TNT (TV channel)
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2009)|
|TNT (Turner Network Television)|
|Launched||October 3, 1988|
|Owned by||Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Sister channel(s)||TBS, CNN, TCM, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Pogo, TruTV, CNN International, HLN, NBA TV, CNN IBN, CNN en Español, CNN Chile, CNN Arabic, CNNj, n-tv, I-Sat, HBO, WPCH-TV, The CW, Cinemax|
|DirecTV||Channel 245 (SD/HD)
Channel 1245 (VOD)
|Dish Network||Channel 138 (SD/HD)
Channel 9420 (HDTV)
|Dish Network Mexico||channel 602 (970 HD)|
|C-Band||Galaxy 14-Channel 17|
|SKY México Mexico and Central America/Brazil||Channel 415/60|
|Digital+ Spain||Channel 45|
|Sky Deutschland Germany||Channel 130|
|Kabel Deutschland Germany||Channel 320 and 928|
|On most cable systems||Check local listings|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 51 (SD)
Channel 551 (HD)
|AT&T U-Verse||Channel 108 (SD)
Channel 1108 (HD)
Turner Network Television (TNT) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner. The channel's programming consists of television series and feature films, with a focus on dramatic programming, along with some professional sporting events such as NBA basketball games.
Turner Network Television first launched on October 3, 1988, with a telecast of the 1939 classic movie Gone with the Wind, to which TNT founder Ted Turner had acquired the rights. The film was chosen as the channel's first program because, it was said that Gone with the Wind was Turner's favorite movie (it would also be the first program to air on sister channel Turner Classic Movies, when it debuted in April 1994). Incidentally, Gone With the Wind had its premiere held in Atlanta, Georgia – Turner's hometown and the headquarters of Turner Broadcasting System – and the city served as the setting for the film.
TNT was, at least initially, a vehicle for older movies and television shows, but slowly began to add original programming and newer reruns. When TNT began broadcasting films from the pre-1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library, it caused controversy when the channel aired colorized versions of many black-and-white classics.
In 1990, TNT obtained partial television rights to the National Football League's Sunday Night Football package, which it retained until 1997. The NFL on TNT consisted of three or four preseason games annually and telecasts of regular season games during the first half of each season. As has always been the case for cable broadcasts, TNT distributed their feed to local television stations in each team's home market. Starting in 1995, TNT was also the home of WCW Monday Nitro, the flagship program of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, which once regularly was the highest rated weekly program on cable television. The program defeated Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of the then-World Wrestling Federation, for 84 straight weeks until 1998.
The channel was also known for its late night programming, such as MonsterVision, which showcased B movies (including a Godzilla marathon at the end of every month), with occasional guest hosts Penn and Teller. MonsterVision eventually found a permanent host in cult personality and drive-in movie aficionado Joe Bob Briggs (who hosted a similar B movie showcase on The Movie Channel called Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater for ten years prior to becoming host of MonsterVision). Every Saturday night, from 1997 to 2000, Briggs would host a pair of horror films (such as Friday the 13th Part 2 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare) and provide a running commentary, trivia, off-color jokes and a drive-in total. Also included in his host segments were jokes at the expense of TNT's Standards & Practices department for heavy censorship of the featured movies. This running joke culminated in a Friday the 13th all-night marathon during Halloween of 1998, where it was implied that Ted Turner was out to kill him.
Up until 1998, TNT would also show cartoons from the Turner library (such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, the DePatie-Freleng Pink Panther cartoons, Dexter's Laboratory and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest) on a block called "TNT Toons". The Rudy and Gogo World Famous Cartoon Show was also a TNT original children's program featuring classic Warner Bros., MGM, and Popeye shorts, hosted by marionettes and a nanny goat. In 1998, TNT dropped all of its remaining cartoons (which at the time were running under the Disaster Area banner), with those shows moving to Cartoon Network and becoming the core of a new cable channel devoted to classic cartoons that launched several months later called Boomerang.
During the 1990s, TNT scheduled a lineup of shows on weekday afternoons that included Due South, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Babylon 5, and Ellen. In 1998, TNT took over production of the fifth and final season of Babylon 5 from the defunct Prime Time Entertainment Network; the following year, TNT produced the Babylon 5 spinoff series Crusade, but it was canceled after 13 episodes, when TNT decided science fiction did not fit their brand identity. In 2001, TNT debuted its then most successful original series, Witchblade, which ran for two seasons, ending its run in 2002.
Shift towards drama
On June 12, 2001, TNT underwent an extensive rebrand, with a new logo (designed by Trollbäck + Company) and a new slogan, "We Know Drama", which emphasized the channel's new programming focus on dramatic shows, including sports and off-network syndicated dramas such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, ER and Judging Amy. As the decade went on, its format became a direct contrast to sister channel TBS, which had focused on a wider variety of programming initially but moved toward and now focuses on comedic series and films, and by extension Cartoon Network, which showed exclusively animated programming at the time (it still has a predominately animated schedule). In addition, NASCAR coverage moved to TNT from TBS starting in the 2001 season, as Turner Broadcasting System management believed that it would fit more with TNT's new format than TBS.
On January 1, 2003, "TNT Plus" began broadcasting as a substitute for TNT, although it does not appear this was ever reflected in the channel's on-air identity. The apparent sole purpose of its establishment was to force rate renegotiations to help pay for TNT's new NBA and NASCAR contracts, well before the channel's rates were scheduled to come up for renewal with most cable and satellite providers. In theory, TNT Plus was to have been the sole carrier of Turner's NBA and NASCAR coverage from that point forward, while any providers still carrying the original TNT would have seen replacement programming instead. Although it appears that Comcast did not immediately sign on for TNT Plus, there is no evidence of Turner actually pulling sports programming from the "original" TNT.
On December 7, 2008, TNT unveiled an update to its logo, mainly in a silver (on-screen during programming and on the TNT website) or sometimes gold beveling. The "We Know Drama" tagline remained, but the channel added more of a focus on its original series and planned to have three nights of original primetime programming starting in 2009. In 2012, TNT rebranded itself with a new slogan: "Drama, Period.", and the logo was simply recolored to match the themes of its shows.
TNT HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast feed of TNT; the channel was one of the first basic cable channels in the United States to offer an HD feed in 2004. TNT had previously aired a limited amount of program content broadcast in 4:3 standard definition upconverted to the 16:9 widescreen format through a nonlinear process similar to the "panorama" setting on many HDTV sets, a practice later adopted by HD simulcast feeds of other cable channels. The standard definition feed of the network began to display all programming in a letterboxed format, mirroring the HD feed aspect ratio, in May 2013.
TNT currently airs a mix of original series and reruns of drama series that were originally broadcast on the major broadcast networks. The channel's daytime schedule heavily dominated by reruns of current and former network dramas, with these shows also airing on weekdays during the evening and sporadically during the overnight hours. As of 2012, syndicated television series that are broadcast by TNT include Cold Case, Bones, CSI: NY, Numb3rs, Charmed, Law & Order, Angel, Las Vegas, Castle, Smallville, The Mentalist and Supernatural.
TNT's success with original series includes the critically acclaimed The Closer, the highest-rated program of all time on ad-supported cable television; Saving Grace, Leverage, and Raising the Bar, which set a new ad-supported cable viewership record when it premiered on September 8, 2008 (that program, along with two others mentioned, have since been canceled, while The Closer ended its run in 2011). Hawthorne premiered in the summer of 2009 to 3.85 million viewers, while Dark Blue premiered to under 3 million viewers. The channel also picked up Southland after it was canceled by NBC. In 2010, TNT premiered three new dramas; the light-hearted Men of a Certain Age, cop drama Memphis Beat, and police procedural Rizzoli & Isles. Rizzoli & Isles premiered in July 2010 and set a new ad-supported cable viewership record for a series premiere.
- American Flesh: Examination of social, political, racial, and sexual issues during the Golden Age of Porn in Southern California. Cast: Holly Hunter.
- The Command – An elite squad of detectives are handpicked to served in Borough Command, where they are assigned the most high profile cases.
- Enigma – A modern day Sherlock Holmes type series. From CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker.
- Gateway – Set in the late 1860s, the series tells the story of two brothers as they try to build a new life after the Civil War in a town called Gateway.
- Scent of the Missing – The show revolves around the working life of a Search & Rescue Officer and her dog.
- Seconds of Our Lives: Life in suburbia (a la American Beauty, Far From Heaven, and The Ice Storm). Written by Todd Haynes and Burr Steers.
- Snatched – Described as a new take on the late '90s series Relic Hunter, Snatched revolves around the daily life of a woman in her mid-thirties as she performs her day job of collecting priceless ancient artifacts, while also attempting to maintain a normal personal life.
- Untitled Mitch Alborn Project – This series follows the exploits of the station manager of a Detroit radio station.
- Untitled Shaun Cassidy Project – A family centered drama about a southern family who must adapt when they take in their recently widowed daughter-in-law and grandson.
- Untitled Jay Cocks Project – Based on the Tess Monaghan book series by Laura Lippman, the series centers on a former reporter turned Private Investigator.
- Untitled Eric Garcia Project – The series revolve around a police clerk, whose overactive imagination is used to help solve crime.
- Untitled John Wells Project – Set in the Pacific Mid-West, the series revolves around a family of cops as they investigate the paranormal goings-on in a small town.
Feature films have been a mainstay of TNT since its inception. In the present day, most of the films broadcast by TNT are generally dramatic in scope, including action, science fiction and war dramas (the channel has broadcast rights to the uncut version of Saving Private Ryan, for example), however some comedic filmss do occasionally air on the channel. Movies on the channel generally air for much of the day on weekends (except from between 5 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 a.m.-11 a.m. on Sundays – with the start time subject to variation – due to blocks of drama series that typically air in those timeslots).
TNT broadcasts movies from sister companies Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema, along with films produced by Touchstone Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures. From 1997 to 2009, TNT broadcast the 1983 film A Christmas Story in a 24-hour marathon from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, which also ran simultaneously on sister channel TBS, which now airs the marathon exclusively. TNT is also one of three Turner-owned channels which broadcasts the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (alongside TBS and Turner Classic Movies).
TNT Sports (under the Turner Sports division) holds rights to NBA basketball games and NASCAR races. The NBA on TNT (with studio hosts Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal) dates back to 1988 and has aired, either by itself or in combination with a similar package on TBS, ever since. The pre-game analysis, halftime show and postgame show Inside the NBA is considered one of the best studio shows on television. TNT's coverage of the 2009 NBA Playoffs earned the highest first-round ratings ever for a cable television channel.
TNT obtained rights to NASCAR telecasts in 2001 as part of a deal between the organization, NBC and TNT, although the initial plans were for TBS to carry the races. Instead, Turner Broadcasting decided that the NASCAR telecasts would better fit TNT's "We Know Drama" image campaign. From 2001 to 2006, the race package was split with NBC; as of 2007, TNT holds cable television rights with six races telecast annually (TNT shares television rights to NASCAR telecasts with ESPN and Fox Sports). TNT inherited the telecast of the 2001 UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway from NBC due to the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. It currently airs six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each year including races at Pocono, Michigan, Sonoma, Kentucky, Daytona and New Hampshire in June and July.
TNT also has the cable rights to the first two rounds of the PGA Championship. TNT will take on the responsibility of airing Major League Baseball postseason games in the event TBS' MLB coverage has a scheduling conflict (e.g. the end of one game overruns into the start time of another game). In 2011, TNT aired Game 2 of the Tampa Bay Rays-Texas Rangers series, Game 2 of the Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees series and Game 3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks-Milwaukee Brewers series.
On April 22, 2010, Turner Sports obtained the cable television rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament through a 14-year agreement costing $10.8 billion, with broadcast rights shared with CBS, TNT and its fellow Turner properties TBS and TruTV. This presently consists of early rounds to the Sweet Sixteen, but in 2016 will expand to include the regional finals, Final Four and national championship game on an alternating basis with CBS.
European, Australian, Latin American, Spanish and Asian versions of TNT were launched in the 1990s but were exclusively dedicated to movies, mainly from the MGM and Warner Bros. archives (the U.K. and Scandinavian versions of TNT both broadcast WCW Monday Nitro on Friday nights just four days after its U.S. broadcast, and the Latin American version aired a children's block called "Magic Box"). The European, Australian and Asian versions of the channel were paired with Cartoon Network, while the Latin American version of the channel was paired with CNN International. The EMEA, Asian and Australasian TNT channels eventually became Turner Classic Movies, while the Latin American version retained the TNT branding. The most known TNT channel in Europe was (and still is) the French version, and used similar graphics to what the flagship U.S. channel was using at the time.
In January 2009, a version of TNT launched in Germany as TNT Serie. The channel shows a wide variety of old and recent American drama and comedy programs such as 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Murder, She Wrote, Northern Exposure, Monk, Third Watch, Rescue Me, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, ER, The King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Caroline in the City, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Falling Skies. Shows on TNT Serie are broadcast with two audio channels, one with the original English soundtrack and one with a German-dubbed soundtrack. In June 2009, the German version of TCM was relaunched as TNT Film. As of fall 2010, TNT Serie and TNT Film are also available in high definition.
The TNT brand came back to the Spanish market in summer 2007, when it launched exclusively on pay television platform Digital+. As of 2012[update], TNT is available on several cable providers in Spain. TNT España its divided in two blocks: Movies and TV Series, airing TV shows such as: The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and Falling Skies. TNT España was the first channel which produced a television series for a pay/cable channel in Spain.
A local version of TNT in Turkey launched on March 3, 2008 by Doğan Media Group as a film channel. Foreign television series and movies were aired and the original red-gray TNT logo was used. In 24 January 2011, it was re-launched as an entertainment channel with new TV shows. In 2012, TNT will be renamed into tv2.
The Scandinavian TNT channel was originally launched by tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet as Aftonbladet TV7 on October 9, 2006. Aftonbladet sold the channel in late 2007. In August 2008, it was sold once again and is since owned by Turner's NonStop Television. On March 2, 2011, the channel was relaunched as TNT7, following Turner Broadcasting System's purchase of NonStop Television owner Millennium Media Group. On March 21, 2012, the channel was renamed TNT, dropping the "7" from the name.
Netherlands & Flanders
On April 10, 2012, TNT HD Benelux started in Belgium, exclusively on Telenet. The first month was offered to consumers for free, with a subscription required thereafter. The channel launched in the Netherlands on January 24, 2013. TNT HD Benelux offers a mix of comedies, movies and current TV series such as Falling Skies, Shameless and Memphis Beat, as well as classic series including ER, The West Wing and Smallville.
- R. Thomas Umstead, "TNT to ops: pay up for 'Plus'", Multichannel News, 21 October 2002
- Linda Moss and R. Thomas Umstead, "TNT gets in HD game – TCM next?", Multichannel News, 12 January 2004
- Lafayette, Jon. "New Promo Campaign Touts TNT’s Dramatic Credentials". TVWeek. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "TNT Stretches for HD". TV Week. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "TNT Acquires Hit Crime Drama ‘Castle’ For Off Net Cable Syndication - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- McDuffee, Debbie (November 6, 2009). "TNT: The little network with the smart decisions". CliqueClack TV. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- "Schedule". TNT.com. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- "TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Sets Record with Cable’s Biggest Ad-Supported Premiere, Draws 7.6 Million Viewers - Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- TNT and TBS Announce Extensive Slate of New Projects from Top Talents, Including Mitch Albom, Thom Beers, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Conan O'Brien, Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Richard North Patterson, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Joel Silver, Arthur Smith, Scott Turow, Bertram van Munster and John Wells
- "TNT playoff coverage ratings set record". The Live Feed. May 5, 2009.
- "CBS cuts in Turner on NCAA basketball tournament". Los Angeles Times. April 23, 2010.
- Will TNT be on Digiturk?, Medyatava
- Briel, Robert (10-12-2012). "KPN scoops TNT Benelux". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 10-12-2012.