Fresh off its latest hit original movie, Red Water, TBS Superstation is
closing down its movie business.
Clearly, the timing seems odd, but the move is part of network chief Steve
Koonin's plans to reinvigorate the superstation.
"This is about asset allocation," said Koonin, who also runs Turner Network Television. "By shifting
[programming dollars] to light entertainment, reality-based shows, we’re able to
have more hours of programming in prime time worked through our schedule."
TBS was making about four or five movies per year, and audiences have rewarded
Last weekend's thriller, Red Water, attacked with a 5.0 rating and 7
million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Last year's Atomic Twister scored a 5.9 rating and reigned as cable's
highest-rated original movie for the year.
Koonin said he'd rather go out with successes than failures. He likened the
move to when he canceled World Championship Wrestling on TNT a few years ago, even though it
was the network's highest-rated show.
"We have to make some sacrifices," he said of TBS' movies, "and this is one
I am willing to make."
Koonin said he is looking for series that match well with TBS' fringe block
of acquired comedies like Friends and Seinfeld.
A home-redecorating-competition show, House Rules, debuts in October.
Look for more series next summer.