Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on Frank Darabont’s new TNT series Lost Angels, Michael Wright, President, Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, said he hopes the period noir crime series will return after its 6-episode first season, but never for more than, say, 12 episodes at a time.
After the late afternoon panel at Red Studios in Hollywood, the executive joked “never say never,” but said he would like to see the series return to TNT for limited runs each December. He called the project a hybrid between an old-school miniseries and traditional longer season of episodes. He said some limited series seem perfect for summer but for this one “we would want to keep it in December.” Wright said the 6 first season episodes complete a story but “set up a beautiful Season 2.” During the session, he did not provide details but said the first 6 episodes will establish a “fantastic mystery established in the pilot that will invest you in the outcome.” Read More »
Michael Wright, EVP and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, has been promoted to President, Head of Programming. In his new position, Wright will continue to oversee all programming and scheduling for TNT and TBS, original programming for TCM and original content for all three networks’ digital extensions. He is based in Los Angeles and reports to Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. During his 10 years at Turner, Wright has overseen the development of hit TNT series The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles and TBS’ off-network acquisition of The Big Bang Theory. He was also part of the team that recruited Conan O’Brien for a late-night show on TBS. TNT and TBS are launching four and three new series this year, respectively, as both networks are shifting form premiering originals only in the summer and winter to a year-round model. Wright, who joined TNT in 2002, was named SVP of original programming for the network in 2004. His duties expanded to include TBS in 2005 and TCM in 2007. Prior to joining Turner, Wright served as VP of movies and miniseries for CBS Prods. and CBS Entertainment.
There will be no third season of TNT’s buddy dramedy Men of a Certain Age after the cable network decided to pull the plug on the critically praised but low-rated series. “TNT has been proud to be a part of Men of a Certain Age for two seasons,” the network said in a statement. “While the show has featured great storytelling and impeccable performances, the audience simply hasn’t built to the point where we can continue the series. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We wish (co-creators) Ray Romano & Mike Royce and the terrific cast and crew the very best and look forward to exploring new programming possibilities in the future.” The news comes a day after Men landed an Emmy nomination for Andre Braugher, who co-stars on the show alongside Romano and Scott Bakula. The series also landed a Peabody Award in May. Men returned for the conclusion of its second season last month to a disappointing 1.8 million viewers, 591,000 of them in the 19-49 demographic. That was down 33% from the Season 2 premiere in December.
While not completely unexpected, the cancellation represents an about-face for TNT brass. At TCA in January, the network’s chief Michael Wright did not seem phased by the series’ low ratings. Read More »