TNT Plans Dramatic Increase in Original Programming, Setting the Stage for a Major Primetime Shift
TNT Has 14 Series in the Works from Top Talent, Including Ridley Scott, Mark Burnett, Steven Bochco, Robert Redford and John Sacret Young
TNT is planning a significant boost in original programming, with 14 series in development and a plan to change most of the network's weekday, primetime schedule to originals by 2010. TNT's aggressive plan includes a mixture of scripted dramas, unscripted programs and the network's award-winning telecasts of the NBA. Under the new strategy, TNT will continue to showcase popular movies on Friday nights and weekends.
"This dramatic expansion of our original programming slate is an important and exciting step in the evolution of our network," said Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the Content Creation Group for TNT and sister networks TBS and TCM. "We've had great results with our early efforts because of the amazingly talented people who have been bringing their best work to us. We look forward to continuing that success. We're especially excited to add unscripted series to our lineup, which opens a whole new world of storytelling opportunities."
TNT has several new series in development. They join two recently greenlit projects � RAISING THE BAR (working title), from executive producer Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue), and LEVERAGE, from executive producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day). Both projects are expected to premiere in TNT's lineup later this year. TNT is also considering TRUTH IN ADVERTISING, from Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin, executive producers of THE CLOSER.
Scripted series in development include THE GENIE CHRONICLES, a fantasy-adventure from DreamWorks Television, producers of TNT's Into the West; GENERATIONS, a family drama from executive producer Robert Redford and writer/executive producer John Sacret Young (The West Wing, China Beach); TECHNOPHOBIA, from executive producer Mark Frost (Twin Peaks); an untitled project from the Hoosiers team of Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh; and an untitled drama based on characters created by crime novelist Tess Gerritsen.
For the first time, TNT is also branching into unscripted series, with several projects in development from such talents as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Mark Burnett, Mark Wolper, former NBA star Kenny Smith and Gay Rosenthal.
TNT's current original programming successes include ad-supported cable's #1 series of all time, THE CLOSER, starring Golden Globe� winner Kyra Sedgwick. That series will return for its fourth season this summer. The network's highly successful SAVING GRACE, featuring Oscar� winner Holly Hunter, also will return for a second season this summer. SAVING GRACE premiered in 2007, claiming ad-supported cable's largest audience of the year for a new series launch.
The following is a slate of TNT's new projects in production or development:
Greenlit for Production
RAISING THE BAR (working title)
TNT has ordered 10 episodes of this series from the mastermind of legal dramas, Emmy� winner Steven Bochco. The series follows the lives and cases of young lawyers who have been friends since law school but now work on opposing sides. Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue) stars as an idealistic public defender who will stop at nothing to help those who cannot help themselves. Gloria Reuben (ER) plays his passionate and protective boss. Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) plays the imperious judge who hears their cases. The series also stars Teddy Sears (Ugly Betty), Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell), Currie Graham (Boston Legal), J. August Richards (Conviction) and Jonathan Scarfe (Into the West). It was created by Bochco and lawyer/writer David Feige (author of the book Indefensible). RAISING THE BAR comes to TNT from ABC Studios and Bochco Media, with Bochco serving as executive producer. It is slated to premiere later this year.
TNT has ordered 13 episodes of this suspenseful, action-packed drama series starring Oscar winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Nero Wolfe) as a former insurance investigator who puts together a team of highly skilled thieves, hackers and grifters. Together, they act as modern-day Robin Hoods, going after the richest, greediest and most unjust. LEVERAGE co-stars Beth Riesgraf (Without a Trace), Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights), Christian Kane (Into the West) and Gina Bellman (Coupling). It comes to TNT from Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment, with Devlin and John Rogers (Cosby) executive-producing. LEVERAGE is slated to premiere on TNT later this year.
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING
TNT has produced a pilot for this drama from the team behind the network's hit series THE CLOSER. It centers on a multi-million dollar advertising agency in Chicago and the creative talents working to keep it afloat after the death of one of its executives. Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and Tom Cavanagh (Ed) star, with Monica Potter (Boston Legal) co-starring. TRUTH IN ADVERTISING comes to TNT from Warner Horizon. Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin (THE CLOSER) serve as executive producers on this new project, along with THE CLOSER writers Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny.
In Development (Scripted)
This one-hour drama series crosses back and forth through time to follow the lives of three generations of the same family who have lived in the same house. The show comes to TNT from executive producer Robert Redford and writer/executive producer John Sacret Young (The West Wing, China Beach).
UNTITLED ANGELO PIZZO/DAVID ANSPAUGH PROJECT
From writer Angelo Pizzo and director David Anspaugh, the creators of Hoosiers and Rudy, comes this family drama set in Indiana in the 1950s. It explores the values and passions of small-town America � and the families who inhabit it � in a world growing faster and more modern with each passing day.
UNTITLED TESS GERRITSEN PROJECT
Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and police detective Jane Rizzoli join forces to solve crimes in Beantown. This project, based on Tess Gerritsen's popular series of crime novels, comes to TNT from executive producer Bill Haber (TNT's Nightmares and Dreamscapes).
THE GENIE CHRONICLES
This contemporary fantasy-adventure series features a female newspaper reporter who has discovered a magic lamp with an actual genie inside. The series follows them both as different people discover and use the lamp's power to make wishes come true. THE GENIE CHRONICLES comes from DreamWorks Television, producers of TNT's award-winning limited series Into the West.
From Mark Frost (Twin Peaks) comes this intriguing psychological drama that takes place in a bucolic American town where technology is advancing at a frightening pace. It is being produced by MRC Financing.
In Development (Unscripted)
Each week, this uplifting and emotional series selects a different deserving bride from across the country and, with the help of her family and friends, makes her wedding dreams come true. WEDDING DAY comes to TNT from Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television, with executive producers Mark Burnett, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Janelle Fiorito.
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
This unscripted series invites viewers to travel on the mile-long train of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the town without a zip code. Viewers will go behind the scenes of the legendary circus and enjoy the stories of people who have captivated the world. THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH comes to TNT from Earth Angel Productions, with Mark Wolper, Kenneth Feld, Nicole Feld, Al Hassas and Reza Izad serving as executive producers.
LEAN ON ME
Behind every famous figure stands an unsung hero, someone who has provided inspiration or motivation for success in life. This unscripted series will find uplifting drama in everyday life, celebrating mentors of some of the most successful and famous people in America. LEAN ON ME comes to TNT from former NBA player and current NBA on TNT announcer Kenny Smith, as well as Star Price Productions.
CRIMES OF THE CENTURY
This series examines the most notorious crimes of the last hundred years: incidents that have both shocked and fascinated the nation and were windows on the times in which they were committed. This series comes from Scott Free Productions, with Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Skip Chaisson serving as executive producers.
SHADOW OF A DOUBT
Sometimes emotions get out of hand, leading a person down paths that shouldn't be traveled, where irrational acts of murder may seem the only way out. This series will take viewers there, presenting riveting true-crime tales. SHADOW OF A DOUBT comes to TNT from Star Price Productions, with Star Price executive-producing.
BEHIND THE DRAMA
This compelling series of one-hour documentaries will tell fascinating and largely unknown stories behind some of our greatest films, television dramas and leading actors. Each episode identifies and explores the central dramatic forces that drove people and events. BEHIND THE DRAMA comes to TNT from Gay Rosenthal, creator of the popular series Behind the Music.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's top-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards� nominee Kyra Sedgwick, and Saving Grace, a provocative new drama starring Oscar winner and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Holly Hunter. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Bones, Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER and Charmed; 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 available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.