At its upfront presentation in New York City on Wednesday, TNT laid out ambitious new plans to expand the creation of their original content and the way in which viewers can receive that content, including a new 24/7 streaming service. That makes TNT the first network to offer its entire lineup for live-streaming on computers, smartphones, and tablets. This means that, instead of watching their shows online the next day, you can watch it streaming on your computer right as it's airing on TNT.
In addition to that major news, they also announced their summer and fall lineups: nine original series are on-tap for the summer including Season 3 of the Steven Spielberg-produced alien-invasion drama Falling Skies, and new seasons of Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Perception, and Franklin & Bash.
The one new drama entering the mix is a crime drama starring Rebecca Romijn called King & Maxwell, because all TNT procedurals from now on must include an ampersand in the title. New unscripted series include The Hero, a competition show headlined by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 72 Hours, a race-against-the-clock competition, and Cold Justice, a docuseries procedural from Law & Order maestro Dick Wolf.
This fall, the network will debut Frank Darabont's much-anticipated 1930s-set gangster series Lost Angels — formerly called L.A. Noir — starring Jon Bernthal. And in January, TNT will premiere Legends, a drama starring Sean Bean. Beyond that, with unspecified premiere dates, are shows based on Nicholas Sparks' novel A Bend in the Road, O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark's book Guilty by Association, and an unscripted series by Denis Leary about Detroit firefighters. Oh, and a game show based on Monopoly!
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Dick Clark, famed TV producer and personality, has passed away. The longtime host of Dick Clark's New York Rockin' Eve — nicknamed "America's Oldest Teenager" for his youthful look — was 82 years old. According to ABC News, Clark died of a massive heart attack at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., following an outpatient procedure Tuesday.
The Emmy-winning Clark had been a familiar face on television for generations of viewers until he suffered a stroke in 2004. Fans, however, continued to see Clark deliver the countdown every year on New Year’s Eve, even once Ryan Seacrest had taken over hosting duties in 2005.
Clark had spent much of his life on the air — he first was heard on the radio as a teenager, filling in for announcers at the upstate New York station WRUN. He began his career as a force in the music industry in the 1950s as a disc jokey for his own show, Dick Clark’s Caravan of Music, which led to ABC's American Bandstand. On the show, Clark served as host for not only audiences, but a group of young teenagers appearing on the series to dance and listen to live music from the likes of Elvis Presley and Chubby Checker (and, in subsequent decades, music acts as diverse as Run DMC). Bandstand was such a phenomenon, it launched a catchphrase: "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it."
Clark certainly had his finger on television's pulse: His success on Bandstand led to a career in producing. Dick Clark Productions — which would go on to oversee successful specials and shows like the Golden Globe Awards and So You Think You Can Dance — also brought viewers New Year's Rockin' Eve, which began broadcasting annually on Dec. 31, 1972. Along with hosting ABC's New Year's ceremony, Clark emceed game shows like Scattergories, The Challenges, and, most famously, Pyramid. (He even appeared on its 2002 revival.) All of his on-air time added up to 7,500 hours of television programming, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communications (via ABC News).
His impressively relentless television work — he also emceed over 250 specials — garnered plenty of critical acclaim. Clark boasted five Emmys, including a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. And Clark was quite popular with the viewing public: The host was such a perennial TV icon, Clark — and his youthful appearance — became a pop culture magnet. The TV personality was name-dropped in The Simpsons and cameo-ed on series like Just Shoot Me, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Dharma & Greg.
Clark inspired not only television writers, but other famous on-air personalities. Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve successor, Ryan Seacrest, has always called the American Bandstand host his own American idol. As Seacrest tweeted Wednesday following news of Clark's death: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life." But perhaps the greatest joy in watching Clark on-air was his contagious enthusiasm — he's said that his New Year's duties were "not really a job" and always put forth a charming humility. As he once said, "I don't make culture. I sell it." Consider us sold.
Image Credit: AP Images
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Usher tops 2004 Billboard Awards
Crooner Usher, whose single "Yeah!" featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris was named the Hot 100 single of the year, picked up 11 awards at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards Wednesday night as the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas, including artist of the year and best R&B/hip-hop album for Confessions. Alicia Keys nabbed seven awards, including female artist of the year, while rapper Kanye West picked up four prizes, including rap artist of the year. Ashlee Simpson, whose audio snafu on NBC's Saturday Night Live in October made it clear she had been lip-synching, was met with boos and cheers as she accepted the female new artist of the year award, The Associated Press reports. Stevie Wonder, who presented Sting with the Century Award in 2003, was himself the recipient this year.
Clark suffers mild stroke
TV legend Dick Clark was hospitalized in Los Angeles this week after suffering a mild stroke, Clark's publicist Paul Shefrin told AP, declining to give any details. Clark, who turned 75 Nov. 30, disclosed last year that he has diabetes. "The doctors tell me I should be back in the swing of things before too long so I'm hopeful to be able to make it to Times Square to help lead the country in ringing in the new year once again," Clark said in a statement. The entertainer, who went from hosting American Bandstand to game shows and producing awards ceremonies, is scheduled to host ABC's Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005 and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005 on Dec. 31. It will be his 33rd year welcoming in the New Year.
Stewart looks for new TV deal
Even though she's still doing her time for stock fraud, Martha Stewart is being pursued to revive her daily homemaking show next September--this time before a live audience, with celebrity guests and the help of The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, AP reports. Stewart, who is not allowed to conduct business in prison, was not involved in the deal with NBC Universal to syndicate the show but is "very pleased," said Susan Lyne, president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "Millions of people feel that Martha got a raw deal," Burnett said. "America loves comeback stories."
Hello! magazine appeals Zeta-Jones ruling
Celebrity magazine Hello! will appeal a court ruling ordering it to pay more than $1.9 million to rival OK! for printing secretly snapped wedding photos of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, AP reports. Douglas and Zeta-Jones had signed an exclusive deal with OK! for rights to the pictures of their November 2000 nuptials at New York's Plaza Hotel. A lawyer for Hello! said the magazine had run its own wedding pictures as a "spoiler" to its rival's coverage, which is a common practice in journalism. "This was a spoiler, no different to any other spoiler in the past or since," he said. "Hello! has been subject to many spoilers, including ones from OK!.
Def Jam names Jay-Z president and CEO
Hip-hop entrepreneur Jay-Z, who announced his "retirement" as a rap artist after the release of The Black Album earlier this year, has been named president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, Reuters reports. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, will officially take his new post on Jan. 3. He will continue to run his record company Roc-a-Fella, a brand that has spawned other ventures over the past decade, including a clothing line, films Fade to Black and State Property, as well as the 40/40 nightclub and a Reebok sneaker line. "I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-a-Fella," Jay-Z said. "I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artistic community."
Pixar moves Cars' release date to summer 2006
Pixar Animation Studios has moved the release of its animated feature Cars from November 2005 to June 2006, switching the film from a holiday release to a summer blockbuster, when more children are at home, AP reports. "Cars longs to be a summer movie," Pixar chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement Tuesday. "We plan to finish Cars on its original schedule and look forward to Cars and our future films benefiting by summer theatrical releases and holiday DVD releases." Cars is the last film in a five-picture deal between Pixar and The Walt Disney Co.