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TNT expanding into unscripted programming, developing six series


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/04/2008 

TNT is entering the realm of unscripted programming.

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The network announced it has begun development on six new unscripted series as part of a primetime programming shift that will change most of TNT's schedule to original content by 2010.

The six unscripted projects -- Wedding Day, The Greatest Show on Earth, Lean on Me, Crimes of the Century, Behind the Drama, and Shadow of a Doubt -- represent almost half of the 14 new series TNT is currently either planning or developing.

"This dramatic expansion of our original programming slate is an important and exciting step in the evolution of our network," said TNT executive Michael Wright. "We're especially excited to add unscripted series to our lineup, which opens a whole new world of storytelling opportunities."

Each Wedding Day episode will follow a different bride who is deserving of having her dreams for the event come true, which will happen with the help of family and friends.  The show will be co-produced by Mark Burnett's Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television -- the same team behind ESPN's The Contender and Fox's On the Lot -- with Burnett, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Janelle Fiorito serving as executive producers.

The Greatest Show on Earth will take viewers inside the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' mile-long train, as it whisks the circus to cities and towns across the country.  In addition, the stories of those who perform in the legendary circus will be told.  The Greatest Show on Earth is produced by Earth Angel Productions, with Mark Wolper, Kenneth and Feld, Al Hassas and Reza Izad serving as executive producers.

Lean on Me will celebrate the lives of those who have mentored some of America's most successful people, documenting the unsung heroes who provided motivation and inspiration to others.  Lean on Me is produced by Star Price Productions and former NBA player and current NBA on TNT announcer Kenny Smith.

Crimes of the Century will document just what its title implies, examining some of the most notorious crimes from the last hundred years while also providing historical perspective on the times during which they were committed.  The series is produced by Scott Free Productions, with Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Skip Chaisson serving as executive producers.

Behind the Drama will tell the largely unknown stories behind some of the greatest films, television dramas and leading actors, while also identifying and exploring the central forces that shaped each person or production.  Behind the Drama is produced by Gay Rosenthal, creator of VH1's Behind the Music series.

Shadow of a Doubt is a new true-crime series produced by Star Price Productions, with Star Price executive-producing.

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