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C21 DIGITAL SCREENINGS

TNT Broadcasting Network

Programming Profile

TNT explodes with laughter

07-09-2020

Roman Petrenko, MD of Russian media group GPM ETV, outlines the programming strategy and international plans of the company’s comedy channel TNT.

 

Please tells us about TNT’s content strategy and how it has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
About 90% of TNT’s broadcast schedule is original content. TNT is currently number two in Russia in a highly coveted 14-44 demographic. We stay very focused in our content strategy. For viewers, TNT is a destination for anything edgy, witty and cleverly funny. TNT is unrivaled in comedy.

 

We produce both scripted and unscripted content: comedy, dramedy, sitcoms, sketchcoms, stand-up comedy shows and stand-uppers talent search shows. In 2019, eight out of 10 scripted series in Russia in the 14-44 demo were TNT’s comedy series. We have survived the lockdown fairly well, thanks to the comedy being the most re-runable content. We also produced a few successful screenlife scripted shows during the lockdown – everything the viewer sees happens on the computer, tablet or smartphone screen.

 

What is TNT’s target audience?
We focus on young urban population, 18-44. TNT claims a 9% national audience share while competing with 450 other terrestrial and cable networks.

 

Do you have any shows in development at the moment?
We’ve got more than 50 scripted shows in development. Just to name a few:
• Perfect Family – a single-camera sitcom that goes behind the scenes of a highly anticipated primetime reality show, as told through the eyes of the dysfunctional Sokoloff family as they are transplanted to a fake town where cameras follow their every move. They compete with one goal in mind: to win over Russia’s hearts as the Perfect Family and claim the sizable prize money… all the while hiding a dark and dangerous secret.
• Life-Stream – the school’s life gets disrupted when a high schooler began to live-stream his life 24/7.
• Correction & Punishment – an idealistic prison warden finds out she’s heir to her estranged father’s billions when her father’s legitimate family infiltrated her prison in an attempt to obtain a digital code to her father’s fortunes that they think she’s got.

 

What sort of buyers are you targeting? Are any of the shows in the TNT playlist aimed at particular platforms or are they flexible in terms of where they can air?
Most of our ‘finished tape’ sales are in CIS and CEE countries. TNT is lesser known to the rest of the world. We see that as a big opportunity. Our key buyers are the free TV broadcasters. However, the content we make is edgy enough to appeal to the streamers. We’ve recently sold a show to one of the larger global streaming platforms.

 

Olga
Olga

Have any of your shows sold internationally already? If so, how well have they done? Can you give some examples of series that have sold especially well?
Our top four international best-sellers are:
Olga – the top-rated half-hour comedy series. Olga is a single working class mother approaching her breaking point. Tough-as-nails, Olga juggles a rebellious teenage daughter, a son being bullied at school, a drunk father and a gold-digging sister who is always getting into trouble. Olga is at her wit’s end when she meets a much younger funeral driver, who falls in love with her and is eager to solve all her problems. The fourth season just aired in September.
• Interns – a funny medical comedy half-hour series, which follows four medical interns trying to survive under the pressure of their vicious mentor Doktor Bykov, a brilliant doctor and hopeless cynic with a peculiar sense of humor. Interns has become one of the most successful scripted shows in Russia during its 13-season reign.
• VIP Cop – a witty detective comedy about a young cop whose beat is the swankiest neighbourhood in Russia, populated by the super-rich. Grisha is a rule-breaking 30-year-old cynic with a whirling personal life. Each episode presents Grisha with a new case to investigate – from the disappearance of the German ambassador at the country estate of a major industrialist to the theft at an exclusive local fitness club. Grisha’s unconventional work style enrages his boss. But winners are never judged – solving cases outweighs all Grisha’s rule-breaking and missteps.