[04/12/05 - 12:00 AM]
TBS Welcomes "Very Funny" Talent for Upfront Presentation

[via press release from TBS]

TBS Welcomes "Very Funny" Talent for Upfront Presentation

Courteney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Daisy Donovan and Pauly Shore Unveil Upcoming TBS Projects

Advertisers and Guests Entertained with Live Performance by The Eagles following Upfront

TBS, television�s "very funny" network, held its Upfront presentation for advertisers today at Madison Square Garden, unveiling several new series and announcing the network�s participation in a major Las Vegas comedy festival that will climax with a two-hour comedy special airing on the network. Steve Koonin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for TBS and sister network TNT, hosted the TBS Upfront presentation, welcoming such stars as Courteney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Daisy Donovan and Pauly Shore to talk about their upcoming series on TBS and comedian Dane Cook to provide some hilarious stand-up. Following the Upfront presentation, advertisers and guests were treated to a live concert by The Eagles.

The Upfront presentations for TBS and TNT opened with an introduction by Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment Group, who spoke about his vision of a One Television World, in which the dividing lines between broadcast and cable have been permanently erased, allowing all networks to compete for viewers and ad dollars on an equal playing field. "In this One Television World," Lazarus noted, "our distinct brands are resonating more than ever. Our networks have the ability to reach millions of targeted viewers that advertisers crave and touch them on an emotional level, whether it is through the tension of drama on TNT or the release of laughter on TBS."

Koonin began TBS�s Upfront presentation by noting, "At last year�s Upfront, we made a promise regarding what we were going to do with TBS, and our promise was very simple: to make TBS a network that makes you feel good by connecting you with characters and stories you love. We designed our network for a young, comedy-loving audience. Our brand, TBS Very Funny, is really resonating with those viewers."

Koonin then announced TBS�s participation in and title sponsorship for The Comedy Festival, being held in Las Vegas Nov. 17-20 and produced in conjunction with HBO and live-event producer AEG Live. The festival will climax with EARTH TO AMERICA, a two-hour comedy extravaganza airing on TBS and featuring top Hollywood talent in an evening of comedy, music and message to raise awareness of issues concerning the environment. Scheduled to appear in the telecast are such celebrities as Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Will Ferrell, Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Ray Romano, Jack Black and Larry David, as well as major sports figures and music performers. EARTH TO AMERICA comes to TBS from The Comedy Festival and creator Laurie David, who will also serve as an executive producer with Pat Tourk Lee, John Moffitt and Bob Crestani. An all-star writing team has also been assembled from top shows and movies, including Eli Attie (The West Wing); Scott Carter (Real Time with Bill Maher); Greg Daniels (King of the Hill); Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm); Scott Jacobson, Jason Reich and Steve Bodow (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart); Chris Kelly (Real Time with Bill Maher); Adam McKay (Anchorman); George Meyer (The Simpsons); Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam); Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond); and Mike White (School of Rock).

Following this announcement, Koonin welcomed stand-up comedian Dane Cook to give the audience a very funny dose of comedy. Cook is currently riding the success of his debut CD/DVD Harmful if Swallowed and being named Hot Comic in Rolling Stone magazine�s "Hot Issue."

Next up, Koonin previewed TBS�s 2005 line-up of original comedy series, beginning with the previously announced MINDING THE STORE, in which down-but-not-out comedian Pauly Shore (Pauly Shore Is Dead, Encino Man) tries to get his mother�s world-famous Comedy Store back on track, while also giving his own career a boost. Shore talked about his new series and his life backstage at The Comedy Store, where such comedians as Jim Carrey, Richard Pryor and David Letterman got their starts. The half-hour series, slated to premiere in Fourth Quarter 2005, comes to TBS from Shapiro/Grodner Productions (Big Brother), with Arnold Shapiro, Allison Grodner and Rob Lee executive-producing.

Koonin then offered a look at the network�s hugely successful series THE REAL GILLIGAN�S ISLAND, which sets sail for a second season Wednesday, June 8, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). Just as in the first season, two teams of castaways who personify the original Gilligan�s Island characters are stranded on an island and challenged to find a way off. THE REAL GILLIGAN�S ISLAND is executive-produced by Mike Fleiss (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette). The father/son team of Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the original Gilligan�s Island sitcom, and Lloyd Schwartz also serve as executive producers. Lisa Levenson (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette) and Scott Jeffress (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette) serve as co-executive producers for Next Entertainment.

The TBS Upfront came to a "very funny" close as executive producers Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette of Coquette Production were joined onstage by television�s next breakout personality: British comedian Daisy Donovan (Daisy Daisy, Millions, The 11 O�Clock Show). TBS has ordered nine episodes of DAISY DOES AMERICA, a new comic series in which Donovan hits the road to become an All-American Girl. This isn�t easy, considering she is more British high society and knows nothing about being American. Donovan will explore opportunities and meet people across the USA, exposing the holes in the American way of life through her hapless attempts to embrace the American dream. Along the way, she pokes fun at herself and the characters she comes across. Serving as executive producer on the pilot episode is Brad Kuhlman (One Bad Trip, FM Nation, Senseless Acts of Video), with Peter Mehlman (Seinfeld) and Brian & Mark Gunn (Bring It On, MTV�s 2ge+her) serving as creative consultants on the pilot. DAISY DOES AMERICA is slated to join the TBS line-up in Fourth Quarter 2005.

TBS is television�s "very funny" network, serving as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; high-profile original series, such as the The Real Gilligan�s Island, Minding the Store and Daisy Does America (working title); blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

  [april 2005]  


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