Michael Wright Named Senior Vice President of TNT, TBS and TCM's Newly Reorganized and Renamed Content Creation Group
Original Programming for Linear Networks and Digital Extensions Now Consolidated under Executive Heralded for Dynamic Creative Partnerships
Michael Wright, who has headed up original programming for TNT since 2004 and TBS since 2005, has been named senior vice president of the newly reorganized and renamed Content Creation Group, according to an announcement by Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. In his expanded role, Wright will continue to be responsible for all original programming for TBS and TNT, including original series, limited series and specials, while also adding responsibility for original programming ventures on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and original content for all three networks' digital extensions. Wright, whose work for TBS and TNT includes forging creative partnerships with some of Hollywood's top producing talents, is based in Los Angeles and reports to Koonin.
"Through his abundant creativity and his talent for forming valuable partnerships with top names in the industry, Michael has become the driving force behind TBS and TNT's success when it comes to original programming," said Koonin. "I am confident that his added responsibilities for Turner Classic Movies and programming for our digital extensions as head of the Content Creation Group will continue to result in top-rated, award-winning projects that deliver on the brand promises of each network."
Wright's new duties for TCM will include supervising the network's award-winning original documentaries and specials, as well as branching the network out into the production of original series tied into its classic movie pedigree. Day-to-day operation of the TCM original programming team will continue to be handled by Tom Brown, vice president of program production, who now reports to Wright.
On the digital front, Wright will oversee such digital properties as sponsored microseries and Web series that complement TNT, TBS and TCM's linear programming line-ups.
Wright joined TNT in 2002 and was named senior vice president of original programming for the network in 2004. Since then, TNT has scored big on the original series front, with the hugely successful series The Closer leading the way as ad-supported cable's #1 series of all time among households and viewers. The series, starring Golden Globe� winner Kyra Sedgwick, marks one of many outstanding creative partnerships he has formed. Other high-profile collaborative efforts have welcomed the talents of Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television for the 16-time Emmy�-nominated production of Into the West and the summer 2008 limited-series adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub's The Talisman; Oscar�-winner Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, John Calley, David Zucker and David A. Rosemont for this summer's Cold War CIA epic The Company; and blockbuster filmmaker Dean Devlin for the highly successful movie series The Librarian. His team is also working on two new eagerly anticipated drama series premiering this summer: Saving Grace, a bold new series starring Oscar winner Holly Hunter, and Heartland, a powerful medical drama featuring Treat Williams and Kari Matchett.
TNT's many successful original programming ventures under Wright's auspices also include the acclaimed television movie Door to Door, honored with the distinguished Peabody Award and an industry-best six Emmys; the critically acclaimed all-star television event Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King; and the top-rated miniseries Salem's Lot.
In December 2005, Wright added development and production of original programming for TBS to his responsibilities. Since that time, TBS has enjoyed the successful debuts of two new original comedies: My Boys and 10 Items or Less, both of which are slated to return this year with new episodes. Wright also forged creative partnerships with Blue Collar Comedy Tour headliner Bill Engvall, who will star in and executive-produce this summer's The Bill Engvall Show, and Frank Caliendo, whose spot-on impersonations will serve as the basis for a new late-night sketch comedy.
In addition to his work on series, limited series and movies, Wright also oversees production on specials for the networks, including TNT's presentations of the Black Movie Awards and Christmas in Washington, as well as TBS and TNT's simulcast of the Screen Actors Guild Awards�.
Prior to his work for Turner Entertainment Networks, Wright served as vice president of movies and miniseries for CBS Productions and CBS Entertainment. During his tenure there, he supervised production of some of CBS' highest-rated and acclaimed television movies, including The Long Way Home, The Marriage Fool, the Peabody Award-winning Sharing the Secret and the live, Emmy-nominated production of On Golden Pond, with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Wright holds a bachelor's degree in theatre arts from the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's highest-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including the acclaimed detective drama The Closer, starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, a bold new drama starring Oscar winner Holly Hunter; Heartland, a powerful medical drama with Treat Williams and Kari Matchett; and this summer's eagerly anticipated television event The Company, executive-produced by Ridley Scott and starring Chris O'Donnell, Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Without a Trace, Law & Order, Las Vegas, Cold Case, ER, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; original comedy series like My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, 10 Items or Less and The Frank Show; specials and special events, such as Funniest Commercials of the Year and The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Classic Movies, currently seen in more than 75 million homes, is a 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company. TCM presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from the largest film library in the world, the combined TimeWarner and Turner film libraries, from the �20s through the �90s, commercial-free and without interruption. The network also offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, including the recent Emmy-winning Stardust: The Bette Davis Story and Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool. On the slate for 2007 are such original productions as Private Screenings: Jane Fonda, Brando and Spielberg on Spielberg, among others. Please visit tcm.com for more information.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.