Turner Network Television is closing its stand-alone production unit as part
of a downsizing of the TNT Originals group.
The move, announced on Dec. 7, means layoffs for 23 staffers, including
president of original programming Bob DeBitetto and original programming
executive vice president Julie Weitz.
In turn, the department is being folded into TNT, and will be headed by
network executive vice president and general manager Steve Koonin.
DeBitetto will oversee a transition period.
'TNT's original-programming group will no longer operate as a stand-alone
unit, but will become a department within TNT, reporting directly to the
network,' a Turner Entertainment Network spokeswoman said.
'This new streamlined TNT Originals department will be able to more
effectively leverage the network's resources and will operate much more
efficiently,' she added.
While the TNT Originals division had several successes with original movies
including 2002's Mists of Avalon, Crossfire Trail and, most recently,
Call Me Claus, the division has failed to develop a signature original
series for TNT.