Turner Network Television later this month plans to unveil
a slate of about one-dozen dramatic series that it has in development, representing a new
direction for the service.
TNT president Brad Siegel has already publicly said, at the
network's upfront this spring and at last month's Television Critics Association summer
tour, that TNT was going to expand into hour-long dramas.
Now, it appears that he will unwrap the first projects on
that slate at a press conference in Los Angeles currently scheduled for Aug. 26.
TNT has been increasing its share of original programming,
and at the TCA tour, Siegel said the network will spend $800 million over the next five
years on original movies and miniseries, as well as original dramatic series.
Back in April, during an interview following TNT's upfront,
Siegel said the network had 10 primetime, hour-long drama series in development.
"Their quality will equal or surpass what is on the broadcast channels," he
added during the interview.
Siegel also pointed to the success that Home Box Office was
enjoying with high-quality series such as The Sopranos.
One of the series that has been given the go-ahead for a
pilot by TNT is Bull, a drama about a group of maverick investment bankers and
traders who go off on their own to start a Wall Street firm.
The series is from Warner Bros. TV, which, like TNT, is
part of Time Warner Inc. Bull was originally created by Michael Chernuchin (Law
& Order)for ABC, which didn't act on it.
But TNT is reportedly working with a variety of studios and
production companies for its series, and not just Warner Bros.