Turner Presents New Highlights for TBS, TNT


Among the news from Turner’s Upfront presentation, it was revealed that TNT is working with Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade RunnerAlien: Covenant) to develop a night of original science-fiction programming.

The initial plans call for the block to serve as a showcase for hour-long series, short-form programs and other formats to be developed in collaboration with Scott. The slate is being produced by Scott’s Scott Free Productions in association with Turner’s Studio T, with Scott and David Zucker (The Good WifeThe Man in the High Castle) serving as executive producers and Jordan Sheehan (The Good FightThe Terror) and Clayton Krueger (JCVJ, Mercy Street) as co-executive producers.

“We’re looking to create a programming block filled with the kind of imaginative, awe-inspiring storytelling that has made science fiction such a beloved and enduring genre,” said Sarah Aubrey, the executive VP of original programming for TNT. “Ridley Scott has created some of the best and most popular science-fiction movies of all time, and we look forward to bringing his fans even more of his smart, sophisticated stories.”

“Being given the creative license to generate and develop science fiction programming in a variety of formats for TNT is very exciting,” said Scott. “This genre is one of my favorites, and there are an infinite amount of original and innovative story ideas out there that we are looking forward to exploring with TNT. It is very exciting for all of us.”

The Ridley Scott deal is one of several new announcements to come out of Turner’s Upfront presentation.

Also coming to TNT is Highland, which has been given a pilot order. The scripted drama is written and executive produced by Liz Sarnoff (LostBarry) and actress/comedian Margaret Cho (Margaret Cho: PsyCHODrop Dead Diva), who will also star. The pilot, which is inspired by Cho’s personal history with substance abuse, is a co-production of Marty Adelstein’s Tomorrow Studios and Turner’s Studio T, with Cho serving as executive producer. Highland will chronicle what happens when two extended, dysfunctional Korean-American families who share the same patriarch must come together after tragedy strikes. “Liz Sarnoff and Margaret Cho’s brilliant script exposes Margaret’s warm heart and bracing humor, balancing powerful emotional truths with laugh-out-loud scenes and characters,” said Aubrey. “Highland continues TNT’s commitment to bringing diverse voices and worlds to television. We look forward to making a pilot with such a singular talent as Margaret Cho.”

TNT has greenlit Michael Moore Live from the Apocalypse (working title), a new nonfiction series from Michael Moore (Bowling for ColumbineTV Nation). The series, set to premiere in the late fall, will pull back the curtain on everything from Washington politics to Wall Street shenanigans. Moore will direct and star in the series as well as executive produce alongside Meghan O’Hara (SiCKO). Nick McKinney (The Daily Show, 30 Days) will produce. “Live from the Apocalypse will be a raucous gathering place for millions of our fellow citizens in desperate need of a break from the screaming pundits and the purveyors of ‘alternative facts,'” said Moore. “Our show will be dangerous and relentless. And it will be the destination for those who want to know what’s really going on and what they might be able to do about it.”

Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the CityDivorce), Morgan Spurlock (Super Size MeThe Greatest Movie Ever Sold) and Refinery29 are working together on a new documentary for TNT tentatively titled Who Run the World? The new docuseries will focus on the issues that women face in today’s world and will be produced by Spurlock’s Warrior Poets and Parker’s Pretty Matches Productions, in partnership with Refinery29 and in association with Studio T.

TBS, meanwhile, greenlit Close Enough, a new animated series from Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel. The surreal comedy about a family growing up without getting old marks the first collaboration between Cartoon Network Studios and Studio T. “We couldn’t be more excited to add one of animation’s most impressive and popular voices, J.G. Quintel, to our growing slate of animated series,” said Brett Weitz, the executive VP of original programming for TBS. “J.G. hit the center of the demo target with Regular Show, and we’re counting on him to bring this younger and more engaged audience to our network.”

TBS also ordered Miracle Workers, an anthology comedy series starring Daniel Radcliffe (Swiss Army ManNow You See Me 2, Harry Potter films) and Owen Wilson (Midnight in ParisMasterminds). The series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) and created by Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman), who will also serve as showrunner. Scheduled to launch on TBS in 2018 with seven episodes, the first season of Miracle Workers will be a Heaven-set workplace comedy based on Rich’s book What in God’s Name.

Further highlights include a new series from the comedy trio The Dress Up Gang, whose viral videos include the My Roommate, My Friend series. The Dress Up Gang creators Donny Divanian and Cory Loykasek are set to star in the series, with special appearances by fellow team member and creator Robb Boardman. The new series is set in a surreal version of Los Angeles. Donny and Cory are roommates who look out for each other.

The network is teaming up with Snoop Dogg to refresh and update the classic game show The Joker’s Wild. Snoop Dogg, who lists The Joker’s Wild as his favorite game show growing up, will host TBS’s new version. The half-hour game show with a comedic edge is being produced by Sony Pictures Television, in association with Studio T.

TBS is developing a fully interactive late-night programming block with sister company Super Deluxe. The block will feature a variety of content from the multiplatform studio’s creative stable, all presented with interactive components to further engage the members of the mobile-first generation. TBS plans to launch the weekly 90-minute block this fall with a comedy lineup.

TBS also closed a new four-year deal with Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco that will extend the Conan brand into additional content experiences across all screens, including digital and branded content, podcasting, mobile gaming, pay TV and live tours. The agreement includes a renewal of TBS’s popular nightly late-night show Conan through 2022.