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October 25, 2014

TNT putting together a network-killing summer schedule

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 30th 2009 9:30AM
Leverage

When the networks go into summer hibernation, it's time for the cable networks to come out and play. While they've been making inroads with fall and spring original programming, most cable networks stick to the summer frame where competition is light and they put up huge numbers that NBC would envy. TNT added a few shows to achieve a three-night schedule of original programming this summer, bringing it closer and closer to full network programming levels. And TNT knows a thing or two about massive ratings hits.

They're coupling smash hit The Closer at 9 PM ET with Raising the Bar at 10 on Mondays starting June 8. Bar launched huge and secured a renewal before everyone realized what a huge steaming pile of crap it was. So now it's got the cushiest timeslot on the network to try and win back all the viewers it pissed away. Let's hope they've improved the product and Felicityed Mark Paul-Gosselaar's hair.

Kicking off Tuesday, June 16, Saving Grace will now be leading into the new Hawthorne, starring Jada Pinkett Smith as a single mom and director of nursing at a hospital. That makes TNT the home for three strong shows featuring women leads. Isn't Lifetime jealous? They probably have something in the works for Tyne Daley and Judith Light as battered women who become a cop and a lawyer, respectively, to take down the men who would victimize women. There's your million dollar idea, Lifetime, free of charge!

I'm most stoked about the return of one of my favorite new shows of the past year on Wednesday, July 16, Leverage. It's being coupled with another new drama, this one an undercover cop series titled Dark Blue. It's set in LA because on television you have the East Coast, and then if you drive an hour or two west, you hit the West Coast. There really isn't anything of any worth between them. If it has half the energy and fun of Leverage, it should make for a very entertaining hour of television.

Considering that The Closer has seen upwards of ten million viewers for it's 2007 finale, and still achieves greater than 7 mil for its latest season, I'd say that TNT is totally ready to take on the big boys. It really makes me wonder about the budgets of cable shows versus network shows when you have a show like this that's getting bigger numbers than a lot of network fare. Does the model change?

If I've got a show to shop around, I might almost rather have it on TNT than NBC at this point. It'll get more attention and love, it'll air more than once a week and it will stand a far higher chance of getting renewed, because cable networks are notoriously more patient than their broadcast brethren *cough*FOX*cough*. There's no reason a show like Reaper or Eli Stone couldn't be done on cable. And there's no reason that there should be so much less money on cable anymore for original programming. Not when they can rival the big boys.

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catko

I love the idea of shopping Reaper--a great show--to TNT or another network. I wonder what does it take for that to happen?

May 01 2009 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

Eli Stone would have failed no matter where it was--it's brand of wit only goes so far and it was mined by the end of Season One.

April 30 2009 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JennieO

Leverage is incredibly entertaining and The Closer is tied with Burn Notice for my favorite show. In the summer, I don't think my tv tuner catches a single broadcast program, it's all TNT and USA. I do agree that Raising the Bar is a heaping pile of crap, and it doesn't belong on TNT. Or anywhere, for that matter.

April 30 2009 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric

With Monk ending, why can't NBC just move Chuck to USA and pair it with Psych. Also they could bring Life over and pair it with L&O: CI, that would also give USA 2 seasons of each show to run in repeats.

April 30 2009 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Eric's comment
Freak Mojo

I don't care where it airs, just make sure Chuck lands somewhere!

That was a hella lot of rhyming :P

April 30 2009 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Curt Lyon

good grief, what a GREAT idea! Only hope the 'networks' etc get the idea and do it!

April 30 2009 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sapphire

Raising the Bar is a great show. I happen to like all the Law and Orders but it is nice to see how things happen on the other side. We are always shown how dirty defense attorneys can be, but we now see that prosecutors aren't always doing what is right either. They are just as money hungry as the well paid defense attorneys. Doing whatever they can to further their careers. Of course not all of them are like that but when do we ever see the ugly side? Just like not all defense attorneys are slimeballs. It's nice to see some with compassion and actually trying to do the right thing.

April 30 2009 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BillS

You forget that Chicago and Texas lie in the tiny sliver of land between the east and west coasts. And I guess Las Vegas and Smallville, KS.

April 30 2009 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
singlegalkansas

Why are you dissing lifetime. They have the show Army Wives, which isnt bad or great but just good and its #1 for them.

April 30 2009 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to singlegalkansas's comment
Chris

I think he was just stating that TNT seems to have a lot of Shows with female leads.

April 30 2009 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lorie

Can't wait for The Closer! I'm also looking forward for Leverage (great cast!), and I'll definitely check out Hawthorne.

April 30 2009 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
csttar63

i disagree about RTB. this show is great. i must admit i really watch it for the super-hot spanish lawyer chick in Gosselar's office.

April 30 2009 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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