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TNT goes 'boom;' changes tag, and nabs Ed Burns

Director Ed Burns on the set of The

Director Ed Burns on the set of The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. Credit: The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

TNT -- which has long been the claimant to the boast "We Know Drama" -- is dropping the tag in favor of another: "TNT Drama. Boom."

Meaning what exactly? In light of a recent comment by Time Warner chief Jeffrey Bewkes during an investor conference call, it could be interpreted as ominous... 

"Over the past few years, we didn’t take enough creative risks with its programming, and as a result, TNT has lost ground with younger viewers,” he said. The comment got extensive pickup, and with the fire under TNT officially -- and publicly -- lit, the network Wednesday morning announced not just the tagline but a string of development deals designed to pull the network into the 21st century or at least some sort of parity with USA...  

" 'Boom' speaks to the experience we want to deliver to TNT viewers," said TNT (and TBS) programming chief Michael Wright in a statement Wednesday morning. "It's about the thrill of the chase, or overcoming impossible odds and winning the day; it's about what keeps you on the edge of your seat, hands clenched, heart racing, waiting to see what happens next..."

On the face of it, that wouldn't appear to be a resounding endorsement of series like "Major Crimes'  or even "Dallas" -- neither of which go boom, or are supposed to, on a regular basis -- but a hint at what is to come. 

 Foremost, that would be Michael Bay's post-apocalypse drama, "The Last Ship," arriving next month; or maybe "Transporter: The Series," coming in the fall. TNT wants to tack young -- these will be at the forefront of that effort.

 Meanwhile, the network this morning announced a number of other new series in development -- Ed Burns' "Public Morals," starring (local angle alert! Valley Stream's)  Burns in a '60s period cop drama about the Vice Division of the NYPD; and "Proof," with Jennifer Beals and Joe Morton, a supernatural/sci-fi/thriller about life after death; Kyra Sedgwick is producing this...

Both of these arrive next year...

Of immediate importance: Steven Bochco's (with Eric Lodal) "Murder in the First" with Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson arrives June 6...

  We have clips for all these key newcomers; let's see what goes "boom," shall we? 


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