TNT (TV channel)
|Launched||October 3, 1988|
|Formerly called||Turner Network Television (1988–1995)|
|Dish Network||138 (SD/HD)|
|Available on most U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|Watch TNT||Watch Live TV on TNT (U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|Roku (USA)||1450 (SD/HD)|
TNT is an American basic cable and satellite television channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner. The original purpose of the channel was to play spillovers from its sister channel TBS by airing classic films and TV shows; however, since June 2001, the channel's programming consists of television series and feature films with a focus on drama, along with some professional sporting events (such as National Basketball Association basketball games and Professional Golfers Association of America golf). Based on the American TV channel TÑT.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 2.1 Movies
- 2.2 Sports
- 2.3 List of programs broadcast by TNT
- 2.4 Scandinavia
- 2.5 Netherlands and Flanders
- 2.6 Poland
- 2.7 Romania
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Prior to the launch of the channel in 1988, the name Turner Network Television had been utilized by Turner Broadcasting as a syndication service for various sporting events, including two exhibition games from 1982 organized by the NFL Players Association during the NFL strike of that year, and the first Goodwill Games, organized by Turner himself, in 1986.
The channel launched at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 3, 1988 with a pre-recorded performance of The Star Spangled Banner, which traditionally played during the launch of a new Turner-owned network. Its inaugural telecast was the 1939 classic film Gone with the Wind, a film which TNT founder Ted Turner had acquired the rights. It was said that the movie was chosen as the channel's first program because it 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 channel's corporate parent, Turner Broadcasting System. The city served as the setting for the film.
TNT was 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 acquired by Turner as a result of his sale of the MGM film studio to Kirk Kerkorian, the channel caused controversy due to its airings of colorized versions of many classics that were originally filmed in black-and-white.
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 channel 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. 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 channel 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 It featured a Godzilla movie marathon at the end of every month. Penn & Teller served as occasional guest hosts during its early years; however, in 1997, MonsterVision found a permanent host in cult personality and drive-in movie aficionado Joe Bob Briggs, 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, as well as jokes at the expense of TNT's Standards & Practices department regarding the heavy censorship of the featured 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 channel 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, 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 cable channel devoted to classic cartoons that launched on April 1, 2000.
During the 1990s, TNT scheduled a weekday afternoon block 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, as TNT management decided that science fiction did not fit the channel's brand identity. In 2001, TNT debuted what became its most successful original series at the time, Witchblade, which ran for two seasons, ending in 2002.
Shift towards drama
On June 12, 2001, TNT underwent an extensive rebrand, with the introduction of a new logo designed by Trollbäck + Company as well as a new slogan, "We Know Drama". The slogan emphasized the channel's new focus on dramatic programming, including sports and off-network syndicated dramas such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, ER and Judging Amy. 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 channel'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 channel'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. 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.
On December 7, 2008, TNT unveiled an update to its logo, displaying it mainly in a silver or sometimes gold beveling. The "We Know Drama" tagline remained, but the channel added more of a focus on its original series and announced plans to carry three nights of original programming a week during primetime, starting in 2009. 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 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 channel's refocusing towards action-adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, suspense series alongside its slate of crime dramas. The channel purchased basic cable rights in September for the next five Marvel Studios movies starting with Avengers: Age of Ultron. In 2016, TNT changed its logo after 15 years in order to catch up with sister channel TBS as they also rebranded their logo on October 31, 2015, earlier than TNT did.
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, The Librarians, Animal Kingdom, Good Behavior, and The Last Ship. The channel's daytime, overnight and Saturday morning schedule is heavily dominated by reruns of current and former network police procedural series such as Castle, Bones and TNT mainstay Law & Order, while its weekday morning schedule focuses on sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy series. Such programs include Supernatural and Charmed.
Feature films have been a mainstay of TNT since its inception. TNT maintains movie licensing agreements with sister company Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (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 aired 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 comedy 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.
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 channel. However, as of 2014, TNT has begun airing the movie for 24 hours once again. 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".
In 2011, TNT obtained a share in the television rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship as part of a comprehensive broadcast rights deal known as NCAA March Madness. The deal also involves CBS and fellow Turner properties TBS and TruTV. TNT and the other two Turner-owned channels involved in the deal presently each hold partial rights to games played in the second and third rounds of the tournament. CBS and TBS began airing alternate coverage of the regional semifinals, regional finals, the Final Four and national championship in 2016.
Major League Baseball (overflow)
TNT carries limited playoff coverage from MLB on TBS, but only in rare exceptions where a long-running or extra innings game forces a bump over in coverage of the newer game temporarily from TBS to TNT until the earlier game's conclusion, when the coverage on TNT ends at the conclusion of the current half-inning and the game moves fully to TBS. In the 2011 and 2012 playoffs it carried seven pre-scheduled Division Series games in full before Major League Baseball decided to use MLB Network in future years in a shift of scheduling to allow more night game carriage.
In 2001, TNT assumed the cable television rights to select Winston Cup and Busch 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 channel'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). The last race broadcast by TNT was the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13, 2014.
TNT obtained partial cable television rights to the National Basketball Association in 1988–89 season. 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, 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 2002–03 season. The weekly telecasts were then moved to Thursday nights in 2003–04 season, 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, the 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) under the NBA on TNT branding. Since 2015, the All-Star Game has been simulcast on TBS to mute any in-house competition, though unlike most TBS/TNT simulcasts such as the SAG Awards, this is not specifically called out in promotional advertising and only TNT's airing of it is mentioned in any manner.
In 1990, TNT obtained partial television rights to the NFL'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 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.
TNT televises the PGA Championship, carrying full coverage of the first two rounds and early coverage of the weekend rounds. The rights have been held since 1999, and the current contract with the PGA of America is through 2019.
In 2003, TNT took over the rights to broadcast the Thursday and Friday rounds of The Open Championship, as well as the rights to weekday rounds of the Women's British Open and Senior British Open. ESPN assumed the Open Championship rights in 2009. From 2000 to 2007, TNT also carried the biennial PGA Tour-managed Presidents Cup. The television rights were assumed by Golf Channel beginning with the 2009 event as part of its overall cable deal with the PGA Tour.
Beginning towards the fall of 2018, TNT will begin to carry the UEFA Champions League, likely with TBS and TruTV, as part of a three-year agreement between Turner Sports and UEFA under a three-year deal, replacing a long-term agreement with Fox Sports for American rights to Europe's main soccer club competition.
List of programs broadcast by TNT
- Major Crimes (2012)
- The Last Ship (2014)
- The Librarians (2014)
- Animal Kingdom (2016)
- Good Behavior (2016)
- Claws (2017)
- Will (2017)
- APB with Troy Dunn (2014)
- Boston's Finest (2013)
- Cold Justice (2013)
- Cold Justice: Sex Crimes (2015)
- Marshal Law: Texas (2013)
- On the Menu (2014)
- Private Lives of Nashville Wives (2014)
- Arrow (2016)
- Bones (2008)
- Castle (2012)
- Charmed (2001)
- CSI: NY (2009)
- Grimm (2015)
- Hawaii Five-0 (2013)
- Law & Order (2001)
- Supernatural (2009)
- Golf on TNT (1995)
- Major League Baseball on TBS (2007; overflow games for the MLB Division Series only, featuring TBS branding)
- NBA on TNT (1989)
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (2011; preliminary rounds)
- UEFA Champions League (English-language rights beginning winter 2018; sharing arrangements among Turner networks to be determined)
- Conviction (TBA)
- Creatures (TBA)
- Deadlier Than the Male (TBA)
- The Deep Mad Dark (TBA)
- Finding Chandra (TBA)
- Highland (TBA)
- Hinges (TBA)
- Live from the Apocalypse (TBA)
- Snowpiercer (TBA)
- Time of Death (TBA)
- What Women Face (TBA) In 2012, TNT was rebranded as 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 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.
Netherlands and Flanders
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). The channel launched in the Netherlands on January 24, 2013; however, it was dropped by pay television providers in that country on January 1, 2014.
The Polish version of TNT was launched in both SD and HD on October 6, 2015, replacing Turner Classic Movies.
The Romanian version of TNT was launched for first time on September 1, 1998, with Cartoon Network, until 2000-2001 when it was replaced with Turner Classic Movies. On October 6, 2015, TCM was replaced by TNT, 17 years after the first launch.
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