4 items from 2007
TBS made a successful bid to become a player in late-night with the premiere of late-night sketch comedy series Frank TV, which drew 2.9 million viewers Tuesday, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates.
The 11 p.m. show, which stars impressionist Frank Caliendo, delivered1.9 million viewers in adults 18-49 and 1.1 million in adults 18-34. It outdelivered season-to-date averages for original episodes of all late-night talk shows and Fox's Mad TV among adults 18-34 as well as all late-night talkers except The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 18-49. Frank follows the strong summer launches of two TBS primetime comedy series, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and The Bill Engvall Show. »
Turner will post episodes from TNT's The Closer, Heartland, Saving Grace and The Company on TNT.tv, while TBS will offer them from House of Payne, The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys and The Frank Show on TBS.com the morning after they debut on television. The series will be available online for about a month.
"On a couple of the shows ('Engvall' and 'Frank'), we're acting as the studio, and we believe these streaming rights are integral in making a complete package for these shows to be hits," Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin said. "Our first window is with the cable operator, but we had great success with 'My Boys' where we had millions of streams, and we want to use this as just another tool to drive success for our shows."
In Turner's case, besides the content being available on the TNT and TBS network Web sites, Comcast and Time Warner also will offer the shows, except for the Fox-produced Saving Grace, for a month on each of their VOD platforms. »
The cable network has picked up eight episodes of the show, which will join TBS' late-night block in the second half.
Frank, from New Wave Entertainment, will be shot in front of a live audience and will include pretaped segments shot on location that will utilize Caliendo's impersonation skills. Caliendo's opening monologue as well as the many of the sketches will feature the comedian's commentaries on current events and pop culture.
" 'The Frank Show' is a smart, witty, funny and feel-good sketch comedy built around Frank Caliendo's point of view," said Michael Wright, senior vp original programming at TBS and TNT. "It's everyman's take on popular culture."
It is not clear what show Frank will be paired with in the 11 p.m. hour; TBS' reruns of Fox's hit animated comedy Family Guy is considered a strong possibility.
Frank is the second original late-night series launched by TBS. »
The multicamera domestic comedy starring Engvall and Nancy Travis, has been given an eight-episode order for a launch this summer.
"We're very enthused about breaking new ground for the network with 'The Bill Engvall Show," said Michael Wright, senior vp of original programming for TBS and TNT. "It's a multi-camera family comedy shot in front of a studio audience, and we are absolutely thrilled with it."
Bill Engvall follows TBS' first original scripted comedy series, My Boys and 10 Items or Less, which bowed in November. It was the promising launch of the two shows -- My Boys has already been picked up for additional episodes -- that encouraged TBS brass to step up their efforts in the field.
"The critical and commercial success of our first attempts at original scripted comedy on the network was incredibly gratifying," Wright said.
4 items from 2007
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