Television Business International

Spielberg, Stallone attached to TNT, TBS projects

Steven Spielberg, Dick Wolf and Sylvester Stallone are among the talent producing new programmes for Turner-owned US cable entertainment channels TBS and TNT.

Spielberg is attached to Portal House, a scripted series about a group of young scientists who stumble upon a portal into the space-time continuum; and Peter Gunn, a re-telling of Blake Edwards and Craig Stevens’ series about a gentleman private eye. Both shows are for TNT and come from Amblin Television.

Law & Order creator Dick Wolf is behind Cop Swap, an unscripted weekly format in which two law enforcement officers from different background immerse themselves in the other’s lives and jobs. Wolf Films and 44 Blue Productions are producing.

Stallone is attached to another cop show, scripted series The Last Cop, which is based on a German format. It follows an officer that wakes from a 20-year coma to find the world changed from the one knew. Fuse Entertainment and Fox Television Studios are coproducing for TNT.

Elsewhere, Hollywood comic Steve Carell is developing Tribeca (WT) for TBS, a comedy following a 10-year veteran of a ‘Really Heinous Crimes Unit’. Carell exec produces along with Nancy Carell, with Carousel Television producing.

Other talent attached to the networks’ programmes include Jamie Foxx, whose Foxx/King Entertainment is producing Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me; Diablo Cody, who will feature in Me Time with Diablo Cody from Endemol-owned 51 Minds; Denis Leary, who’s attached to Burn, a docu-drama about Detroit firefighters from Apostle Pictures and Callbox; and Elizabeth Banks, who is exec producing Dream House (WT) about a young man forced to room with an old and seemingly feeble man. Warner Horizon Television is producing.

The shows were unveiled at the TBS and TNT Upfront yesterday, during which Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks – which includes TBS and TNT, as well as truTV and Turner Classic Movies – claimed cable originals were matching those from broadcast networks.

“For a decade, we’ve been beating the drum the loudest – that cable is as good as broadcast,” he said. “Now, our industry has reached a tipping point. From creative strength to ratings power, cable has emerged as the leader in television. I’m proud of the role we’ve played at TNT and TBS. Today, we’re looking toward the next horizon – becoming a multiscreen video company serving multiple audiences.”

He closed his speech by revealing TBS and TNT will become the first entertainment channels in the US to offer their on-air line-ups streamed online continuously.