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Wright was in the running to replace Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin, who departed in April, but pulled himself out of consideration and has since been pursuing other opportunities.
A source confirms he will be staying on at Turner while the search continues. Former Fox head Kevin Reilly is said to be in the running.
Wright’s exit comes during a time of turmoil at the company, which is facing headcount cuts. Earlier this week, Turner Broadcasting announced a voluntary buyout program for 6% of its U.S.-based employees.
TNT was the most-watched cable network this summer. It also had four of basic cable’s top 20 original series in adults 18-49 (“The Last Ship,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Falling Skies” and “Major Crimes”) — more than any other network and »
- Debra Birnbaum
Howard Gordon has built a career producing suspenseful shows — “24,” “Homeland” and now “Legends.” Back in 1986, though, the biggest suspense was where his next paycheck would come from. He and writing partner Alex Gansa had moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast, and were shopping spec scripts. When they finally made a sale to the producers of “Wizard of Elm Street,” Gordon earned his first ink in Variety.
What do you remember about that mention?
It’s like losing your virginity. That was in the day when you could actually be a freelance writer. You’d schlep story ideas from show to show like Willy Loman. Alex and I went to those guys at the “Wizard of Elm Street” and pitched three ideas. The character carried around this huge carpet bag — I guess it was an early version of Kiefer’s man-purse on “24.” We went to a prop store and bought a carpet bag. »
- Debra Birnbaum
TNT has had mixed results with their crime dramas. How will Murder in the First do in the ratings? Will this new show be renewed for a second season or will it be cancelled instead? Stay tuned to find out.
Created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, Murder in the First follows a pair of San Francisco homicide detectives -- Terry English (Taye Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) -- as they investigate murders that are connected to Silicon Valley wunderkind Erich Blunt (Tom Felton). Others in the cast include Mimi Kirkland, Raphael Sbarge, Ian Anthony Dale, Bess Rous, Nicole Ari Parker, and Steven Weber.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show's chances of staying on the air. The higher the ratings, the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available. »
Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: June 9, 2014 -- Tbd
Series status: Has not been cancelled
TV show description:
Created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, this crime series follows a pair of San Francisco homicide detectives. Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) is a single mother to inquisitive six-year-old Louise (Mimi Kirkland). In addition to work, Terry English (Taye Diggs) struggles to take care of his terminally ill wife.
English and Mulligan work with District Attorney Sonia Perez (Nicole Ari Parker), Inspector David Molk (Raphael Sbarge), and Lieutenant Jim Koto (Ian Anthony Dale), the squad's no-nonsense supervisor.
The series begins as English and Mulligan are »
Steven Bochco’s crime drama “Murder in the First” opened to decent numbers on Monday night for TNT, as the net’s ambitious summer season got underway. “Murder” enjoyed a nice lead-in from vet “Major Crimes,” which was up vs. its year-ago bow.
According to Nielsen estimates, the serialized series premiered to a 0.64 rating in adults 18-49 (808,000 viewers in this age range), a 0.88 in adults 25-54 (roughly 1.4 million) and about 3.8 million viewers overall. In 18-49, this is on par with the June 2013 premiere of “King & Maxwell,” which did not make it past a first season, but puts the show among the top 10 basic-cable series premieres of the calendar year in demos.
In total viewers, “Murder,” which follows the solving of one murder case and stars Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as detectives, came in higher than “King & Maxwell” (3.52 million) and is the most-watched premiere on cable in 2014.
Leading into “Murder in the First »
- Rick Kissell
The series premiere of Steven Bochco's “Murder in the First” did fairly killer business for TNT on Monday night, drawing a total of 4.9 million viewers across two plays to give the network its biggest series launch in two years. Meanwhile,the season premiere of “Major Crimes” drew 6.7 million total viewers across two plays, improving marginally over last year's season premiere. See video: Michael Bay's ‘The Last Ship’ Is the Last Hope for Humanity in New TNT Trailer With its initial 10 p.m. broadcast, “Murder in the First” nabbed 3.8 million total viewers, which made it the top basic-cable series launch. »
- Tim Kenneally
TNT kicked off its summer original lineup last night with the third season premiere of Major Crimes and the series debut of Steven Bochco’s new crime drama Murder In The First. At 9 Pm, The Closer spinoff Major Crimes drew 5.2 million total viewers, 1.2 million adults 18-49 and 2 million adults 25-54. That was up 3%, 1% and 6%, respectively, from its Season 2 opener. Murder In The First, whose entire season follows the solving of one case, followed at 10 Pm with 3.8 million total viewers, 808,000 adults 18-49 and 1.4 million adults 25-54. That was in line with the series premiere of King & Maxwell (3.5 million, 825,000 and 1 million), which followed the Season 2 opener of Major Crimes last year. The P.I. drama was not renewed for a second season. In total viewers, Major Crimes ranks as the No. 1 scripted season premiere year-to-date; Murder In The First as the No. 1 new series launch on basic cable so far this year. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
TNT can breath a sigh of relief on Tuesday. Kicking off its summer scripted block on Monday night, the cable network now boasts its biggest series premiere in two years with the debut of Murder in the First. Following an exceptionally strong lead-in from flagship Major Crimes (5.2 million viewers), the Steven Bochco drama opened as cable's top series launch of 2014 with 3.8 million viewers during its inaugural telecast. (With two telecasts apiece, Major Crimes pulled a total 6.7 million viewers with Murder in the First nabbing 3.8 million.) It's exceptionally good news
- Michael O'Connell
TNT gives us another entry in the long arc murder mystery with Murder in the First (a random title, by the way), which focuses on two detectives and the dot com stereotype who is too close to a couple of murders. Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) and Terry English (Taye Diggs) stumble onto a case that seems very simple, but soon leads them to tech genius Erich Blunt (Tom Felton). If the show has a gimmick, it’s the depth to which we are exposed to the lives of Hildy and Terry. We enter our little world as Terry is trying to come to grips with the idea that his wife is going to succumb to the cancer she’s been fighting, and Hildy… well, she has her own problems, but mainly we just follow along as she tries to balance her life.
On the other hand, the gimmick could also »
- Marc Eastman
Creating a worthwhile new cop show is tough. At this point, we’ve seen just about every possible variation within the genre, from comedies to reality shows, and every dramatic procedural in between. Plus, two of the biggest cop shows are still in rotation: Law & Order: Svu clearly knows the formula for success, and then there’s the buzzed-about True Detective, which recently raised the bar for just about every detective show from this point forward. So what do you do when everything’s been done and been done well? Spoiler: Murder in the First might have just done it. »
- Samantha Highfill
It wasn’t that long ago that the Big Four networks put out the Gone Fishin’ sign at season’s end, filling summer with reruns of their comedies and dramas.
But in the DVR era, people have largely stopped watching repeats — of both current network shows and off-net syndicated series on cable — and networks of all stripes have stepped up their output of originals to keep ratings from tumbling.
If 40 is the new 30, and orange can be the new black, why can’t summer be the new September? It certainly feels like it, because there will be a smorgasbord of scripted series rolling out the next couple of months.
A Variety analysis of summer schedules found that in the two-month period from May 20 to July 20, an unprecedented 29 scripted series are premiering across a total of 14 broadcast and cable networks — comparable to the 27 scripted series that bowed (mostly on the broadcast »
- Rick Kissell
8 months after greenlighting "Murder in the First," a new scripted drama from Steven Bochco, starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson, TNT will premiere the series tonight, Monday, June 9 at 10/9c. Tom Felton, Mimi Kirkland, Raphael Sbarge, Ian Anthony Dale, Bess Rous and Steven Weber round out the cast. TNT ordered 10 episodes of the San Francisco-set detective drama, which is being produced by TNT Originals. Here's s synopsis: Set in San Francisco, Murder in the First will follow a single case across an entire season. The drama centers on homicide detectives Terry English (Diggs) and Hildy Mulligan (Robertson) as they investigate the murder of an apparent drug addict. The mystery deepens, however, when the victim is found to have a connection to Silicon Valley wunderkind Erich Blunt (Felton), the celebrated CEO of a cutting-edge tech firm. The timing couldn’t be worse for Blunt,...
- Tambay A. Obenson
8 months after greenlighting "Murder in the First," a new scripted drama from Steven Bochco, starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson, TNT will premiere the series tonight, Monday, June 9 at 10/9c. Tom Felton, Mimi Kirkland, Raphael Sbarge, Ian Anthony Dale, Bess Rous and Steven Weber round out the cast. TNT ordered 10 episodes of the San Francisco-set detective drama, which is being produced by TNT Originals. Here's s synopsis: Set in San Francisco, Murder in the First will follow a single case across an entire season. The drama centers on homicide detectives Terry English (Diggs) and »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Earlier this spring, the complete run of "Hill Street Blues" was released on DVD, and it was remarkable to see just how well the groundbreaking cop drama held up three decades later. Some elements of it felt dated, but on the whole, you could find common DNA with many of this century's best dramas. That's because for a long stretch in the '80s and '90s, "Hill Street" co-creator Steven Bochco was way out ahead of the curve, experimenting with what was and wasn't possible within the confines of a broadcast network drama, and in the process paving the way for this cable golden age in which we live. "Hill Street" popularized multi-layered, morally complex serialized storytelling in primetime. "NYPD Blue" broke down the barriers between network and cable with its raw language, sexuality and criminal subject matter, and the popularity of Andy Sipowicz (who would've been a villain »
- Alan Sepinwall
Remember the homeless veteran Justin Walker befriended on Brothers & Sisters? He went on to get his head squished on Game of Thrones. Now that he’s charmed us as the Red Viper, Jezebel collects Pedro Pascal past roles on Buffy, »
- Lyle Masaki
TNT's new crime drama Murder in the First marks a return to form for Steven Bochco, the creator of pioneering cop shows like NYPD Blue and L.A. Law. (No, it's not based on the 1995 movie of the same name.) Starring Taye Diggs (Private Practice) and Kathleen Robertson (Boss) as homicide investigators Terry English and Hildy Mulligan, the show follows the investigation, from start to finish, into a single case — namely, a double homicide.
Read More > »
- Liz Raftery
When Steven Bochco created “Murder One” nearly 20 years ago, the concept — a series following a single murder trial over an entire season — seemed bold and ahead of its time. Today, TV is teeming with similar fare as TNT introduces “Murder in the First,” which traces a murder investigation over 10 episodes, and has the minor misfortune to follow HBO’s genre-invigorating “True Detective.” Stripped of those contextual concerns, the previewed hours establish the series as crisp and watchable, while perhaps shrewdly shifting and expanding the earlier show’s lens from defense attorneys to the detectives assigned the case.
Shepherded by Bochco and Eric Lodal, with a Thomas Schlamme-directed pilot, “Murder” also has the advantage of feeling quite compatible with TNT’s lineup in general, and the series with which it’s being paired (“Major Crimes”) in particular. Indeed, even if the Turner network’s roster tends to skew toward meat and potatoes, »
- Brian Lowry
Like the dynamite its moniker suggests, TNT could use a few more explosions – at least in the mind of its corporate owner.
With its ratings down and its recent programs skewing too old for its own executives’ tastes, TNT is getting a makeover. The Time Warner outlet will, going forward, place more emphasis on edgier dramas that provide more thrills, including shows that draw upon action-adventure. mystery, and science fiction. And it will present a slightly new positioning to viewers and advertisers, adding the word “Boom” to its tagline and on-air graphics.
“It’s time to evolve and grow TNT – and that starts with refreshing the brand and evolving our content along with it,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming, for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, in a prepared statement. “All of it is meant to work together to deliver a clear promise to the audience: If you »
- Brian Steinberg
Rapid fire is the publishing world's new normal, but inspiring long-form content is not a thing of the past. Enter #LongReads: a weekly post containing what we believe to be 5 of the most compelling pieces of long-form, entertainment-related content circulating around the web. For your post-Sunday Mother's Day Brunch pleasure, here are our 5 picks. We hope they will help you exercise your brain and prepare you for the week ahead. "'I Just Got My Ass Broke All the Time: An Oral History of 'Hill Street Blues'" by Will Harris We take cop dramas on television for granted. But if it weren't for "Hill Street Blues" some thirty years ago, we wouldn't have had "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order" or even "The Wire" for that matter. With "Hill Street Blues," co-creators Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll completely re-imagined the television cop drama by fearlessly tackling controversial subjects that had never »
- Shipra Gupta
The cop drama has been a staple of the small-screen landscape ever since "Dragnet" made the jump from radio to television in 1951, but after 30 years of police stories (including an actual series called "Police Story"), the genre got its single greatest kick in the pants, creatively speaking, when NBC – the same network that served as home to Sgt. Joe Friday, as it happens – introduced "Hill Street Blues" to an unsuspecting viewing public. Created by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll, "Hill Street Blues" earned eight Emmy Awards in its initial season alone, ultimately pulling a total of 98 nominations over the course of its seven-season, 146-episode run, but more important than the awards and acclaim is that the series helped to create a new template for the cop drama, eschewing walking clichés in favor of characters with depth and substance and delving into content theretofore unseen on prime-time television.With Shout Factory »
- Will Harris
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