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Turner Network Television

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Turner Network Television, usually referred to as TNT, is an American cable TV network created by media mogul Ted Turner and currently owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner.

History

Before 1988

Before the name was applied to a current network, TNT was the name of a syndication service. In 1982, TNT produced two exhibition American football games that were organized by the NFL Players Association during the 1982 NFL strike. The union had hoped to establish a new football league with those games, to help fans cope with the lack of National Football League games. But neither game drew well, either in attendance or TV ratings, and no further games were played.[1]

In 1986, TNT syndicated the first Goodwill Games from Moscow, USSR to many stations across the country.

Both events were carried by, among other stations, KTLA in Los Angeles.

Current network

TNT as a cable service was launched with a showing of the 1939 classic movie Gone with the Wind (film)Gone with the Wind (which Ted Turner had acquired the rights to), on October 3, 1988. It was chosen because, it was said, it was Turner's favorite movie - it would also be the first program on sister channel Turner Classic Movies in 1994. Incidentally, the film had been premiered in Atlanta, Turner's hometown and the headquarters of Turner Broadcasting.

TNT was, at least initially, a vehicle for older movies and television shows, but slowly began to add original programming and newer reruns. When TNT began broadcasting pre-May 1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists films, it caused a controversy when they began "colorizing" many black and white classics.


In 1990, it obtained partial rights to the National Football League, which it retained until 1997. TNT Sunday Night Football, The package consisted of three or four preseason games annually and of regular-season telecasts of the first half of each season.

Starting in 1995, TNT was also the home of WCW Monday Nitro, the flagship show of the now defunct World Championship Wrestling, once regularly the highest Rated weekly program on cable. The program defeated WWE Raw Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of the then-World Wrestling Entertainment, for 83 straight weeks until 1998.

It was also known for its late night programming, such as "Monstervision", which showcased b-movies (including a Godzilla marathon at the end of every month), with occasional guest hosts Penn and Teller. "Monstervision" eventually found a permanent host in cult personality and drive in movie aficionado Joe Bob Briggs, who usually appeared outside his trailer home (actually a none too convincing set). Every Saturday night, from 1995 to 2000, he would host a pair of horror films (such as Friday the 13th Part 2 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare) provide a running commentary, trivia, off-color jokes and a drive-in total (a tongue-in-cheek check list of the featured movie's most exploitative elements, such as number of bare breasts, dead bodies, etc.). Also included in his host segments were jokes at the expense of Turner Network Television's Standards and Practices department for heavy censorship of the featured movies. This running joke culminated in a Friday the 13th (series)Friday the 13th all-night marathon during Halloween of 1998, where it was implied that Ted Turner was out to kill him.

During 2001, TNT had its then most successful original series, Witchblade, which ran for two seasons, ending its run in 2002. The series starred Yancy Butler. On June 12, 2001, TNT relaunched itself, with a new logo and tagline, "We Know Drama." It now focuses on sports and high-action movies with lots of drama and energy, and the "Primetime in the Daytime" weekday lineup featuring reruns of network TV dramas such as Angel_(TV series)Angel, Law & Order, Charmed, NYPD Blue, ER (television series), Without a Trace, Alias (TV series)Alias, Judging Amy, Las Vegas (TV series)Las Vegas and Cold Case. TNT is also one of the Turner-owned channels which now shows the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)The Wizard of Oz. It is in direct contrast to sister network TBS (TV network)TBS, which shows more comedy related programming.

In 2004, TNT became the first Turner Broadcasting Network to begin broadcasting in High Definition.

TNT HD

TNT HD is a cable television network owned by Time Warner that broadcasts 24/7. It is a high definition simulcast of TNT, including live sports, series, specials, and movies.

TNT HD is criticized for its practice of airing a significant amount of 4:3 standard definition content stretched to 16:9 through a nonlinear process similar to the "panorama" setting on many HDTVs that some viewers have nicknamed Stretch-o-Vision; though other simulcasted HD cable channels have also fallen into this practice, TNT is usually cited since it was one of the first networks with an HD simulcast. The nonlinear stretching process leaves objects in the center of the screen with approximately their original aspect ratio; objects at the left and right edges are distorted. In addition to true HD content at 16:9, TNT HD also airs unstretched, unconverted standard definition content in its original aspect ratio.

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