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2 items from 2008

'Raising the Bar' breaks record in debut

2 September 2008 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TNT set the bar high with its new series "Raising the Bar."

The legal drama debuted commercial-free at 10 p.m. Monday with 7.7 million total viewers tuning in, making it the most-watched series premiere ever on ad-supported cable (which includes most basic cable networks with exceptions like Disney Channel), according to Nielsen Cable Fast Nationals. That beat the previous record set in 2004 by USA Network's "The 4400" (7.4 million) and also bested the 2005 debut of TNT's hit drama "The Closer" (7 million).

In the key demos, "Bar" drew 2.8 million adults 18-49 and 3.5 million adults 25-54, surpassing USA's "In Plain Sight" with the best numbers for a new series bow on ad-supported cable this year.

Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, which includes TNT, was pleased with the numbers, saying it was a "very competitive" night.

"This proves we can compete with broadcast," he said. "The world of television is changing, and quality dramas will attract a large audience. »

- By Kimberly Nordyke

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'Bar' set for TNT

24 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TNT has picked up Steven Bochco's drama pilot Raising the Bar to series.

The cable network has ordered 10 episodes of the legal drama starring Jane Kaczmarek, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Gloria Reuben, which revolves around young lawyers who have been friends since law school but now work on opposing sides.

Created by Bochco and lawyer-writer David Feige, author of the 2006 book Indefensible, the ABC Studios/Bochco Media-produced project co-stars Melissa Sagemiller, Currie Graham, Teddy Sears, J. August Richards and Jonathan Scarfe.

Bochco's son, director Jesse Bochco, helmed the pilot for Bar, which was written by Feige. Steven Bochco is executive producing the series.

"'Raising the Bar' is the sort of smart, highly charged legal drama for which Steven Bochco is known and an ideal fit for our line-up," Turner's top content executive Michael Wright said. "Steven and the exceptional cast and crew he's assembled have put together an excellent drama, and we're proud to add another talent-rich, entertaining series to the TNT schedule."

Raising the Bar is one of four pilots TNT greenlighted last year, along with Leverage, Truth in Advertising and Family Man, which remain in contention for a series pickup. »

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