April 18, 2019

Turner Networks Upfront Presentation: Live Blog

Turner will tout its brands this morning at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The programming palooza will include TBS, CNN, TNT, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, truTV and Turner Sports.

Among things that may be discussed:

Just days ago TBS announced a new half-hour format for Conan OBriens late-night show, meaning fewer celebrity interviews, more comedy. TBS also, very briefly, got tossed into tony list of potential Brooklyn Nine-Nine rescuers, after its cancellation by Fox, based on the fact TBS is overseen by Kevin Reilly, who had picked up the comedy while running Fox.

TruTV came out with its 2018-19 programming slate, highlighted by a series pickup for its Tacoma FD pilot from two of the Broken Lizard guys, a pilot greenlight for a new comedic medical advice show from Ken Jeong, and an animated project in development from stand-up comic Jo Koy.

CNN and PBS announced a new late-night public affairs show hosted by CNN veteran Christiane Amanpour, expanding on the cable newsers Amanpour.

Speaking of CNN, Sinclair Broadcast Group continued to conscript its local TV stations as soldiers in Donald Trumps war on CNN, slapping a video attacking the cable news networks at the top of its stations websites.

Expect a certain amount of dire warning/snarking, about the Justice Departments efforts to block the merger of AT&T and Turners parent Time Warner. Turners networks have been operating under this uncertainty for months. Upfront event comes not longer after revelation AT&T was among those caught in the very swampy paying of about $600K to POTUS Trump attorney Michael Cohen so he would help push through the merger.

This while, back in February, Turner Networks CEO John Martin offered his unvarnished appraisal of the Justice Departments lawsuit seeking to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner: “I think the government is clueless” and that “the theory of the case just makes absolutely no sense. None. “ Martin added, “In the history of the country, what vertical merger has tilted the landscape of the competitive environment? Let me give you the answer: Zero.”

So, comedy.

Upfront presentation about to start:

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