TNT Heats Up Summer with Basic Cable's Top Dramas
International Hit Falling Skies Ranks #1 with Key Demos;
Rizzoli & Isles and The Closer Rule with Total Viewers
TNT's powerhouse dramas Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer and Falling Skies are set to score major victories as basic cable's top drama series of the summer. TNT's Monday crime dramas Rizzoli & Isles and The Closer are leading the pack as basic cable's #1 and #2 dramas among total viewers, while new international hit Falling Skies is set to rank as basic cable's #1 drama among adults 18-49 and 25-54, as well as the top new series in total viewers. TNT has also garnered remarkable success with the hit caper drama Leverage, which is enjoying its best season ever, and the light-hearted legal drama Franklin & Bash, one of basic cable's Top 5 new series of the summer.
"This has been a terrific summer for TNT, and we are tremendously proud of how well our portfolio of original dramas has performed," said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "From the power of blockbuster series like The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles to the breakout performance of new international hit Falling Skies and fan favorite Leverage, the summer has seen TNT grow its already robust presence in original programming. We're especially thrilled that our four most popular series have combined to make TNT #1 in Sunday and Monday primetime. We look forward to building on our success next summer as we bring these very popular series back and expand our horizons with new shows like Dallas, Major Crimes and Perception."
TNT's original dramas have provided some of the summer's most memorable television moments. "Few fans will forget the shocking cliffhanger that ended the first season of Falling Skies, or Brenda Leigh Johnson crumbling under the weight of a pending lawsuit or the heart-pounding suspense as claustrophobic hacker Alec Hardison was buried alive on Leverage," said Wright. "We believe in working with the best in the business, and this summer, the results have been truly spectacular."
TNT summer 2011 ratings highlights:
TNT's Rizzoli & Isles ranks as basic cable's #1 drama series of the summer, with 8.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery (through Aug. 7). This is the seventh consecutive summer TNT has claimed the top spot.
Hot on Rizzoli & Isles' heels is TNT's flagship drama The Closer, which in the opening episodes of its final season is averaging a powerful 8.6 million viewers in Live + 7. The series is enjoying a significant boost in key demos, with adults 18-49 up 9% and adults 25-54 up 5%, a remarkable achievement for a series in its seventh year.
Exploding onto the charts as basic cable's #1 drama among key adult demos for the summer is TNT's international hit Falling Skies, which averaged 3.3 million adults 18-49 and 3.7 million adults 25-54 in Live + 7 delivery. The epic drama ranks as basic cable's most popular new series of the summer with key demos, as well as with total viewers, which clocked in at a hefty 6.9 million viewers. This marks the second consecutive year TNT has claimed the most-watched new series of the summer.
Competitively, TNT was dominant across the board on Sunday nights this summer. Beginning with the launch of Falling Skies on June 19, TNT has ranked as cable's #1 network in Sunday primetime not only with viewers, but also with adults 18-49 and 25-54. In addition, the pairing of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles has made TNT cable's #1 network in Monday primetime with total viewers.
TNT's light-hearted legal drama Franklin & Bash enjoyed a stellar first season, with an audience that remained tremendously loyal throughout its summer run. The series averaged 3.9 million viewers, making it one of basic cable's Top 5 new series of the summer. In addition, the show scored a healthy 1.8 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54, ranking it among the Top 10 new series.
In its fourth season and showing no signs of wear, Leverage has expanded its audience to more than 4.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, up 10% over season three and ranking it one of basic cable's Top 10 returning dramas. The show has also grown its delivery of adults 18-49 to 1.9 million (+6%) and adults 25-54 to 2.3 million (+10%).
TNT's Tuesday night drama Memphis Beat has maintained solid numbers throughout the season, with more than 4.3 million viewers, 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54 in Live + 7. HawthoRNe has followed with more than 3.3 million viewers, 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 1.5 million adults 25-54.
With the ongoing rollout of Turner Broadcasting's TV Everywhere initiative - which offers next-day VOD and online viewing and includes a full commercial load for the first week - TNT is enjoying tremendous gains in the amount of time-shifted viewing its originals have delivered. TNT's summer series are averaging a 42% lift from Live + Same Day to Live + 7, compared to a 25% lift last year. Among adults 18-49, this summer's lift is 56% (vs. 32% last summer), while the lift among adults 25-54 is 52% (vs. 31% last summer).
TNT's success this summer sets the stage for continued strength in fall and winter, with new episodes of The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage slated to begin in late November and the acclaimed police drama Southland returning for its fourth season in January. Also this November, TNT will launch the new TNT Mystery Movie Night, a showcase of six original movies based on best-selling books from authors Scott Turow, Sandra Brown, Richard North Patterson, April Smith, Lisa Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.
Next summer, TNT will look to build on its ratings wins with the high-profile debuts of Dallas, an all-new series based on the long-running hit, and Perception, a unique crime drama starring Emmy(R) winner Eric McCormack as an eccentric neuroscientist who helps the government solve complex cases. Following next summer's series finale of The Closer, TNT will premiere Major Crimes, a new series with two-time Oscar(R) nominee Mary McDonnell reprising her role from The Closer as Capt. Sharon Raydor.
TNT, one of cable's top-rated networks, is television's destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy(R) winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle; Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Hawthorne, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER). TNT also presents such powerful dramas as The Mentalist, Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting next year, Castle; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards(R); and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.