That's pretty wild. Sure, cable's usually more forgiving to shows that are slow to pick up a fan base, but the quantity of new shows is crazy. So what kind of shows will they be?
[Turner Entertainment president Steve Koonin] said TNT has 14 drama series projects percolating from such notables as Ridley Scott, Robert Redford, Mark Burnett and Steven Bochco.
One key reason Turner is forging ahead now, Koonin said, is that "the talent is coming to us." Top showrunners, he said, are becoming increasingly frustrated by the content constraints at the broadcast nets, which are getting pummeled with increasingly bigger fines from the FCC in response to vocal complaints from parents groups. By contrast, Koonin said, the Turner networks "are pushing the boundaries of content and building a marketing platform for these series to be successful."
Here's the breakdown of shows described in the article:
The scripted TNT projects disclosed for the first time are an untitled family drama set in 1950s Indiana from Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh; an untitled crime thriller set in Boston derived from the bestselling mystery novels of Tess Gerritsen; and DreamWorks' "The Genie Chronicles," a fantasy-adventure about a female newspaper reporter who discovers a magic lamp with a genie.
TNT's reality shows in development include "Wedding Day," from Burnett and DreamWorks, which showers prizes on a new bride and groom in each episode; "Lean on Me," which focuses on the unsung mentors of people who became famous; "Crimes of the Century," a Scott Free production anatomizing the most eye-opening crimes since the early 1900s; "Shadow of a Doubt," a true-crime series dealing with people who commit murder without premeditation; and "Behind the Drama," whose goal is to tell the stories that led to famous movies and TV dramas.
Two previously announced TNT series have the go-ahead: "Raising the Bar" (working title), a legal drama from Bochco and ABC Studios; and "Leverage," a "Mission: Impossible"-like thriller from Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment. Warner Horizon has produced the pilot of ad-agency drama "Truth in Advertising." In development is "Generations," a time-shifting drama about three generations of a family that have lived in the same house, from Redford and scribe John Sacret Young.
TNT sibling TBS is also moving aggressively into original series, with the focus on comedy. Helmer Betty Thomas and Elaine Pope are working on a project about a middle-aged single woman. Two others pilot scripts are in development, one from Dave Caplan and the other from Brian Hargrove.I think it's particularly interesting that it's taken this long for shows to start fleeing to cable due to the ridiculous restraints on broadcast networks. While I'm sure there's smaller overall fan bases even for large shows, the fact that you're not under as much constant threat of cancellation and aren't being absurdly restrained (see the FCC's recent NYPD Blue nonsense) seems to be a compelling reason to move to cable.
TBS also has five latenight series in the works, including pilot greenlights of a new version of "Match Game" and of "Stay Tooned," an umbrella title for satirical animated shorts.
Two other shows in development are sketch comedies from the Jim Henson Co. and Robert Townsend. The fifth is a Mafia-themed comedy from Warner Horizon and Mark Wolper.