Back in March, Turner Entertainment Networks revealed its long-term plans for TNT, announcing that the network would build its entire Monday-Wednesday prime-time schedule on the back of original programming by 2010. This morning (May 14), TNT drew back the curtain on the full complement of drama projects it has in development, a list that features such bold-face names as George Clooney, Mark Burnett and Joel Surnow.
In addition to the previously announced dramas Truth in Advertising, Raising the Bar and Leverage, TNT is loading up on cop shows in 2009-10, as four of the six new titles share certain police-related DNA. Of these, TNT’s most unusual project is Delta Blues, a quirky drama from executive producer Clooney that centers around a Memphis police officer who also happens to be an Elvis impersonator.
Also in the works are: Morse Code, which stars Dorchester, Mass., native Donnie Wahlberg as a DEA agent fighting the war on drugs on his home turf (Boston); 24 co-creator Surnow’s untitled project about a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent; and Angel City, a traditional thin-blue-line strip that Turner said is reminiscent of Adam-12 and Hill Street Blues.
Along with the police dramas, TNT also has two unconventional projects on its development slate in Tough Trade, an insider’s look at the Nashville music scene from Lionsgate and Kentucky author Chris Offutt, and an untitled family drama helmed by Roseanne and Malcolm in the Middle co-executive producer Rob Ulin.
Two years ago, TNT sibling TBS had greenlit a series pilot for Ulin’s single-camera comedy Boy’s Life, although nothing ultimately came of the project. Actress Nancy Travis, who had been attached to star in Boy’s Life, went on to get the co-lead in TBS’ The Bill Engvall Show.
Lastly, TNT on Wednesday announced it would make its first foray into unscripted series development with Wedding Day. The joint effort from Survivor producer Mark Burnett and DreamWorks Television promises to shower couples “with joy and hope as they receive the wedding of their dreams,” said Turner senior vp, content creation Michael Wright.
If all the drama wasn’t enough, Turner also took the wraps off a new ROI initiative it calls “TVinContext,” a digital-placement service that can ads inside the most relevant content. For example, if a movie features a scene that takes place in a caf