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TNT, TBS in Development Mode

3/01/2005 5:34 AM Eastern

Sister networks Turner Network Television and TBS Tuesday unveiled extensive development slates that include a limited series based on short stories from horror-meister Stephen King and projects from Courteney Cox Arquette, Whoopi Goldberg and Cedric the Entertainer.

In addition to putting six traditional series in development, TNT has also started development on a limited series based on King’s short-story anthology, Nightmares & Dreamscapes.The network claimed that the project will feature scripts “by some of the television’s industry’s top scribes.”

In terms of traditional series TNT has in the hopper, Confessions is a drama about a hit man trying to go straight. It’s from executive producer Steve Haggis, who did Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby.

Grace,about a bitter female cop who gets miraculous chance to change her life, is being developed by executive producer Nancy Miller of CSI: Miami. And The Midnight Club is a thriller from best-selling author James Patterson about a New York cop tracking down the head of an international crime organization.

Sanctuary is set in a mental hospital, and it comes from executive producers Deborah Joy LeVine, of Lois & Clark and The Division, and Dan Levine, also of The Division. Smoke & Mirrors chronicles the world of advertising, and it is from writer-producer Lindsay Sturman of Joan of Arcadia and Greer Shephard and Michael Robin, both of Nip/Tuck.

The sixth show in development is Talk to Me, a recurring series about hostage negotiators.

TNT also released premiere dates for several previously announced projects. Police-drama series The Closer,starring Kyra Sedgwick, will bow June 13. Wanted,a crime drama starting Gary Cole that previously had been called Rush, will debut July 31.

And TNT’s 12-hour miniseries from Steven Spielberg, Into the West, debuts June 10.

The Closer and Wanted are exciting, intelligent dramas crafted by some of the most talented people working in television today, and they are a fantastic complement to Into the West,” TNT senior vice president of original programming Michael Wright said in a prepared statement.

TNT has also just finished shooting a pilot for a new series from Emmy Award-winning producer Stephen Cannell called The Dark,about an FBI team that investigates the toughest serial-killer cases.

TBS, Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s comedy-oriented network, has green-lit three series, ordered a pilot and reached a first-look development deal.

The network has ordered a pilot from Goldberg’s One Ho Productions for Sketch Off, a show that will go across the nation to find the best sketch-comedy troupe.

The programs TBS has green-lit are: Loser Leaves Town,a show from Bruce Nash that pits feuding neighbors against each other in a series of challenges; Daisy Does America, a comic series from Cox Arquette and David Arquette’s Coquette Productions, starring British comedian Daisy Donovan; and the previously announced Minding the Store, in which Pauly Shore has a chance tot get his mother’s Comedy Store back on track.

TBS has also signed a first-look development deal with Cedric’s production company, reserving first rights to any reality show the company develops over the next year.

“TBS has a strong commitment to working with some of the industry’s most unique talents to create funny, memorable original series for our audience of comedy lovers,” TBS and TNT executive VP and chief operating officer Steve Koonin said in a prepared statement.

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