Category: TNT

Upfronts 2012: TNT gets more reality; TBS builds off its reruns

TurnerUpfrontStarsandExecutives

NEW YORK -- Turner Entertainment Networks held its upfront presentation Wednesday at the Hammerstein Ballroom -- squeezing in as one of a couple of cablers in a week of broadcast networks -- and unveiled beefed up slates for TNT and TBS.

The "Dallas" remake might be the highest profile of TNT's new shows set to premiere this summer, with more announced in the works, including a medical drama, "Monday Mornings," and two more unscripted series in addition to its soon-to-be-launched "The Great Escape."

TBS, meanwhile, seems to be the new network offering life support. After giving Conan O'Brien a home for his talk show, the network has now taken in ABC's "Cougar Town."

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

"It's good to be back on cable," Courteney Cox, star of "Cougar Town," told Show Tracker at Turner's luncheon with reporters. "There's not as much micro-managing. And I think we'll find that "Cougar Town' is a great fit with the network. I definitely wish ABC had paid more attention to us. It's nice to feel wanted." The series will roll out on the network in 2013.

TBS also has a new competition series, "King of the Nerds," built to complement its "Big Bang Theory" repeats; the newly green-lighted "Deon Cole's Black Box," in the vein of "The Soup" and "Tosh 2.0";  and "Who Gets the Last Laugh?" And much was made of the network's success with its repeats of "Family Guy" and "The Big Bang Theory."

Here's an overview of what to expect:

Continue reading »

TNT renews 'Southland' for Season 5

TNT renews 'Southland'

TNT has renewed "Southland" for a fifth season, the network announced Friday.

The 10-episode season is scheduled to roll out in February 2013. It's the show's fourth season on the cable network after a brief stint on NBC in 2009.

The LAPD cop drama, which stars Ben McKenzie, Michael Cudlitz and Regina King, has had a firm run on TNT. The series averaged 2.9 million viewers in its most recent season, which wrapped in March, and even saw ratings improvements in the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups.

RELATED:

TNT releases 'Dallas' trailer

'Dallas': Everything old is new again

TNT summer schedule: 'Dallas' returns and 'The Closer' ends

-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Ben McKenzie, left, and Michael Cudlitz in a scene from 'Southland.' Credit: TNT

TNT announces summer schedule: 'Dallas' return and 'The Closer's' end

The Closer
TNT announced the premiere dates of its summer dramas Thursday, with five returning shows and four new shows, including the final six episodes of the Emmy-winning "The Closer" and the much anticipated return of "Dallas."

The seventh and final season of "The Closer" completes its run with six episodes beginning July 9. The series has had a long farewell -- star Kyra Sedgwick's decision to end the series with season 7 was announced back in December of 2010. The timing of these six episodes is no accident, though; it's timed to coincide with the premiere of the "Closer" spin-off, "Major Crimes," starring Mary McDonnell and several other "Closer" alums, which will begin immediately after the final "Closer" episode Aug. 13.

Meanwhile, the "Dallas" return (producers have been careful not to call it a revamp or a reboot) premieres June 13 with a two-hour episode. J.R. Ewing himself will be back, still played by Larry Hagman, as well as Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing and Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing.

At the Television Critics Assn. press tour in January, producers promised the elder cast members weren't put there "as bait." Executive producer Cynthia Cidre said, "They are integrated fully into the new cast."

Other returning series include "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Franklin & Bash" on June 5, executive producer Steven Spielberg's alien invasion series "Falling Skies" on June 17 and "Leverage" on July 15.

New series include the mystery series "Perception," starring Eric McCormack as an eccentric neuroscience professor who solves crimes, which begins July 9, and the adventure reality competition series "The Great Escape," which begins June 24.

RELATED:

TNT releases 'Dallas' trailer

'Dallas': Everything old is new again

TNT renews legal drama 'Franklin & Bash'

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Kyra Sedgwick in "The Closer." Credit: TNT

'Dallas': Everything old is new again

Dallas pic

The groundbreaking prime-time soap "Dallas" is returning to TNT this summer, but don't you dare call it a remake or a reboot. The iconic stars of the original "Dallas" are blending with new, young cast members to continue the story of the oil- and cattle-rich Ewing dynasty.

The cast of the new version came together during the TNT portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour. And yes, Larry Hagman, who plays the ruthless and charismatic J.R. Ewing, wore a Stetson.

Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing, said he had never imagined that he would ever reunite with Hagman and costar Linda Gray for another go at the series. He called it "the heartbreak of my career" because he couldn't see a circumstance that the three would ever work together again. "This is the best thing that could have happened in my life," he said.

After a beat, Hagman quipped, "I got a tear in my eye."

The original stars will be joined by Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson and Julie Gonzalo (let's see if they call them the Four J's).

Hagman, 80, who announced last year that he had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer, said he was doing well and felt strong. When asked what was best about his new gig, he said "Work at 80! And doing a job I love. I feel very lucky."

Gray said she and her original colleagues love working on the new series. "This is a lovely continuation."

Cynthia Cidre, one of the executive producers, said the original "Dallas" stars were not being used "as bait" to bring a new audience into the show. "They are integrated fully into the new cast."

Although producers hope to capture some of the popularity that made "Dallas" such a smash hit, Hagman had an offbeat theory for why audiences gravitated to the show.

"It was during the Great Recession, and people couldn't afford to go out and hire babysitters," he said. "So they stayed home. And there we were!"

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-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Larry Hagman, left, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy and Brenda Strong in TNT's new "Dallas." Credit: TNT

TNT releases 'Dallas' trailer

'Dallas' on TNT

TNT is giving viewers a preview of "Dallas," the reboot of the landmark prime-time drama about the loves and power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty.

The TNT version will combine new cast members with stars from the original series, including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. The series is scheduled to premiere in the summer of 2012.

 -- Greg Braxton

Photo: Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson star in "Dallas." Credit: Martin Schoeller / TNT

'HawthoRNe' with Jada Pinkett Smith and Marc Anthony is canceled

HawthoRNepicture 
"HawthoRNe," the TNT drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith as the chief nursing officer of a Richmond, Va., hospital, has been canceled.

Despite the appeal of Smith, who is married to Will Smith, and the addition of singer Marc Anthony to the cast as a romantic interest for Smith's character,  the series never drew a large audience.

"TNT has decided not to order a fourth season of 'HawthoRNe,' " said a statement from the network. "TNT truly appreciates the tremendous dedication of everyone involved in 'HawthoRNe'. The series gave TNT the opportunity to work with many outstanding people, including Jada Pinkett Smith and the rest of the show’s talented cast, crew, producers and writers. We wish everyone involved with 'HawthoRNe' nothing but the best."

The cancellation of the show, which also featured Michael Vartan, comes as recent rumors regarding marital woes with the Smiths and an alleged affair between Smith and co-star Marc Anthony have circulated the tabloids. Smith and Anthony, who is divorcing singer Jennifer Lopez, have both denied that they ever had a romantic relationship.

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-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Michael Vartan and Jada Pinkett Smith of "HawthoRNe." Credit: Karen Neal

TNT renews legal drama 'Franklin & Bash'

F&B 
TNT has renewed buddy legal drama “Franklin & Bash” for a second season.

The network has ordered 10 episodes for the sophomore season. In “Franklin & Bash,” Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“Saved By the Bell,” “NYPD: Blue”) and Breckin Meyer (“Clueless”) star as two wild street lawyers who join a legendary, traditional law firm.

The series currently airs Wednesday nights and has drawn 3.9 million viewers since its June premiere.  The news comes after the network's recent cancellation of "Franklin & Bash" lead-out "Men of a Certain Age."

--Yvonne Villarreal
Twitter.com/villarrealy

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Photo: Breckin Meyer as Jared Franklin and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Peter Bash  in a scene from TNT's "Franklin & Bash." Credit: TNT

TV This Week for July 10th – 16th

Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 10 - 16 in PDF format

TV listings for the week of July 10 - 16 in PDF format (from latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv)

Weekly TV Listings and more can be found at: www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv

This week's TV Movies


 

SUNDAY

Hooyah! The documentary special “Secrets of SEAL Team 6” salutes the warriors, weapons, tech and tactics of the elite Navy unit responsible for the termination – with extreme prejudice – of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. (Discovery, 9 and 11 p.m.)

Misery, it is often said, loves company. Which must be why curmudgeonly comic Larry David (below, right) has a slew of guest stars including Michael J. Fox (left), Ricky Gervais and Larry Miller lined up for a new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” (HBO, 10 p.m.)

Et-lntrdnnc-jul10
MONDAY

Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick begins her seventh and final season as LAPD Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a.k.a. “The Closer,” and Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are back as Boston-based crime-fighting gal pals “Rizzoli & Isles” when that procedural drama returns for its sophomore season. (TNT, 9 and 10 p.m.)

TUESDAY

Hey, batter, batter… hey, batter, batter… swing! Baseball's best from the American and National leagues will play for bragging rights, love of the game, and home-field advantage for this year's World Series, at the “2011 MLB All-Star Game” in Phoenix. (Fox, 5 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY

They left it all on the field, on the floor, on the track or in the ring. And now, those athletes who went above and beyond in the past year will be feted at the “2011 ESPYs,” the 19th edition of the annual awards. “SNL's” Seth Meyers returns as host. (ESPN, 6 p.m.)

THURSDAY

It's like a whole other country. Remember the Alamo. And don't mess with Texas — and that goes quadruple for “Texas Women.” This new docu-soap follows a fearless foursome of Fort Worth ladies looking for fame and fortune in the Lone Star State. (CMT, 9 p.m.) Et-lnvibmnc-jul10

FRIDAY

What wine pairs best with a dish of “Rigoletto”? Plácido Domingo (right) sings the title role in a filmed version of Giuseppe Verdi's tragic opera, conducted by Zubin Mehta, shot on location in Italy, and airing on a new “Great Performances.” (KOCE, 8:30 p.m.)

SATURDAY

Ack! A young woman (Kayla Ewell) meets her future mother-in-law (“Touched by an Angel's” Roma Downey) and grandmother-in-law (“Happy Days'” Marion Ross) in the made-for-cable romantic fable “Keeping Up With the Randalls.” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.)

Photo credits: "Rigoletto": Cristiano Giglioli / Rada Film; "Curb Your Enthusiasm": Jessica Miglio / HBO

Larry Hagman will wear his J.R. hat on TNT's new version of 'Dallas'

Larry Hagman

J.R. rides again.

TNT has ordered a new version of "Dallas," the iconic TV series about the battles, loves and power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty.

The series will be set in Texas, and combine new cast members with stars from the original series. Joining new "Dallas" stars Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julia Gonzao and Brenda Strong will be original "Dallas" stars Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray, and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of "Dallas," which is scheduled to premiere in summer 2012.

The cable network will unveil its first look of 'Dallas" Monday with a sneak  peak during the season premieres of "The Closer" and "Rizzoli & Isles." The original series ran from 1978 to 1991. Cynthia Cidre ("The Mambo Kings," CBS' "Cane") wrote the pilot and will be an executive producer.

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Fall TV Season: TNT and TBS announce new shows; Conan goes on the road

--Greg Braxton

Photo: "Dallas" stars Larry Hagman and Linda Gray will reunite in new version on TNT. Credit: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

'Falling Skies' gets a second season on TNT

Noah of 'Falling Skies'

The sky will keep falling next year.

"Falling Skies," TNT's science-fiction drama about the aftermath of an alien invasion, has been renewed for a second season.

The series, which stars Noah Wylie and lists Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, is scheduled to return next summer. It premiered in June and has been drawing solid ratings.

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Is Steven Spielberg's 'Falling Skies' doomed when it comes to the Emmys?

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Noah Wylie in "Falling Skies." Credit: Ken Woroner / TNT

'Falling Skies' invades homes with sky-high ratings in TNT premiere

Falling Skies ratings

The world may be ending for the characters in "Falling Skies," but the ratings were out of this world.

TNT's new alien-invasion drama from executive producer Steven Spielberg scored 5.9 million total viewers for its two-hour Sunday premiere, according to the Nielsen Co. The series stars Noah Wyle as a Boston professor who helps command a group of defenders battling an attack by aliens.

That makes "Falling Skies" cable's top series launch so far this year. The show also bested the first episode for AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead" last year (5.3 million), although it didn't go near the record established last July by TNT's crime drama "Rizzoli & Isles" (7.6 million, the highest ever for the premiere of a commercially supported basic-cable series).

"The enormous success of 'Falling Skies' demonstrates what can happen when you partner with the best people in the business and give them what they need to do their very best work," TNT programming chief Michael Wright said in a statement.

Trackers, what do you think of "Falling Skies"?

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-- Scott Collins
twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Noah Wyle and Drew Roy in TNT's "Falling Skies." Credit: Ken Woroner / Associated Press.

Why Jason Lee toned down the Elvis impersonation on TNT's 'Memphis Beat'

Lee As novel as it may sound to have the main character in a crime drama be a crack detective by day and an Elvis impersonator by night, the concept turned out to be too quirky on TNT's “Memphis Beat.” So for Season 2, launching June 14, series star Jason Lee said the Elvis-worshipping side of his Southern lawman will play backup to his work and relationships. He'll still strum his guitar in the squad room and break into song at a fellow cop's wake, but his Det. Dwight Hendricks will be more grounded and less cartoonish.

“He's a dude from the South who loves his city, his mom, his music,” Lee said recently. “He's not like a guy on Hollywood Boulevard in a Superman costume.”

“Memphis Beat,” set in the music-infused Tennessee town but shot mostly in New Orleans, has had to dispel the misconception that it's about a singing detective in a white jumpsuit and slicked pompadour. Lee's character never dressed up as Elvis -- sorry, sight-gag fans -- and he didn't dole out a single brand-new Cadillac from the stage or sport blue-suede shoes. His nightclub performances were done in deference to the the King, not in imitation.

But that's the joy of landing a second season, Lee said, which has given the creative team a chance to refine the character and, by extension, the show. “It's looser and lighter, more fun and adventurous,” Lee said. “It feels more raw at the same time, with more action overall. There will be more shootouts, more real stuff happening.”

Hendricks will be more likely to get into a car chase with the bad guys, in other words, but just as prone to passing out with a Budweiser in his hand and his vintage muscle car in the driveway.

Lee, whose varied résumé includes Kevin Smith-directed indie films, the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” franchise and NBC's “My Name Is Earl,” said he and the showrunners talked about classic series he loved as a kid. They found plenty of inspiration in shows such as “The Rockford Files,” “CHiPs” and “The Streets of San Francisco” to hone what Lee calls the “old-school, retro” vibe of “Memphis Beat.”

The country- and R&B-driven soundtrack will remain -- lots of B.B. King, Johnny Cash and Otis Redding -- as will Hendricks' break-the-rules rebellious streak. His by-the-book boss, played by Alfre Woodard, will continue to lord it over him, and the city, as much a star as any other character, will still be filled to bursting with oddballs and eccentrics. Critics have called the series charming and soulful, and Lee promises that those qualities won't be lost in the realignment.

“We made Hendricks too much of a martyr last season, and we learned from that,” Lee said. “He had the weight of the entire city on his shoulders. There's a greater balance this season, which makes it more believable. Dwight even smiles more.”

The show pulled in 4.7-million viewers on average during the first season (4.3 million viewers for the premiere episode) and landed in basic cable's top 10 new series for summer 2010 (and in basic cable's top 20 original series for the year).

Curveballs coming for Season 2 include an internal affairs investigator, played by Beau Garrett (“Tron: Legacy”) who happens to be an attractive young woman/potential love interest for Hendricks, and a prison release that brings up memories of the detective's dad, a beat cop who was killed on duty.

Lee, who's an avid photographer and skateboarder, doesn't count singing among his multiple talents. He honed his lip-syncing in Season 1, but may do less of it this time around. There won't necessarily be a club performance in every episode, he said.

“If Dwight is always suiting up and doing an Elvis song, the other stuff just doesn't have as much weight.”

RELATED:

Jason Lee is keeping busy with TNT's 'Memphis Beat'

TNT gears up for summer, announces upcoming premieres

TNT and TBS announce new fall shows; Conan goes on the road

-- T.L. Stanley

Photo: Jason Lee. Credit: TNT.

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