Turner Spotlights TNT, truTV, CNN and TBS At TCA’s Winter 2017 Press Tour

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Turner Spotlights TNT, truTV, CNN and TBS
At TCA’s Winter 2017 Press Tour

Panels Include TNT’s Will and Claws;
truTV’s Upscale with Prentice Penny, Talk Show the Game Show and I’m Sorry;
CNN’s Believer with Reza Aslan, This Is Life with Lisa Ling,
United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell and The History of Comedy;
And TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee


Turner is charging into 2017 with a packed slate of premium original content from across its leading portfolio of multiplatform brands, four of which will take center stage this afternoon at the Television Critics Association’s Winter 2017 Press Tour. CNN, TNT, TBS and truTV will each present panels, beginning with two new TNT series: Will, starring newcomer Laurie Davidson and Olivia DeJonge, and the wickedly funny dramedy Claws, starring Niecy Nash. truTV will showcase three new shows: Upscale with Prentice Penny, a comedic lifestyle series from the noted showrunner; Talk Show the Game Show, the hilarious mash-up series starring comedian Guy Branum; and I’m Sorry, a scripted comedy created by and starring Andrea Savage. CNN will highlight two new original series, The History of Comedy and Believer with Reza Aslan, as well as a pair of returning hits, This Is Life with Lisa Ling and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. And TBS will close out the Turner session with a panel featuring its award-winning late-night series Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Turner, the global content leader across all screens and platforms, enters 2017 with momentum and success across its diverse portfolio, which includes three of cable’s Top 5 networks in primetime among millennials and adults 18-49, the worldwide leaders in news and kids programming, emerging digital brands and premier championship sports. Turner has also made significant moves in improving the viewing experience with reduced ad loads in original content; expanding its robust library of on-demand content, which now accounts for nearly 13% of all set-top VOD transactions; and developing meaningful and lasting connections with its more than 696 million followers in social media.

“Turner enters 2017 with momentum and success across our diverse portfolio of brands and businesses,” said David Levy, president of Turner. “In 2016, we charted an ambitious course to enhance the viewing experience, and our efforts produced unparalleled success. From the premieres of buzz-worthy, critically acclaimed series to the launch of new platforms like FilmStruck to the introduction of limited-commercial formats on TNT and truTV, we feel great about our position. As we launch into this year, Turner will offer consumers of all ages even more premium video content across all platforms.”

In addition to the projects being showcased at the Winter Press Tour, Turner brands have a packed slate of events and programming on deck for this year. Among the highlights, TNT will launch its eagerly anticipated period thriller The Alienist in the fall. truTV will debut the anticipated new comedic anthology series Bobcat Goldthwait’s Messed Up Stories. CNN will launch the new original series Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History and The Nineties.  TBS will premiere the new scripted comedy The Guest Book and a new series starring Tracy Morgan, as well as the music competition show Drop the Mic. Adult Swim will mark the long-awaited return of its epic animated series Samurai Jack. Cartoon Network will premiere its newest take on animated phenomenon Ben 10. And on Jan. 27, HLN will debut its crime-investigation series How It Really Happened with Hill Harper.

Also this year, Turner Classic Movies will highlight comedy in the movies at the eighth annual TCM Classic Film Festival April 6-9 in Hollywood. Super Deluxe will make its Sundance Film Festival debut next week with screenings of The Chances, Bayard & Me and Deer Squad. And Turner’s newest digital brand, FilmStruck, will expand to more platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Google Chromecast.


Turner at TCA’s Winter 2017 Press Tour
Saturday, Jan. 14, Beginning at 12:17 p.m.


TNT, which is in the midst of a brand evolution, will present panels for two of its new series for 2017 at TCA’s Winter Press Tour:

Will tells the wild, rowdy story of young William Shakespeare played by newcomer Laurie Davidson in this period drama told in a bold, contemporary style and played to a modern soundtrack that exposes all of Shakespeare’s recklessness, lustful temptations and tortured brilliance. Also starring are Olivia DeJonge, Ewen Bremner, Colm Meaney, Mattias Inwood, Jamie Campbell Bower, William Houston, Lukas Rolfe, Max Bennett and Jasmin Savoy Brown. Will comes to TNT from executive producers Craig Pearce, Golden Globe® nominee Shekhar Kapur, Alison Owen and Debra Hayward. Vince Gerardis, Howard Braunstein and Louise Rosager also serve as executive producers on the series. Will is slated to launch this summer across TNT’s U.S. platforms, as well as on Turner International‘s entertainment channels across the globe.

Will Panel: Laurie Davidson, Olivia DeJonge, Craig Pearce (EP) and Shekhar Kapur (EP/Director)

Introduced by: Sarah Aubrey, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for TNT


Claws is a midnight-dark meditation on female badness set in a South Florida nail salon. Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Harold Perrineau, Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, Jack Kesy, Karrueche Tran (The Nice Guys), Kevin Rankin and Jason Antoon star in the hour-long dramedy. Claws follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. Claws is executive produced by Rashida Jones, Will McCormack and Janine Sherman Barrois, who also serves as showrunner. The pilot was written by series co-executive producer Eliot Laurence and directed by Nicole Kassell. Claws is produced by Jones and McCormack’s Le Train Train, in association with Warner Horizon Television and Turner’s Studio T. It is slated to premiere this summer on TNT.

Claws Panel: Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran, Rashida Jones (EP), Will McCormack (EP), Janine Sherman Barrois (EP/Showrunner), Eliot Laurence (Co-EP/Pilot Writer) and Nicole Kassell (Pilot Director)

Introduced by: Sarah Aubrey, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for TNT



truTV will highlight three upcoming series during its Winter Press Tour panel:

Upscale with Prentice Penny is an all-new lifestyle series helmed by the noted showrunner, writer and producer and infused with his comedic sensibility. The series is produced by Defy Media with executive producers Penny,  Chris Pollack and Jared Hoffman, alongside James Moore.

I’m Sorry is a half-hour scripted series that follows a seemingly confident, together comedy writer, wife and mom – played by series creator Andrea Savage (Veep, Episodes, Sleeping with Other People) – who comically exposes her inner immaturity and neuroses through unexpected life situations. The series also stars Tom Everett Scott (Southland) and newcomer Olive Petrucci. I’m Sorry is produced by Kablamo! and Gloria Sanchez Productions, with Savage, Jessica Elbaum, Jason Zaro, Billy Rosenberg, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer serving as executive producers.

Talk Show the Game Show, from comedian Guy Branum (The Mindy Project, Chelsea Lately), is a hilarious mashup of two beloved television formats that pits comedians and celebrities against each other for the title of “Best Guest of the Night.” Based on Branum’s popular live comedy show, the series is produced by Push It Productions, with Wanda Sykes, Page Hurwitz and Branum serving as executive producers.

Panel: Prentice Penny, Andrea Savage and Guy Branum

Moderated by: Chris Linn, President of truTV



CNN will showcase the diverse slate of high-quality, unscripted CNN Original Series airing in 2017, including two new shows and two returning favorites:

Believer with Reza Aslan is a CNN Original Series that follows best-selling author and scholar of religions Reza Aslan as he immerses himself in customs and faith rituals around the globe. In the six-part spiritual adventure series, Aslan explores Ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel, Scientology in the U.S., Hindu asceticism in India, Vodou in Haiti, Santa Muerte in Mexico and an apocalyptic doomsday cult in Hawaii. Believer is produced by Whalerock Industries with executive producers Aslan, Lloyd Braun, Liz Bronstein and Chris Cowan. Believer with Reza Aslan premieres Sunday, March 5, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).

This Is Life with Lisa Ling is an investigative docuseries in which award-winning journalist and author Lisa Ling travels across America immersing herself in communities that are unusual, extraordinary and sometimes dangerous. The series is produced for CNN by part2, with executive producers Ling, Amy Bucher and David Shadrack Smith. The series returns this fall.

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell follows comedian W. Kamau Bell as he explores subcultures across the country, using comedy to start a conversation about race and our differences. Each hour-long episode of the Emmy®-nominated CNN Original Series strives to show the country is not built upon just one, but many diverse and colorful definitions of America. The series, produced by Objective Media Group America / All3Media, with Bell, Jimmy Fox, Greg Lipstone and Layla Smith serving as executive producers, returns in April.

The History of Comedy is an eight-part CNN Original Series executive-produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hazy Mills) with Emmy® winners Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen (Herzog & Company). Using archival footage punctuated by contemporary interviews with comedy legends, scholars and current stars, The History of Comedy explores the spinning gears that make the comedic mind tick. From stand-up to sitcoms and late-night hosts to improv troupes, the series examines not only what makes us laugh, but also how comedy has affected the social and political landscape throughout history. The History of Comedy premieres Thursday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

Panel: Reza Aslan, Lisa Ling, W. Kamau Bell, Sean Hayes (EP – The History of Comedy), Todd Milliner (EP – The History of Comedy) and Mark Herzog (EP – The History of Comedy)

Moderated by: Amy Entelis, Executive Vice President of Talent and Content Development for CNN Worldwide


TBS will spotlight the Emmy®-nominated, award-winning late-night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Hailed by The New Yorker as “America’s new Comedian-in-Chief” for her bare-knuckled coverage of the 2016 Presidential election, host Samantha Bee is back in a new timeslot, Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Throughout its first season, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee covered the Presidential election extensively, including a sit-down interview with the current President and several female leaders from around the world. It also shined a light on specific issues, such as untested rape kits in Georgia, abortion laws in Texas and local state legislators across the country as well as national tragedies such as the mass shooting in Orlando. Bee also traveled around the globe to cover stories from an international perspective, with segments from Jordan, Germany and, most recently, Russia.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is produced by Turner’s Studio T, with Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Jo Miller, Miles Kahn and Tony Hernandez serving as executive producers.

Panel: Samantha Bee, Pat King (Supervising Producer), Miles Kahn (EP), Jo Miller (EP/Showrunner/Head Writer), Ashley Nicole Black (Writer/Corresondent), Michael Rubens (Sr. Field Producer/Contributor) and Allana Harkin (Co-Producer/Contributor)

Introduced by: Brett Weitz, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for TBS

About Turner

Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, FilmStruck, Super Deluxe, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.

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