Continuing with this year’s upfronts, today it’s the turn of sister channels TNT and TBS. Former Fox boss Kevin Reilly has a twofold plan: produce more original output on TNT that isn’t safe procedurals; and raise TBS’s profile through a complete revamp. As TBS is more or less non-existent apart from Conan O’Brien and some really terrible comedies, the latter is a pretty good strategy, and since ‘TNT – bang’ seemed to work out so well last year, it’s hard to quibble with it this year.
Unfortunately, neither TNT nor TBS has decided to produce any trailers for their new shows (yet), so I’m afraid all I can give you is their descriptions. Just for luck, I’ll also give you an Adult Swim show starring Jason Alexander.
The Alienist is a fast-paced and atmospheric psychological thriller set in the fascinating and gritty world of Gilded Age New York City. After a series of haunting and gruesome murders, psychiatrist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, newspaper reporter John Moore and police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt come together employing emerging disciplines of psychology and early crime investigation techniques to track down one of New York City’s first serial killers.
The eight episode limited series is based on the New York Times bestseller by Caleb Carr and hails from True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth and Hossein Amini. The project is set up at TNT Originals, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. The executive producers are Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth, Hossein Amini, Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin.
Penned by Craig Pearce, Will tells the story of young William Shakespeare’s arrival onto the punk rock theater scene that was 16th century London – the seductive, violent world where his raw talent faced rioting audiences, religious fanatics and raucous side-shows. It’s the hot, contemporary, dangerous version of Shakespeare’s life, played to a modern soundtrack, exposing all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance. The pilot is being produce by TNT Originals and is being executive-produced by Pearce, Vince Gerardis, Howard Braunstein and Louise Rosager.
Based on the feature film, Animal Kingdom, from John Wells and Warner Horizon Television, is a family crime drama which follows 17-year-old Josh, who moves in with his wild, free-wheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town and is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess. But after Josh discovers that it’s all being funded by criminal activities, it suddenly becomes clear to him that joining the family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle. Jonathan Lisco penned the script and serves as an executive producer alongside John Wells, Andrew Stearn, David Michôd and Liz Watts.
After piloting the comedy earlier this year, TBS has handed out a 10 episode series order to Wrecked – a single-camera comedy from up-and-coming writers Justin Shipley & Jordan Shipley and producer Jesse Hara. The series centres on a group of people starting from scratch after being stranded on an island. The comedy is being produced in-house and stars Zack Creggar (About a Boy), Ginger Gonzaga (Ted), Jessica Lowe (Glitch), Asif Ali (Agents of SHIELD), Ally Maki (Hot in Cleveland), Will Greenberg (Cloverfield), Brooke Dillman (Superbad), James Scott (The Stafford Project), George Basil (St. Peter Meets), Rhys Darby (Yes Man) and Brian Sacca (Single Dads).
Comedy pilot The Group follows a support group for people who think they have been abducted by aliens is the subject of a snarky feature piece by skeptical journalist Wyatt Jones. The more he digs into the oddballs’ claims, however, the more confused, intrigued and seduced he becomes. The Group is produced by Conaco in association with Warner Horizon Television. Conan O’Brien, Jeff Ross, David Kissinger, Dan Halsted and director Greg Daniels serve as executive producers on the pilot, which was written by co-executive producer David Jenkins.
Jason Alexander will play a celebrated psychotherapist who snaps one day while working with a patient, and his therapy becomes more and more unconventional. The untitled pilot hails from Adam Lustick, an actor and founding member of the sketch comedy group Harvard Sailing Team. The project is designed to be 15-minute series, produced through Adult Swim’s Alive and Kicking banner.