The upfronts are here! For those of you that don’t know, upfronts are when the major TV networks set up their fall TV schedule and let us know what new shows they have ordered and get us a description and in some cases a preview of those shows. We will have posts up for all five major networks as they role out. These will be strictly informative and you can see my judgments and recommendations on them in the fall before they air.
Below is the the press reales from the TNT/TBS Upfronts held today in New York City, as well as any available trailers for new shows:
TNT unveiled a dramatic brand refresh and programming evolution during today’s TBS TNT Upfront presentation in New York. The initiative is designed to expand the audience by attracting younger viewers and a more balanced male-female composition. On the programming front, TNT is building a dynamic portfolio of thrilling genre fare, with new action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/suspense and crime dramas. TNT’s brand refresh is centered on the new tagline TNT Drama. Boom. The tagline reflects the kind of powerful emotional moments that make for great drama, moments that can be found in such TNT hits as Falling Skies, Rizzoli & Isles and Major Crimes; this summer’s new dramas The Last Ship, Legends, Murder in the First; the recently announced series Public Morals, Proof and The Librarians; and TNT’s championship sports programming.
“Today, we are introducing an aggressive update of our drama brand – our look, our tone and the content behind it,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “It’s time to evolve and grow TNT- and that starts with refreshing the brand and evolving our content along with it. All of it is meant to work together to deliver a clear promise to the audience: If you’re in the mood for drama that thrills, turn to TNT.”
TBS is poised to build on its chart-topping success after ranking as basic cable’s #1 network among key adult demos for all of 2013, as well as for Q1 2014. TBS will continue leveraging the power of its ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory as a lead-in for new and current series, including returning hits Sullivan & Son, Ground Floor and Cougar Town; the new comedy game show Funniest Wins; and the recently greenlit sitcoms Angie Tribeca (working title), Your Family or Mine and Buzzy’s.
Also undergoing an evolution is Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales, which recently combined its television, digital and mobile sales teams. The new sales force is empowered to offer marketing opportunities on any platform, including linear television, on-demand and mobile.
“We all know technology is providing consumers access to more content across more screens than ever before, and giving them control on how they receive great content will further drive increased consumption and, in turn, value to our advertising partners,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales. “The integration of television, online and mobile content is accelerating, and with that, we are all moving quickly to evolve our advertising strategies. These dynamics impact how we partner with advertisers, and we’ve aligned our sales teams across Turner to better reflect the seamlessness between TV and digital. At the center of our portfolio are TBS and TNT, both leaders in television and on-demand viewing that offer strong programming, demos and brand recognition for our advertising partners.’
Turner Entertainment Ad Sales, which handles sales for TBS and TNT, is offering advertisers several new tools in this Upfront to allow for better targeting and marketing data, bigger content marketing capabilities and real-time messaging. Collectively known as NOW Media, the portfolio combines the power and reach of television with the opportunities of digital and social media in order to provide advertisers real products that they can plan for today.
TNT Drama. Boom.
At the center of TNT’s brand refresh is TNT Drama. Boom. This new tagline is designed to represent that moment in all great dramas when the story takes an unexpected turn. It’s the “aha” moment, the surprise, the climax. The moment when the drama goes “boom” can be a trail of blood with no body to be found, a mistress discovered, the realization that the world’s survival is in the hands of one man, or the last-second buzzer-beater in a crucial game.
TNT’s marketing team chose “Boom” not only for the ways in which it can be applied to different dramatic moments across many genres, but also because it’s a word that’s taken on its own meaning in the social media space.
“‘Boom’ speaks to the experience we want to deliver to TNT viewers,” said Wright. “It’s about the thrill of the chase, or overcoming impossible odds and winning the day; it’s about what keeps you on the edge of your seat, hands clenched, heart racing, waiting to see what happens next; it’s about the moment when it all goes ‘Boom!’ Most importantly, ‘Boom’ makes a promise to our audience about the kind of emotional, intense, exciting, funny, shocking, sexy and thrilling drama they should expect from TNT.”
TNT Drama. Boom. is set to begin rolling out on May 19, coinciding with TNT’s coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals.
TNT Programming Evolution
TNT, which claimed more hit originals than any other cable network in 2013, is evolving its programming strategy and growing its portfolio. The network is building a dynamic slate in multiple genres, with new action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/suspense and crime dramas. “We’re excited to be adding shows like The Last Ship, Murder in the First and Legends this summer; The Librarians this winter; and Proof and Public Morals next year, as we look to build on the success of our Top 10 hit Falling Skies with series that deliver the excitement and thrills of a great summer movie,” Wright said.
TNT’s programming evolution also includes strategies to address the changing ways in which viewers watch television. The network’s slate includes dramas with continuing storylines full of surprising twists and turns that will generate buzz and drive social media conversation. TNT is also greatly expanding the video-on-demand windows for several of its series in order to encourage sampling and binge-watching. “People are consuming television in profoundly new ways,” Wright said. “Digital platforms and TV Everywhere have empowered the viewer to discover and sample new content, as well as catch up on shows they like.”
TNT currently has 14 original series on deck for the rest of 2014, including five new scripted and two new unscripted series. The network has also greenlit two new scripted dramas for next year and has an extensive slate of original series in development from such high-profile producers and creators as Scott Winant, Vince Vaughn and Donnie Wahlberg, to name a few.
TNT Original Series: 2014
Major Crimes – Season 3 Premiere: Monday, June 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Murder in the First – Series Premiere: Monday, June 9, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Rizzoli & Isles – Season 5 Premiere: Tuesday, June 17, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Perception – Season 3 Premiere: Tuesday, June 17, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Cold Justice – Season 2.1 Premiere: Friday, June 20, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
The Last Ship – Series Premiere: Sunday, June 22, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Falling Skies – Season 4 Premiere: Sunday, June 22, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Legends – New Series Premiere: Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Franklin & Bash – Season 4 Premiere: Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Dallas – Season 3.1 Premiere: Monday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
On the Menu – New Series: Fall 2014
Wake Up Call – New Series: Fall 2014
Transporter The Series – New Series: Fall 2014
TNT Original Series: Greenlit for 2015
Public Morals, from writer-director-producer-star Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan, The Brothers McMullen), is a gritty, intense crime drama set in the world of the Vice Division of the New York City Police Department in the 1960s. The drama follows Terry Muldoon (Burns), a Public Morals detective trying to maintain control over his tightly ordered world as the city and the times around him are undergoing profound cultural changes. In this serialized cop drama, Muldoon and his team will confront a number of challenges, from keeping a lid on prostitution and gambling rings to being thrust into a deadly turf war that breaks out between the new and old factions of the Irish Mob. Public Morals is inspired by Burns’ own life growing up in a family of cops in a morally ambivalent, very dangerous time. Michael Rapaport (Justified) and Elizabeth Masucci (The Americans) also star in the series, which comes to TNT from Amblin Television and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Aaron Lubin.
Proof is a serialized supernatural drama starring Jennifer Beals (The L Word, Flashdance), Matthew Modine (And the Band Played On, Weeds) and Joe Morton (Scandal, Terminator 2: Judgment Day). The series follows Dr. Carolyn Tyler (Beals) on a journey toward answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: Is there life after death? A highly trained surgeon, skeptic and believer in hard science, Dr. Tyler is challenged by an eccentric and terminally ill billionaire (Modine) to prove whether there is an afterlife. After exploring stories about hauntings, near-death experiences, past lives and more, Dr. Tyler slowly evolves from hardline skeptic, to doubter and, ultimately, reluctant believer. Proof is executive-produced by The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick, Rob Bragin, Tom Jacobson, Jill Littman and Emmy’ winner Alex Graves.
TNT Scripted Series in Development
Producers: Wild West Picture Show Productions, Peter Billingsley (Iron Man, Sullivan & Son), Vince Vaughn (Sullivan & Son, Wedding Crashers), Victoria Vaughn (Couples Retreat), Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, The Wire)
Writer: Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, The Wire)
When a highly trained, ex-Special Ops soldier uncovers a global cover-up that forces him to go off the grid, he discovers a new purpose helping those who cannot help themselves.
Producers: Invention Film Co, Nicky Weinstock, Scott Winant (True Blood), John Scott Shepherd (Save Me, Life or Something Like It)
Writer: John Scott Shepherd (Save Me, Life or Something Like It)
This atmospheric, supernatural drama centers on a volatile race of creatures who are committing brutal murders in the Pacific Northwest, and the reluctant FBI investigator who pairs with a female assassin to track them. Breed mixes suspense, excitement and humor to create an exhilarating ride full of unexpected moments and unforgettable characters.
Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct
Producers: Donnie Wahlberg (Boston’s Finest), Jonathan Baruch, Rob Wolken
One of the longest-running crime series ever published, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series includes 82 novels. This new series centers on Detective Steve Carella and the 87th Precinct as they investigate the toughest cases while juggling their own personal struggles.
Producers: Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy), Nick Pepper, Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist), John Glenn (Eagle Eye, The Lazarus Project)
Director: Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist)
Writers: John Glenn (Eagle Eye, The Lazarus Project) and Joe Carnahan
Studio: Sonar Entertainment
A team is sent back in time from 2027 to 2014 to disrupt a series of events that will lead to a cataclysmic war in the future – but something goes wrong, trapping them in 2014 Manhattan. Cut off from their time and their families, the team must try to complete their unprecedented, high-stakes mission without any help from the future.
Producers: Steve McPherson (Wonder Monkey Entertainment), Gonzague Requillart (La Parisienne D’images), Harley Peyton (Dracula, Friends with Benefits)
Writer: Harley Peyton (Dracula, Friends with Benefits)
Awakened on a train with no memory of who she is or how she got there and then discovering that a chip has been implanted in her brain to transform her into a powerful human weapon, Kali must embark on a harrowing journey of survival and redemption. She will find herself at the center of two warring teams fighting to control her as she begins the battle to take back her life. Based on a French web series.
Producers: Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Brothers & Sisters), Nick Wootton (Prison Break, NYPD Blue), Alon Aranya (Betrayal, Hostages), Rob Golenberg (Betrayal)
Writer: Nick Wootton (Prison Break, NYPD Blue)
Studio: Warner Horizon
This conspiracy thriller opens as President Dominic Avery awakens from a 13-month coma. Battered and out-of-office, he realizes that the attempt on his life wasn’t from foreign terrorists. It was a homegrown plan. No longer the President, he uses his Detroit-bred cunning to investigate his own murder attempt, unearthing suspects in the new administration, the wealthy political world and even his own family. President X is an engrossing and intense thriller packed with heart-stopping discoveries.
Producers: James Middleton (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Jaime Paglia (Eureka), Robbie Thompson (Supernatural)
Writer: Robbie Thompson (Supernatural)
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Based on characters created by Stephen King, this supernatural thriller centers on The Shop, a mysterious organization that once exploited the pyrokinetic abilities of a young girl named Charlie McGee. Twenty years after bringing the organization to its knees in a blaze of fire, Charlie has been tracked down by one of its former members, Henry Talbot. Talbot introduces Charlie to a group of people just like her, all products of The Shop with their own unique abilities. It turns out The Shop is very much alive, bigger and badder than ever, and its dark experiments are unleashing terrifying new entities on the world. It’s now up to Talbot, Charlie and the rest of the team to find The Shop and destroy it for good.
TBS, which ranked as basic cable’s #1 network among key adult demos in 2013 and again in Q1 2014, will continue building its slate of original programming around the ratings hit The Big Bang Theory. This year, the network is set to launch two new series, CeeLo Green’s The Good Life and Funniest Wins, while also marking the return of the hit sitcoms Sullivan & Son and Ground Floor. In addition, TBS will take over American Dad! as an original series this fall. In 2015, TBS will launch the new scripted comedies Angie Tribeca, Buzzy’s and Your Family or Mine, as well as bring back Cougar Town for its sixth season. TBS is also developing projects from a number of high-profile talents, including projects from executive producer Ed Helms and executive producer John Krasinski.
TBS Original Series: Slated for 2014 & Early 2015
Funniest Wins – Series Premiere: Tuesday, June 19, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
CeeLo Green’s The Good Life – Series Premiere: Monday, June 23, at 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
Sullivan & Son – Season 3 Premiere (back-to-back episodes): Tuesday, June 24, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
American Dad! – Season 11: Fall 2014
Ground Floor – Season 2: Winter 2014
Cougar Town – Season 6: Early 2015
TBS Original Series: Greenlit for 2015
Angie Tribeca (working title), TBS’s new spoof of police procedurals, is the brainchild of Steve and Nancy Carell. Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation, The Office) stars in this single-camera comedy as Angie Tribeca, a ten-year veteran of the LAPD. Her fellow officers in the squad are an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information about themselves and refuse to rest until justice has been served…sort of. A spoof in the tradition of The Naked Gun and Airplane!, Angie Tribeca is executive-produced by Steve and Nancy Carell through their Carousel Television, along with Campbell Smith and Thom Hinkle.
Buzzy’s is the latest series from David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the Emmy’-winning creators of Will & Grace. Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical), Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black), Mike Castle (Family Trap), Ryan Pinkston (Tower Prep), Matt Cook (True Blood) and six-time Emmy nominee George Wendt (Cheers) star in the ensemble comedy about a group of misfits from high school who work together at a Charlestown, Mass. barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives and their loves – not to mention their sense of humor – remain in Charlestown. Buzzy’s comes to TBS from KoMut Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television.
Your Family or Mine, from the producers of Friends, Will & Grace and Happy Endings, stars Kyle Howard (Royal Pains), Kat Foster (‘Til Death), Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl) and JoBeth Williams (Poltergeist). Written by Ground Floor co-creator and How I Met Your Mother alum Greg Malins, the comedy focuses on a different side of young couple’s family each week. Kelli (Foster) and Oliver (Howard) are the couple at the center. The series alternates between the in-laws and the casts, including Dreyfuss and Williams as Oliver’s parents. It also delivers funny scenarios that every couple can relate to as Kelli and Oliver navigate the complexities and eccentricities of both of their families while trying to maintain their own marriage and sanity. Based on an enormously popular Israeli comedy, Your Family or Mine is being produced by Sony Pictures Television, Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare Productions, Keshet International and Teddy Productions.
TBS Series in Development
Producers: Ed Helms and Mike Falbo (Pacific Electric Picture Co.), Pat O’Neill (Knight and Day),
Writer: Pat O’Neill (Knight and Day)
From executive producer Ed Helms, Good Bread is a half-hour comedy about a tough but likeable, by-the-book real estate developer forced to partner with an idealistic young woman whose efforts to lead a meaningful, non-cynical life have become a disaster. The show takes place in and around the Good Bread Cafe, which sits at the epicenter of an urban neighborhood teetering on the brink of gentrification, a place where classes, cultures and personalities collide.
Jackass of All Trades
Producer: John Krasinski, Adam Goldworm (Masters of Horror), Seth Fisher (Blumenthal) & Daniel McKey, Sunday Night Productions
Writers: Seth Fisher (Blumenthal) & Daniel McKey
Executive-produced by John Krasinski, this comedy centers on an emotionally stunted adult doing what it takes to provide for his family. He’s a Jack-of-all-trades who often gets work from odd jobs online with the help of his genius – or mentally unstable – brother-in-law who lives behind his house.
Jake & Amir
Producers: Ricky Van Veen (College Humor), Ed Helms and Mike Falbo (Pacific Electric Picture Co.), Mike Lisbe & Nate Reger, Amir Blumenfeld & Jake Hurwitz,
Writers: Mike Lisbe & Nate Reger (Cougar Town, Men at Work), Amir Blumenfeld & Jake Hurwitz
Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz (better known as Jake & Amir) are the subjects of this odd-couple comedy about two best friends and co-workers: Jake, the sensible “regular guy,” and Amir, the obsessive oddball. Together they must navigate the cubicles of their workplace, stand up to the corporate man and try to function with their dysfunctional co-workers, all while maintaining their shenanigans. Based on the most popular and longest-running web series in the history of College Humor, this comedy is being executive-produced by Ed Helms.
And that’s it! Keep checking in as more and more new shows are being revealed across the networks and look for Evan’s “Watch This, Not That” column in the fall when he breaks down all the new shows![Source for press release was ComingSoon.net]