Can Time Warner, Spielberg, and Friends Dazzle Audiences?
With the Internet and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) — and any other online service — making it more difficult to for TV content makers to operate how they used to, it’s growing more and more important for companies to make sure they have quality content that consumers want bad enough to keep coming to the company for more.
Time Warner has proven that it knows how to do this with series on HBO like Game of Thrones, which draws in millions of loyal fans who follow the show on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and actively discuss it on the web. Now, with a superstar lineup that could rival the silver screen, Time Warner may be on its way to keeping TV alive for a long time.
One of the company’s moves seems to be from out of its old playbook, as it will be using Sean Bean, who starred in season 1 of Game of Thrones, again. Bean set Game of Thrones off to a great start, and he could do the same for a new series in the future, though it’s unclear exactly what he’ll be working on. The company will also be bringing Eric Dane, who acted in Grey’s Anatomy, back to TV screens.
And that’s just the start of it.
Frank Darabont, who wrote for The Walking Dead — which was wildly popular on AMC (NASDAQ:AMCX) — and was a writer-director for The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, will be coming to the network to work on a show called Lew Archer on TNT.
Among the top celebrities working for the network are Steve Carell, of The Office fame; Sylvester Stallone, renowned for Rocky and Rambo; Jamie Foxx, who recently starred in Django Unchained; and Elizabeth Banks, who starred in the recent film version of The Hunger Games, and who has also figured prominently in a number of Judd Apatow’s films. Each will be producing a new show on either TNT or TBS.
Stallone will be working on The Last Cop, the story of a LAPD officer who wakes from a coma after twenty years. Carell will be working on a show tentatively titled Tribeca, which sounds to be a spoof of Law & Order. Jamie Foxx will write and produce Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me, which will be a parent-child comedy. Elizabeth Banks will be producing a show tentatively titled Dream House.
It might be questionable to have so many people who are famous for their acting working on the writing and production of shows, but Time Warner is also working with more experienced directors and writers on even more new shows.
Among the biggest names is Steven Spielberg, who will be coming on to produce two shows: Peter Gunn, a private investigator series based on the Blake Edwards-Craig Stevens series, and Portal House, a science-fiction drama.
Actor Denis Leary will also be coming back to TV, albeit as a producer. He will be behind the creation of an unscripted documentary-drama called Burn, which will follow firefighters in Detroit. It’s likely Leary was inspired by his seven years as a writer and actor on the firefighter drama Rescue Me.
Diablo Cody, who wrote the films Juno and Young Adult in addition to the TV series United States of Tara, will be working on an unscripted series for TBS called Me Time With Diablo Cody, which will take a look at pop culture from the writer’s own perspective.
Time Warner could also see a bit of romance coming to the screen on TNT, as Nicholas Sparks — the writer of iconic romances like The Notebook — is set to produce A Bend in the Road. However, the show sounds more like a cop suspense drama than a romance.
Another interesting addition to the line-up is a show by Dick Wolf — the man behind the numerous Law & Order series. However, this time he’ll be working on a unscripted show, Cop Swap, which follows two law enforcement officials who swap jobs.
And, because everyone and their mother loves a good game show, the network will be hosting a new one based on the iconic Hasbro board game, Monopoly. The show will be of the same name and feature contestants working to amass property and wealth, just like in the original game.