The pitch from Turner Broadcasting’s upfront presentation was that its two entertainment channels, TNT and TBS, deserve the same treatment as the top broadcasters, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker blog.
"The playing field has leveled,” said Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin. “We have more original programming on TNT and TBS than ever before. … We have more than earned our admission ticket.”
Luring talk-show host Conan O’Brien certainly helps with that claim. O’Brien, who will premiere his TBS show on Nov. 8, also lauded the virtues of cable networks during the presentation, telling the audience that basic cable "is what makes this country great. I do not want to live in a country with less than six ESPNs."
Turner is adding several new shows to its schedule, including the TBS comedies "Are We There Yet?" with Ice Cube, Tim Meadows’ "Glory Daze" and an animated show called "Neighbors From Hell."
TNT, meanwhile, will see the return this summer of shows such as "The Closer" and will add two dramas, "Memphis Beat," a cop program with Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard, and "Rizzoli and Isles," starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.