TNT (TV channel)

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This article is about the American TNT network and its international offshoots. For other uses, see TNT.
TNT
TNT (TV channel).png
Launched October 3, 1988 (1988-10-03)
Owned by Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
Slogan Boom.
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Sister channel(s) TBS, CNN, Turner Classic Movies, 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
Website tntdrama.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 245 (HD/SD)
1245 (VOD)
Dish Network (U.S.) 138 (HD/SD)
9420 (HD)
C band
N/Central America/Caribbean
SA/Cisco PowerVu; G-14 – 3820 V / 30000 / 5/6 / DVB-S2
Channel 5 (East; SD)/6 (West; SD)
(Transponder 6)
SA/Cisco PowerVu; G-13 – 4160 V / 29270 / 7/8 / DVB-S
Channel 2 (NBA Sports only; HD)
(Transponder 23)
Dish Network (Mexico) 602 (SD)
970 (HD)
SKY México (Mexico, Central America and Brazil) 60 (SD)
415 (HD)
Digital+ (Spain) 24
Sky Deutschland (Germany) 130
Kabel Deutschland (Germany) 320 (SD)
928 (HD)
Cable
Available on most U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
Verizon FiOS 551 (HD)
51 (SD)
AT&T U-verse 1108 (HD)
108 (SD)
Streaming media
Watch TNT Watch live (U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)

Turner Network Television (TNT) (stylized as TNT Drama) is an American basic cable and satellite television network 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 and PGA golf).

As of August 2013, TNT is available to approximately 98,139,000 cable, satellite and telco households (85.94% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.[1]

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Turner Network Television launched at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 3, 1988; its inaugural telecast was the 1939 classic film Gone with the Wind, to which TNT founder Ted Turner had acquired the rights. The movie 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 serve as the first program aired 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 the network's corporate parent, 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 older film releases from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (which was acquired by Turner as a result of his sale of the MGM film studio to Kirk Kerkorian, from whom Turner had purchased the studio less than a year before, in October 1986 due to debt concerns over Turner Entertainment's corporate debt load, effectively giving the company rights to MGM's extensive array of films and television programs made prior to the sale), the network caused controversy due to its airings of colorized versions of many classics that were originally filmed in black-and-white.

Expansion[edit]

In 1995, TNT debuted WCW Monday Nitro, which assumed the distinction as the flagship program of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling from WCW Saturday Night, which debuted on sister network TBS in 1992 and ran on that channel until 2000. At one point, Monday Nitro was regularly the highest-rated weekly program on cable television;[citation needed] the program beat Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment), in the ratings for 83 consecutive weeks from 1996 to 1998.

The network was also known for its late night programming; one such program was MonsterVision, a Saturday night B movie showcase that aired from 1993 to 2000 (and featured a Godzilla movie marathon at the end of every month). Penn & Teller served as occasional guest hosts during its early years; in 1997, MonsterVision found a permanent host in cult personality and drive-in movie aficionado Joe Bob Briggs – the pseudonym of actor and film critic John Irving Bloom – who hosted a pair of horror films each week, such as Friday the 13th Part 2 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. During the wraparound segments within each film, Briggs provided a running commentary, trivia, off-color jokes, and a drive-in total (in the manner as those seen on a similar B movie showcase that Briggs hosted on The Movie Channel from 1986 to 1996, Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater), as well as jokes at the expense of TNT's Standards & Practices department regarding the heavy censorship of the featured movies (which contrasted with Drive-In Theater, which, since The Movie Channel is a premium service, aired films with more risque content than that allowed by TNT, as well as a wider variety of B movies). This running joke culminated in a Friday the 13th all-night Halloween marathon in 1998, where it was implied that Ted Turner was out to kill him.

Until 1998, TNT also aired 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) as part of a daily block called "TNT Toons". The Rudy and Gogo World Famous Cartoon Show, which ran from 1995 to 1997, was an original children's program on the network featuring classic Warner Bros., MGM, and Popeye shorts, hosted by a titular pair of a marionette and a nanny goat. In 1998, TNT dropped all of its remaining cartoons (which at the time were running under the "Disaster Area" banner), relegating those shows to Cartoon Network; most of the animated series and shorts that were dropped would also serve as the core of Boomerang, a new cable network devoted to classic cartoons that launched in April 1999.

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 and Babylon 5. In 1998, TNT took over production of the fifth and final season of Babylon 5 from the Prime Time Entertainment Network, after the ad-hoc syndication block ceased operations; the following year, TNT produced the Babylon 5 spinoff series Crusade, which was canceled after 13 episodes, after TNT management decided that science fiction did not fit the channel's brand identity. In 2001, TNT debuted its then most successful original series, Witchblade, which ran for two seasons, ending in 2002.

Shift towards drama[edit]

On June 12, 2001, TNT underwent an extensive rebrand, with the introduction of a new logo (designed by Trollbäck + Company) and a new slogan, "We Know Drama", which emphasized the network's new focus on dramatic programming, including sports and off-network syndicated dramas such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, ER and Judging Amy. As the decade went on, the channel's format became a direct contrast to sister network TBS, which had focused on a wider variety of programming initially but moved toward and now focuses largely on comedic series and films, and by extension Cartoon Network, which showed exclusively animated programming at the time (that channel still has a predominately animated schedule). In addition, NASCAR coverage moved to TNT from TBS starting with 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 launched a substitute feed called "TNT Plus", although it does not appear this was ever reflected in the network's on-air identity. The apparent sole purpose of its establishment was to force renegotiations with cable and satellite providers to increase carriage fees to help pay for TNT's new NBA and NASCAR contracts, well before the network's distribution agreements with providers were scheduled to come up for renewal. 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.[2] Although it appears that Comcast did not immediately sign on to carry TNT Plus, there is no evidence that Turner had actually pulled its sports programming from the "original" TNT.[3]

On December 7, 2008, TNT unveiled an update to its logo, displaying it mainly in a silver (shown on-screen during programming and on the TNT website) or sometimes gold beveling. The "We Know Drama" tagline remained, but the network added more of a focus on its original series and announced plans to carry three nights a week of original programming during primetime starting in 2009.[4] In 2012, TNT rebranded itself with a new slogan: "Drama, Period." (visually displayed as "Drama.," with the TNT logo serving as the [[.|period symbol]]), with the logo being simply recolored to match the themes of its shows.

On May 14, 2014, TNT altered its on-air branding to "TNT Drama" and introduced a new slogan, "Boom". The branding campaign reflects the network's refocusing towards action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy and mystery/suspense series alongside its slate of crime dramas.[5]

Programming[edit]

TNT currently airs a mix of original drama and reality series, and reruns of dramas that originally aired on the major broadcast networks. Original programs currently seen on TNT include Major Crimes, Dallas, Boston's Finest, Falling Skies, Murder in the First, Franklin & Bash and Rizzoli & Isles. The channel's daytime, overnight and Saturday morning schedule is heavily dominated by reruns of current and former network police procedural series, while its weekday morning schedule focuses on sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy series. Such programs include Castle, Bones, Supernatural and TNT mainstay Law & Order.

Movies[edit]

Feature films have been a mainstay of TNT since its inception. TNT maintains movie licensing agreements with sister company Warner Bros. Entertainment (primarily releases from Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema), Touchstone Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Since the launch of Turner Classic Movies, TNT's movie lineup has shifted away from classic films (outside of special airings of films such as The Wizard of Oz, which is shown on the network each November around Thanksgiving weekend), in favor of more recent films released from the 1980s onward, with an emphasis on films released after 1995. Presently, most of the films broadcast on TNT are of the drama and action genres, however some comedic films continue to air on the channel periodically. Movies generally air on the channel during the overnight hours on most nights and for much of the day on weekends (except from 3:00 to 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and Sunday mornings and 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern on Saturdays – with the end time subject to variation – due to blocks of drama series reruns that typically air in those timeslots).

Beginning in 1997, TNT broadcast a 24-hour marathon of the 1983 comedy film A Christmas Story from the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day; the marathon ran simultaneously on sister channel TBS until 2009, when the annual event became exclusive to that network. Once each weekend, TNT airs a movie in primetime with limited commercial interruption, branded in on-air promos under the title "More Movies, Less Commercials" (sister channel TBS also runs a primetime movie with limited commercial interruption each weekend).

Sports[edit]

NFL football[edit]

In 1990, TNT obtained partial television rights to the National Football League's Sunday Night Football package, in a comprehensive agreement in which games were split with ESPN. The NFL on TNT consisted of three or four preseason game broadcasts and telecasts of regular season games during the first half of each season; which it retained until 1997. Abiding by NFL broadcasting rules, TNT distributed its game telecasts to broadcast television stations in the local markets of the teams playing in that week's game.

NBA basketball[edit]

TNT obtained partial cable television rights to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1988. From that point on, TNT shared broadcast rights with TBS, which initially only aired game telecasts from the Atlanta Hawks (which Turner had purchased from developer Tom Cousins in 1985, as part of a deal that also included the sale of the Omni International Hotel, which was converted to serve as the headquarters for sister network CNN), before expanding its NBA coverage to include games from other teams within the league. In the early 1990s, some Hawks game telecasts shown on TNT and TBS became subject to blackout within 35 miles of the home team's arena; this restriction was dropped in 2000, allowing TNT the right to be the exclusive broadcaster of any game it chose to carry.

TNT had regularly broadcast NBA games on multiple Tuesday nights until the 2002 season; the weekly telecasts were then moved to Thursday nights in 2003, when TBS was opted out of rights to NBA coverage as a result of the league's contract renewal with Turner Sports. In addition to carrying NBA regular season games (which typically air as a doubleheader on most weeks), TNT also airs Opening Night games, NBA All-Star Game, and the vast majority of games within the conference playoffs and one of the Conference Finals (the Eastern Conference Finals in odd-number years and the Western Conference Finals in even-number years).

College basketball[edit]

In 2011, TNT obtained the television rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, as part of a comprehensive broadcast rights deal that also involves CBS, and fellow Turner properties TBS and TruTV. TNT and the other two Turner-owned networks involved in the deal presently each hold partial rights to games from the early rounds of the Sweet Sixteen (CBS and TBS will alternate coverage of the regional finals, the Final Four and national championship game in 2016).[6][7]

NASCAR[edit]

In 2001, TNT assumed the partial cable television rights to select Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series races as part of a deal between NASCAR, NBC and TNT. Turner Broadcasting initially planned to have TBS serve as the cable partner during negotiations, which would have allowed it to retain rights to NASCAR events, but decided that the NASCAR telecasts would better fit TNT's "We Know Drama" image campaign. TNT retained NASCAR rights after NBC chose not to renew its broadcast contract following the 2006 NASCAR season; the network's broadcasting agreement with the organization ended in 2014, as a result of a television deal with NBC effective that year, which gave it rights to the last 20 races of the 2014-15 NASCAR Sprint Cup season as well as rights to Sprint Cup events through 2025 (with NBCSN serving as its cable partner).[8] The last race broadcast by TNT was the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13, 2014.

PGA golf[edit]

TNT holds television rights to two of the PGA's major tournament events. Since 1999, when it obtained the rights from TBS, the channel has broadcast the PGA Championship,[9] carrying full coverage of the first two rounds and early coverage of the weekend rounds. It also carries the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, under a contract with the PGA of America effective through 2019.

In 2003, TNT took over the rights to broadcast the Thursday and Friday rounds of the The Open Championship,[10] as well as the rights to the Women's British Open and Senior British Open (with ABC carrying coverage of the weekend rounds); ESPN assumed the Open Championship rights in 2009. From 2000 to 2007, TNT also carried the biennial PGA Tour-managed Presidents Cup;[11] the television rights were assumed by Golf Channel beginning with the 2009 event as part of its overall cable deal with the PGA Tour.

List of programs broadcast by TNT[edit]

Current programming[edit]

Scripted[edit]
Unscripted[edit]
Acquired programming[edit]
Sports programming[edit]

TNT, through the Turner Sports division of parent company Turner Broadcasting System, holds the broadcast rights to the following sports telecasts:

Future programming[edit]

Scripted[edit]
  • Transporter: The Series (premieres Fall 2014)
  • The Librarians (premieres Fall 2014)
  • Proof (premieres 2015)
  • Public Morals (premieres 2015)
Unscripted[edit]
  • On the Menu (premieres Fall 2014)[14]
  • Wake Up Call (premieres Fall 2014)[15]

Programming in development[edit]

Scripted[edit]

Former programming[edit]

Original programming[edit]
Scripted
Unscripted series
Miniseries
Sports programming[edit]
Acquired programming[edit]
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
Scripted
Children's programming

Most of these programs have since moved to sister networks Cartoon Network or Boomerang or were aired simultaneously on the former during their TNT runs.

International[edit]

European, Australian, Latin American, Spanish and Asian versions of TNT were launched in the 1990s, which were exclusively dedicated to movies, mainly from the MGM and Warner Bros. archives (however, the U.K. and Scandinavian versions of TNT both broadcast WCW Monday Nitro on Friday nights on a four-day delay from its U.S. broadcast, and the Latin American version aired a children's block called "Magic Box"). The European, Australian and Asian versions of TNT shared channel space with Cartoon Network, while the Latin American version shared space with CNN International. The EMEA, Asian and Australasian TNT channels were eventually relaunched as Turner Classic Movies, while the Latin American version retained the TNT branding. The most well-known TNT channel in Europe was (and still is) the French version, which used similar graphics to what the flagship U.S. channel was using at the time.

Germany[edit]

In January 2009, a version of TNT launched in Germany as TNT Serie. The channel shows a wide variety of older and recent American drama and comedy programs (such as 30 Rock, Murder, She Wrote, Monk, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, ER, The King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Falling Skies). TNT Serie maintains two audio channels: one with the original English language audio track and one with a German-dubbed soundtrack. In June 2009, the German version of TCM was relaunched as TNT Film. TNT Serie and TNT Film both launched high definition simulcast feeds in the fall of 2010.

Spain[edit]

The TNT brand returned to the Spanish market in the summer of 2007, when it launched exclusively on pay television platform Digital+. As of 2012, TNT is available on several cable providers in Spain. TNT España is divided in two blocks: one exclusively carrying movies and another exclusively carrying television series (such as The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Falling Skies and Sherlock). TNT España was the first channel which produced a television series for a pay/cable channel in Spain.

Turkey[edit]

A local version of TNT in Turkey launched on March 3, 2008 by Doğan Media Group as a channel focusing on feature films. Foreign television series and movies were eventually added to the channel's schedule. On January 24, 2011, it was relaunched as a general entertainment channel with the addition of new television series to its lineup.[17] In 2012, TNT was rebranded as tv2.

Sweden[edit]

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 to NonStop Television. On March 2, 2011, the channel was relaunched as TNT7, following the 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.

Belgium, Netherlands & Flanders[edit]

On April 10, 2012, TNT HD Benelux launched in Belgium, carried exclusively on Telenet. The first month of the service was offered to consumers for free, with a subscription required thereafter to view the channel. TNT HD Benelux offers a mix of comedies, movies and current television series (such as Falling Skies, Shameless and Memphis Beat), as well as reruns of older series (such as ER, The West Wing and Smallville).[18] The channel launched in the Netherlands on January 24, 2013;[18] however, it was dropped by pay television providers in that country on January 1, 2014.

Latin America[edit]

Regional versions of TNT were launched in Brazil and Latin America in 1991; the channel mostly shows films, along with a few series. All programs are presented with Spanish and Portuguese dubbing, however the channel also offers electronic subtitles (which can be removed or placed by the user) on digital operators. TNT Latin America and TNT Brazil began operating high definition simulcast feeds in 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ Thomas R. Umstead (October 21, 2002). "TNT to ops: pay up for 'Plus'". Multichannel News (via Access My Library). 
  3. ^ Linda Moss; R. Thomas Umstead (January 12, 2004). "TNT gets in HD game – TCM next?". Multichannel News. 
  4. ^ Lafayette, Jon. "New Promo Campaign Touts TNT’s Dramatic Credentials". TVWeek. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  5. ^ "TNT Introduces New ‘Boom’ Tagline; TNT & TBS Unveil 2014-2015 Development Slates". Deadline Hollywood. May 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament Expands To 68 Teams; CBS Adds Turner To Television Team (press release via TV by the Numbers)
  7. ^ "CBS cuts in Turner on NCAA basketball tournament". Los Angeles Times. April 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ "NASCAR, NBC Sports Group reach landmark deal". Nascar.com. 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  9. ^ "History of PGA Championship TV coverage (1958-present)". Classic TV Sports. 5 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "History of British Open on US TV (1962-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. July 15, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "History of Presidents Cup TV coverage (1994-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 8, 2013). "Howard Gordon's TNT Drama 'Legends' Gets Series Pickup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "TNT Greenlights Investigation Series "APB with Troy Dunn" (Working Title), Featuring Nation's Foremost Expert in Tracing Missing Persons". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Bibel, Sara. "TNT Greenlights New Cooking Series 'On the Menu' from Executive Producer Mark Burnett". TVByTheNumbers. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Marechal, AJ. "TNT Orders Reality Series ‘Wake Up Call’ from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson". Variety. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "TNT Developing Conspiracy Drama From Chris Collins & Wild West Prods.". Deadline. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Will TNT be on Digiturk?, Medyatava
  18. ^ a b Briel, Robert (10-12-2012). "KPN scoops TNT Benelux". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 10-12-2012. 

External links[edit]