There’s been a lot of talk about the current era of television being a “golden age” in the medium, but considering the constant discussions, we’re still firmly in an early stage that could still undergo lots of change. So far, the biggest winners in the surge of television programming have been cable networks FX and AMC, and on the premium channel front, HBO and Showtime. With only four networks responsible for the majority of television’s top rated programming, there’s a lot of potential for other networks to get in on the action.
That’s what the Hollywood Reporter discusses in its recent article “Can TNT Become the New AMC?“ It’s a conclusion that makes a lot of sense, especially when one considers the state of AMC. With Breaking Bad having recently ended and Mad Men approaching its conclusion as well, the network has struggled to find any new shows that could help them to continue its reign as the top cable network for original series. Sure, The Walking Dead continues to be a huge ratings hit, and AMC is looking to introduce a Walking Dead spinoff show and a spinoff of Breaking Bad based on criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, but all three series will depend on the momentum of viewer interest — that isn’t easy with an increasing amount of top-tier competition coming.
So could TNT be the network to take advantage of a sag in creative output from some of its competitors? With producers Howard Gordon (Homeland), Michael Bay (Black Sails), and Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue) all set to premiere series on the cable network, it’s clear that this idea is firmly at the forefront of executives at TNT. But Turner Networks president and head of programming Michael Wright also stated that the strategy is “additive and not reductive,” adding, “We’re not displacing these procedurals. We’re loyal to that audience.”