As part of an extensive branding initiative that will also include a new look, new logo and expanded line-up, Court TV is about to become truTV. This new name reflects the network’s popular line-up of series that offer first-person access to exciting, real-life stories, according to the announcement today by Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, and Marc Juris, the network’s general manager. Through a dynamic original programming line-up that has been providing the network with strong and consistent audience growth, truTV will target a highly coveted psychographic known as “Real Engagers.” In addition, the network has put four new projects into development in support of the new brand, including shows from Granada Television, producer of Nanny 911; Original Productions, co-producer of Deadliest Catch; Bunim/Murray Productions, creators of The Real World; and Tiger Aspect USA, producer of Ms. Adventure. The complete re-branding will launch Jan. 1, 2008.
“The success of the Turner Entertainment Networks can be attributed in a big way to the fact that we have built strong brands that resonate with viewers,” said Koonin. “With this new name, truTV joins its sister networks TNT, TBS and TCM in establishing itself a solid, identifiable brand, paving the way for continued growth.”
Developing the truTV network name is the latest step in a nearly year-long process of rebranding the network. The process began with extensive research into who the network’s prime-time and late-night viewers are and what kind of programming they desire. The compiled data showed that the line-up attracts a dual-gender audience that loves programming with real people in exciting real-life situations and a strong interest in compelling stories and characters.
“Early in the rebranding process, we realized that the current network name doesn’t reflect the direction of our programming or our growing target audience of Real Engagers,” said Juris. “In truTV, we now have the ideal name that fits both the programming and the target audience. The network will be top of mind for Real Engagers seeking real-life action programming, real-life emotion and access to places they can’t normally go.”
Each weekday morning, truTV will continue to feature a six-hour block of the network’s award-winning trial coverage, with continuing broadband coverage online. Nielsen measurement will commence weekdays at 3 p.m. with the new talk show STAR JONES. This one-hour show, which will air live from Jones’ studio, will feature the day’s top stories and top guests from the worlds of pop culture, entertainment, crime and justice.
In prime time, early fringe and late night, truTV will continue to feature a line-up of already-popular signature series that target Real Engagers, including such shows as SPEEDERS, FORENSIC FILES and HAUNTING EVIDENCE. Upcoming series slated to join the line-up in support of the new brand include projects like BOUNTY GIRLS, featuring four tough, smart, beautiful and diverse female professionals on the hunt for some of Miami’s most dangerous fugitives; THE REAL HUSTLE, featuring a trio of con artists going after unsuspecting marks; and MOST DARING, a gripping series that focuses on life-or-death rescues.
The network is also in development on a number of unique, high-profile series and specials from top-name producers. “Our new development projects are the kind of compelling stories and people our audience of Real Engagers is seeking,” said Juris. “We’re proud to be working with successful, top-name producers in crafting series that will continue building on the network’s growing success.”
Among the project in development are the following:
NEIGHBORS 911 (working title) – From Granada America and executive producer Curt Northrup (Nanny 911) comes this new series in which former Green Beret Myke Hawke goes into the homes of people whose feuding has escalated into all-out war. He then uses video evidence to force them to confront each other and resolve their differences.
SKI PATROL (working title) – This exciting, character-driven series from Bunim/Murray Productions (The Real World) gets viewers up close and personal with the men and women who work in some of the most extreme environments in the country. They do everything from dynamiting snowdrifts and performing daring out-of-bounds rescues to busting unruly snowboarders looking to party on the slopes.
BLACK GOLD (working title) – Few jobs have higher stakes than those of “wildcatters” in Texas, oil prospectors who race one another to tap into the last remaining U.S. reserves. From Original Productions’ Thom Beers, executive producer of hit series Deadliest Catch, this show will follow several of these wildcatters and their crew of roughnecks as they risk their lives, limbs and hundreds of thousands of dollars setting up rigs in an attempt to strike oil.
OUTLAW CHASERS (working title) – Randy Hicks and Lanny Dean are a renegade pair of storm junkies who, armed with just a radio and some video cameras, pursue twisters all around the Midwest in their customized pick-up truck. Using incredibly dramatic present and past-tense footage from their most exciting pursuits, this collection of specials from Tiger Aspect USA and executive producer Lawrence Cumbo (Ms. Adventure) will tell their story while following them in their quest to fulfill their dream: filming a tornado from the inside.