BOOM! Diverse New Shows, TNT Refresh Unveiled at TEN Upfront

14 May 2014 -

(Above: Turner's ad sales team is pumped up and ready for the new season.)

By Mallory Weinberg

Today, Turner took over Madison Square Garden for its TNT & TBS Upfront, which kicked off with a video clip of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson whipping Turner’s ad sales team into shape for the upcoming season. The clip got a lot of laughs - sleeves were cut off, shots were taken - and set the stage for the dynamic upfront, which highlighted Turner's aggressive approach to expand audiences through innovative programming and advertising strategies.

President of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales, Donna Speciale, introduced Turner’s plan to unite all of its digital networks and properties, offering multi-platform content distribution that will engage viewers whenever, wherever and however they want.

Frank Sgrizzi, executive vice president of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales, took the stage next, pondering what the future holds for media before announcing Now Media, a special set of measurement, analytic and marketing tools.

“Innovation that works for you today. Combining TV with digital. The advantages of TV...the opportunities of digital,” said Sgrizzi in describing Now Media.

TNT is getting a brand refresh, centered on its new tagline: “TNT Drama. Boom.” Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, discussed the network’s strategy in expanding with a new lineup of original dramas. He also said that TNT plans to skew younger by moving to an 18 to 49-year-old dual composition.

 “Let us take you on a thrilling ride,” Wright said as he announced the network’s dynamic new slate of shows including The Last Ship, Murder in the First, Legends, The Librarians, Proof and Public Morals.

And TBS is getting even funnier. Wright relayed TBS’ continued success as the #1 cable network in primetime and the home of all things “very funny.” The network adds CeeLo Greens The Good Life and Funniest Wins to its comedy roster this year and announced the greenlight of original series Angie Tribeca (working title), Buzzy's, and Your Family or Mine.

Conan O'Brien closed out the upfront presentation after today’s announcement that TBS renewed his show CONAN, which averages 862,000 viewers per episode, for three additional seasons.

This week Turner also announced a deal with Comcast that will provide Xfinity TV customers complete current and previous seasons of popular programming from Turner’s portfolio of networks via Xfinity On Demand. Additionally, the Turner networks will now insert dynamic ads in Xfinity On Demand programming on the TV, as well as on computers, tablets and smartphones via each company’s tv everywhere experiences.

Mallory Weinberg is Associate, Corporate Communications, Time Warner Inc.