TNT Aggressively Expands Original Programming Slate By Greenlighting Three New Original Series Alien Invasion Series Stars Noah Wyle, Produced by DreamWorks Television And Executive-Produced by Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Robert Rodat Offbeat Drama DELTA BLUES (working title) Stars Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard, Produced by Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon Television, And Executive-Produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Writer Liz W. Garcia RIZZOLI & ISLES (working title), Based on Tess Gerritsen's Popular Mystery Novels, Stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, Produced by Warner Horizon Television and Ostar Productions, And Executive-Produced by Writer Janet Tamaro and Bill Haber As part of a continuing strategy to expand its slate of original programming, TNT has given the greenlight to three new original series: a bold alien-invasion series from DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg that stars Noah Wyle (ER, TNT's The Librarian movies); DELTA BLUES (working title), an offbeat series starring Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) and Alfre Woodard (Three Rivers) and produced for TNT by George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon Television; and RIZZOLI & ISLES (working title), a crime drama starring Angie Harmon (Law & Order, Women's Murder Club) and Sasha Alexander (NCIS), based on Tess Gerritsen's popular mystery novels and produced for TNT by Warner Horizon Television and Ostar Productions. TNT's announcement brings to 10 the total number of original series currently on the TNT slate. "We're very happy with the quality and performance of our original programming, and we're excited to be expanding our horizons with these excellent new shows," said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "These three series ranging from science-fiction to a quirky drama to a gripping crime procedural are wide ranging in their appeal and subject matter. They're rich in character, with great performances and engaging stories. And with their emphasis on relatable, everyday heroes, they're a great fit with our lineup." TNT has ordered 10 episodes of each of the three new series, with plans to have DELTA BLUES and RIZZOLI & ISLES premiere in 2010 and the untitled alien-invasion series debut in 2011. TNT's announcement comes on the heels of the network ordering a second season of its acclaimed hit series MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE. Also returning are THE CLOSER, starring Kyra Sedgwick, which will be enjoying its sixth season, and SAVING GRACE, starring Holly Hunter, which will wrap up its third season this year with nine final episodes. HAWTHORNE, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, and DARK BLUE, starring Dylan McDermott, both return for their second seasons. TNT has also ordered a third season of LEVERAGE, starring Timothy Hutton. The network is currently airing SOUTHLAND, with new episodes set to begin in March. The following are details for each of the three newly greenlit series: Untitled Alien-Invasion Series In this series from DreamWorks Television, Noah Wyle will star as the leader of a rag-tag group of soldiers and civilians struggling against an occupying alien force. The project is being executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, along with DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank and screenwriter Robert Rodat. Rodat, who earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Saving Private Ryan, wrote the pilot from an idea he co-conceived with Spielberg. The pilot was directed by Carl Franklin (One False Move, Out of Time). "This series has the potential to be one of the most exciting and provocative shows on television," Wright said. "It grabs your heart and mind from the start and doesn't let go. It combines personal human drama with dynamic action to create the kind of series people will be talking about the morning after. We are especially thrilled to be working once again with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, as well as Noah Wyle and the extremely talented cast of veterans and newcomers around him." The series opens shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival all while struggling to maintain their humanity. Wyle plays Tom Mason, a former college history professor who becomes the reluctant leader of one of the resistance groups. Also starring in the series are Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Anne Glass, a therapist who works with the surviving children to help them cope with the traumatic situation; Drew Roy (Lincoln Heights) as Hal and Maxim Knight (Brothers & Sisters) as Matt, Tom's two sons; Jessy Schram (Crash) as Karen, who is one of the survivors' motorcycle scouts; and Seychelle Gabriel (Weeds) as Lourdes, an orphaned teenager who helps run the group's commissary. This project marks Wyle's fifth venture with TNT, following three popular Librarian action-adventure movies and the acclaimed movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. TNT previously worked with DreamWorks Television on 2005's award-winning limited series Into the West. DELTA BLUES (working title) DELTA BLUES, an offbeat series starring Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard, comes to TNT from George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon Television. The pilot for DELTA BLUES was directed by Emmy nominee Clark Johnson (The Shield) from a script by Liz W. Garcia (Cold Case) and actor Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight). Clooney, Heslov and Garcia serve as executive producers. Henry Bronchtein (The Sopranos) and Smokehouse's Abby Wolf-Weiss are co-executive producers, and Harto is a producer. In addition, Johnson served as executive-producer on the pilot. "With a collection of unique characters brought to life by a stunning cast, DELTA BLUES is truly a one-of-a-kind series," said Wright. "We're very excited to be working with the outstanding producers at Smokehouse and Warner Horizon as we add DELTA BLUES to TNT's slate." In DELTA BLUES, Lee plays Dwight Hendricks, a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother. His intimate connection with the city and its people sets him apart from his fellow officers. Woodard plays Lt. Tanya Rice, a demanding boss determined to keep Dwight on a short leash. Also starring in DELTA BLUES are Celia Weston (Junebug) as Dwight's mother; Sam Hennings as Charlie White, aka Whitehead, his partner; Robyn Lively (Saving Grace) as Charlene, Dwight's ex-wife; Leonard Earl Howze (Barbershop) as Reginald Greenback, a detective who works with Dwight and Whitehead; Abraham Benrubi (ER), a detective who uses Chickasaw tribal wisdom in his work; and DJ Qualls (My Name Is Earl) as Sutton, Dwight's protg. RIZZOLI & ISLES (working title) RIZZOLI & ISLES, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, is based on Tess Gerritsen's popular mystery novels. It comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television and is being executive-produced by Janet Tamaro and Bill Haber's Ostar Productions (TNT's Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, TCM's upcoming Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood). Michael M. Robin (TNT's The Closer) directed and executive-produced the pilot, which was written by Tamaro (Bones, Lost) and co-executive-produced by Jeff Hayes. "TNT is home to some of television's most powerful female characters, and RIZZOLI & ISLES certainly fits that identity," said Wright. "We're delighted to be working with Angie, Sasha and the rest of the talented cast of RIZZOLI & ISLES as well as the show's outstanding production team, as we bring Tess Gerritsen's vision to television." In RIZZOLI & ISLES, Harmon plays Jane Rizzoli, a Boston detective who works closely with medical examiner Maura Isles (Alexander) to solve crimes. Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) plays a recurring role as Jane's mother. Also starring in the series are Lee Thompson Young (FlashForward), who plays Jane's current partner, Barry Frost; Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen) as Det. Vince Korsak, Jane's seasoned former partner; Jordan Bridges (Dawson's Creek) as Jane's brother, Frankie, a patrol cop who hopes to become a detective; and Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga) as FBI agent Gabriel Dean. TNT, one of cable's top-rated networks, is television's destination for drama and home to such original series as the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Dark Blue, starring Dylan McDermott; as well as the newly acquired Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER). TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, CSI: NY and Numb3rs; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Jan. 21, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST
by Black Jesus
Jan. 21, 2010, 6:56 p.m. CST
by Ronald Raygun
Wow!! Why haven't they thought of this before?!
Jan. 21, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST
by Master Bruce
liked it better when it was called V.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST
by Nick Michalak
Hasn't this concept been done to death by in both good and bad ways? Emmerich does this concept about every three years, just substituting aliens for natural disasters (sometimes). And yeah, Speilberg & aliens? Shocking! Blah, blah, blah. Stick it on SyFy, and let it die a slow death.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST
At least they TRY to make good TV. Sometimes I wonder about the old big three. Fox seems to try a little harder. But TNT has really been attempting to produce good hour long dramas in the last few years. However, because of the people involved, I would have checked this one out if it was on Telemundo.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST
I could always go for some quality sci-fi.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:20 p.m. CST
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:27 p.m. CST
He can't act.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST
No not the one in space
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:35 p.m. CST
by Bouncy X
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST
A small group of humans fighting off invaders while struggling to maintain their humanity? It sounds like Battlestar Galactica, only not in space.
Jan. 21, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST
Jan. 21, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST
Geez... enough already. Give it a rest.
Jan. 21, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST
She was painful to watch in Terminator and in Journeyman. And except for the picture above, I don't think she has ever been hot enough to make it worth suffering through her cardboard screen presence.
Jan. 21, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST
And the hottest victims dead!
Jan. 21, 2010, 8:51 p.m. CST
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST
most of humanity wiped out. <P> Don't let Spielberg's camera lovingly caress a little kid for half the time.
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:25 p.m. CST
by Bungion Boy
Does anyone remember that Taken miniseries on Sci-Fi? I remember it was pretty good at least for a few hours. Remember it crapped out at the end.
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:29 p.m. CST
by Omar B
Oddly enough this sounds cool to me. And I like Noah in The Librarian, not the deepest stuff, but silly fun.
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST
because the press release from the people who are making it say it is bold!
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST
Go back to your cage. Please.
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:54 p.m. CST
But I wouldnt mind if this tied loosely to War of the Worlds (which I admit to liking quite a bit 8-10 stars). Why not use the same aliens and tech style. Tripods FTW. You know they could come back 10-20 years later only this time with facemasks and antibiotics to get the bugs they missed the first time around when their long buried war machines waited while the biosphere was being studied for 'extraterraforming'...
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST
Big banks, big business and Bush/Cheney will be behind the whole invasion, ordering their minions to kill all the libs and Democrats. Oh, and the women will be kept in the back rooms as sex slaves. The End.
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:48 p.m. CST
And only the hot ones survive? Damn, I'll have to build me a bunker so I can survive too!
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST
...it must lead to humanity surrendering because that's all his movies have been about lately. Run Away and Hide! Fight back and you're a villain. and don't forget everyone gets walkie talkies not guns.
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:39 p.m. CST
It's good to see Spielberg producing a Rodat-written show, that's for sure. Quality science fiction is always a good thing. I give TNT credit for greenlighting ten episodes and I'll most definitely tune in to see the pilot, possibly a lot more.<p> Two factors worry me, however: Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood. Noah Wyle was good in "Donnie Darko" and not bad on "ER," therefore he could potentially give us something cool. But Moon Bloodgood? She's always marginal, often obliviously wooden. I'm sure she's a nice woman in real life, but I've never seen her deliver even one engaging or interesting acting performance.<p> Maybe she'll prove me wrong. I really hope she does. But until she does, this is EXTREMELY dubious casting by TNT. There are so many excellent television and movie actresses out there, I wonder how Bloodgood keeps getting roles over them.<p> But like I wrote, maybe she'll give the performance of a lifetime and prove me wrong.<p> I'm interested in seeing the show. Mos def.
Jan. 22, 2010, 12:05 a.m. CST
Better get a move on, George. Your boy Steven's kicking your ass.
Jan. 22, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST
Jan. 22, 2010, 1:04 a.m. CST
Was one of the worse and disapointing things I've seen on tv
Jan. 22, 2010, 1:16 a.m. CST
by Media Messiah
It is just the same old take on the alien invasion theme?
Jan. 22, 2010, 2:40 a.m. CST
Defenders of Che can suck a big one!
Jan. 22, 2010, 5:40 a.m. CST
by The McPoyle Clan
And the blond was on Veronica Mars. Speaking of which, what happened to our beloved Kristen Bell stalker?
Jan. 22, 2010, 6:16 a.m. CST
So let me get this straight: Aliens invade Earth and in quick time without breaking a sweat, they wipe out 99% of the Earth's human population. THEN, a small group of survivors band together and give the aliens who wiped out the whole human race easily a hard time. AHEM. How original.
Jan. 22, 2010, 6:50 a.m. CST
before cloning the fuck out of it?
Jan. 22, 2010, 6:51 a.m. CST
6 episodes, and I hope to fuck it's cancelled.
Jan. 22, 2010, 7:27 a.m. CST
and the word "rag-tag". What, no robots or little kids?!?
Jan. 22, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST
Count me in!!
Jan. 22, 2010, 8:37 a.m. CST
And it seems that Spielberg is still trying to get Night Skies out of his system. Maybe he can hire Rick Baker to complete the work he started for that original project. BTW, book is a great read.
Jan. 22, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST
miniseries. That novel cries out to be done miniseries style. I think King's name doesn't have the ratings clout (as ABC has found out) that it once did.
Jan. 22, 2010, 9 a.m. CST
for a single night with Moon Bloodgood. If you all will excuse me, I'll be in my masturbatorium.
Jan. 22, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST
Angie Harmon AND Sacha Alexander? I AM THERE!! The only thing that could make this show better is if they were also lesbian lovers. And they dress like Victoria's Secret models at work.
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST
Love that movie even though the ending sucks. Damn you Steven Spielberg.
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST
When was the last time Spielberg was involved with anything good? 2002? Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and Taken...okay, THAT was a good year. But somewhere between then and Bayformers, the Berg lost his tiny little mind, and we ended up with groundhog humor and Shitty LaBeef of the Apes.
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST
I take it you don't watch television, then? The first week of that series was terrific...the second, not so much. But it would be hard to measure up to the first few episodes.
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:19 a.m. CST
And called it "Poltergeist"! And I agree, it's a great book, although I've only read the original edition.
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST
... I didnt masturbate for nothing here, right?
Jan. 22, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST
Yes, he did switch up aliens for ghosts attacking a family for Poltergeist, and the Tim Robbins scene in WOTW was aliens attacking a farmhouse (the basis for Night Skies)...would just love to see Rick Baker's concepts which apparently were cribbed a bit for ET.
Jan. 22, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST
That's the real problem here. Not the alien invasion. They do rag-tag bands because they're afraid the audience won't identify with a larger cast, and larger casts are more expensive. Even THRESHOLD went the rag-tag band route, since apparently 3 guys, a dwarf, and Carla Gugino were the entire force the government could afford to devote to that particular alien problem. We need an alien invasion show done on a FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON or BAND OF BROTHERS level, where it seems like, you know, actual countries are fighting the aliens, and not three hot chicks plus one science nerd. INDEPENDENCE DAY had the scale right, Emmerich just had the tone wrong.
Jan. 22, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST
by The Kusabi
http://tinyurl.com/chtvok which looks way more interesting than this.
Jan. 22, 2010, 12:48 p.m. CST
Jan. 22, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST
I agree, I'd like to see Spielberg's original vision for Night Skies...although if it were produced today, it would probably just be accused of being a Signs rip-off...
Jan. 24, 2010, 11:46 p.m. CST
I'm with Fluffy and LV on the rag-tag thing. No more demographic-fellating, please! Enough already. I personally would love to watch a quirky but competent, well-organized band of human insurgents organize and go all out to kick the shit out of some alien ass. No cute kiddies. No cheesiness. No bullshit. Just a good story than makes us feel something at the end of the day.<p> How about that, Stephen?