their delight that the series is
finally going to air.
"I was calling my agent asking, `Did anyone pick up Breaking News?'"
recalled star Lisa Ann Walter, who also starred in NBC's failed
One challenge for Bravo: If the show is a hit, a second season could be
pricey. High-quality original dramas can run about $1 million per episode.
Also, reassembling the cast could be difficult.
Carroll said a second season would depend on "if New Line has an interest in
continuing, and we have to make the economics work for Bravo." He added that
Bravo's acquisition of The West Wing -- which starts up in 2003, reportedly to the tune of at least $1 million per episode -- proves that Bravo "has the
appetite" to spend on programming.