True to its word, Turner unveiled a solid slate of scripted and unscripted shows at its upfront presentation on Wednesday morning, as well as a major digital initiative: TNT and TBS will stream live content to the networks' websites and by way of newly launched tablet and mobile apps. The streams will be authenticated, as part of parent company Time Warner's much-evangelized initiative, TV Everywhere.
TNT's scripted slate added a third title with an odd couple joined by fate and an ampersand: King & Maxwell (not to be confused with Franklin & Bash or Rizzoli & Isles), as well as a new show from Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, Lost Angels. The network's reality shows looked a lot like its scripted fare, especially police show Boston's Finest. Dwayne Johnson will star in unscripted series Hero, as well.
The presentation started off with Turner boss Steve Koonin doing his usual shtick by joking around with the audience. This year, the generously-proportioned exec ran backstage and then appeared to back flip, breakdance, unicycle and juggle in an effort to impress ad buyers as body doubles emerged in padding and white wigs. Koonin stepped back on stage after the last performer, panting. "I took eight steps and now I'm winded," he cracked.
TBS, too, started its presentation on a comic note. "As many of you know, last year my company, Funny or Die, bought Turner broadcasting," said Will Ferrell in a taped short that also introduced Charles Barkley as head of the network. "You all know Charles--he's basically been running TBS for the last few years, so that won't be much of a surprise."