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Turner ‘reinvents’ with originals

Turner Entertainment chief creative officer Kevin Reilly is pushing forward with his “reinvention” of TBS

Kevin Reilly

Kevin Reilly

The former Fox boss has been in the process of rebranding TBS and implementing a shift in focus for the TNT slate of original dramas since being named president of the two networks in November 2014.

Speaking at Turner’s TCA presentation yesterday, Reilly admitted that developing and producing more original content for both networks would be tricky, saying that he was in for a “hairy couple of years.”

The exec said SVoD services such as Netflix have increased the “amount of competition and the quality across the board,” but added that there is a gap in the market for comedy.

TBS is set to launch seven new comedies over the next six months, including Angie Tribeca later this month, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in February and The Detour in April.

TNT, meanwhile, will begin shifting its focus toward more premium fare with new dramas Animal Kingdom and Good Behavior, which will both air later this year.

The network is also teaming up with M Night Shyamalan for a fall launch of a new horror-themed two-hour block curated by the Oscar-nominated writer-director behind The Sixth Sense and Wayward Pines.

The block will feature both short- and long-form storytelling, led by Tales from the Crypt, based on the original EC Comics.

Reilly confirmed the network was bringing down the curtain on its police procedural Rizzoli & Isles after its forthcoming seventh season to make way for new originals.

Turner also used its TCA presentation to present other forthcoming originals on its TruTV network, which will debut its first-ever scripted half-hour comedy, Those Who Can’t, next month.

TruTV has also renewed pop-culture series Billy on the Street, ordered additional episodes of comedy Adam Ruins Everything and greenlit a pilot for a series titled No Dumb Questions.

Finally, children’s channel Cartoon Network is gearing up to launch its reboot of The Powerpuff Girls this spring, while fellow toons Clarence, Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa, Teen Titans Go! and Regular Show will all return in 2016.

Turner president David Levy said: “We are going to be pushing a lot of boundaries in 2016, not only in the types of content we create but also in how we use that content to connect with viewers across multiple platforms.”

In related news, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Turner’s parent company Time Warner, has had his contract extended by three years, tying him to the media giant until 2020.

He has served as CEO since 2008, having been with the company for over two decades.

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