Canceling a beloved TV show is just one of several surprising steps Turner has taken to stand out in an increasingly crowded market. Turner has slashed the number of commercials in its original dramas on TNT — an almost unheard of move in the TV industry — as well as switched to more provocative fare.
Turner executives recognized they needed to revamp their programs to remain relevant. They felt some of their scripted shows were too bland to effectively compete in an on-demand world. Would young viewers gravitate to a police procedural show, such as TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” from a menu of options on a video streaming service?
“We need to be a driver of the conversation,” Reilly said. “Turner has long been this quiet cash machine but it didn’t have a sexy veneer.”