TNT (TV channel)

This article is about the American TNT network and its international offshoots. For other uses, see TNT.
Launched October 3, 1988 (1988-10-03)
Owned by Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner)
Picture format
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Formerly called Turner Network Television (1988–1995)
Sister channel(s)
DirecTV 245 (SD/HD)
Dish Network 138 (SD/HD)
Available on most U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
Verizon FiOS
  • 551 (HD)
  • 51 (SD)
AT&T U-verse
  • 108 (East; SD)
  • 109 (West; SD)
  • 1108 (East; HD)
  • 1109 (West; HD)
CenturyLink Prism
  • 108 (East; SD)
  • 109 (West; SD)
  • 1108 (East; HD)
  • 1109 (West; HD)
Streaming media
Watch TNT Watch Live TV on TNT (U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)
PlayStation Vue Internet Protocol television
Sling TV IPTV[1][2][3]
Roku (USA) 1450 (SD/HD)

TNT (originally an abbreviation for Turner Network Television) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. The original purpose of the channel was to play spillovers from its sister channel TBS (U.S. TV channel) by airing classic films and TV shows; however, since June 2001, the channel's programming consists of television series and feature films, with a focus on drama, along with some professional sporting events (such as NBA basketball games and PGA golf).

As of July 2015, TNT is available to approximately 94.259 million cable, satellite and telco households (81.0% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.[4]



Turner Network Television launched at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on October 3, 1988 with The Star Spangled Banner (specifically a tape of the performance that had started sister channel CNN 8 years before) (which was a tradition whenever a new Turner-owned network launched); its inaugural telecast was the 1939 classic film Gone with the Wind, to which TNT founder Ted Turner had acquired the rights. The movie was chosen as the channel's first program because, it was said that Gone with the Wind was Turner's favorite movie (it would also serve as the first program aired on sister channel Turner Classic Movies, when it debuted in April 1994). Incidentally, Gone With the Wind had its premiere held in Atlanta, Georgia – Turner's hometown and the headquarters of the channel's corporate parent, Turner Broadcasting System – and the city served as the setting for the film.

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 older film releases from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (which was acquired by Turner as a result of his sale of the MGM film studio to Kirk Kerkorian, from whom Turner had purchased the studio less than a year before, in October 1986 due to debt concerns over Turner Entertainment's corporate debt load, effectively giving the company rights to MGM's extensive array of films and television programs made prior to the sale), the channel caused controversy due to its airings of colorized versions of many classics that were originally filmed in black-and-white.

Prior to the launch of the channel in 1988, the name had been utilized by Turner Broadcasting as a syndication service for various sporting events, including two exhibition games from 1982 organized by the NFL Players Association during the NFL strike of that year, and the first Goodwill Games (which were organized by Turner himself) in 1986.


In 1995, TNT debuted WCW Monday Nitro, which assumed the distinction as the flagship program of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling from WCW Saturday Night, which debuted on sister channel TBS in 1992 and ran on that channel until 2000. At one point, Monday Nitro was regularly the highest-rated weekly program on cable television; the program beat Monday Night Raw, the flagship show of the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment), in the ratings for 83 consecutive weeks from 1996 to 1998.

The channel was also known for its late night programming; one such program was MonsterVision, a Saturday night B movie showcase that aired from 1993 to 2000 (and featured a Godzilla movie marathon at the end of every month). Penn & Teller served as occasional guest hosts during its early years; in 1997, MonsterVision found a permanent host in cult personality and drive-in movie aficionado Joe Bob Briggs – the pseudonym of actor and film critic John Irving Bloom – who hosted a pair of horror films each week, such as Friday the 13th Part 2 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. During the wraparound segments within each film, Briggs provided a running commentary, trivia, off-color jokes, and a drive-in total (in the manner as those seen on a similar B movie showcase that Briggs hosted on The Movie Channel from 1986 to 1996, Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater), as well as jokes at the expense of TNT's Standards & Practices department regarding the heavy censorship of the featured movies (which contrasted with Drive-In Theater, which, since The Movie Channel is a premium service, aired films with more risque content than that allowed by TNT, as well as a wider variety of B movies). This running joke culminated in a Friday the 13th all-night Halloween marathon in 1998, where it was implied that Ted Turner was out to kill him.

Until 1998, TNT also aired cartoons from the Turner library (such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, the DePatie-Freleng Pink Panther cartoons, Dexter's Laboratory, and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest) as part of a daily block called "TNT Toons". The Rudy and Gogo World Famous Cartoon Show, which ran from 1995 to 1997, was an original children's program on the channel featuring classic Warner Bros., MGM, and Popeye shorts, hosted by a titular pair of a marionette and a nanny goat. In 1998, TNT (and TBS) dropped all of its remaining cartoons, relegating those shows to Cartoon Network; most of the animated series and shorts that were dropped would also serve as the core of Boomerang, a new cable channel devoted to classic cartoons that launched on April 1, 2000.

During the 1990s, TNT scheduled a lineup of shows on weekday afternoons that included Due South, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Babylon 5. In 1998, TNT took over production of the fifth and final season of Babylon 5 from the Prime Time Entertainment Network, after the ad-hoc syndication block ceased operations; the following year, TNT produced the Babylon 5 spinoff series Crusade, which was canceled after 13 episodes, after TNT management decided that science fiction did not fit the channel's brand identity. In 2001, TNT debuted its then most successful original series, Witchblade, which ran for two seasons, ending in 2002.

Shift towards drama

TNT logo from 2001 to 2016

On June 12, 2001, TNT underwent an extensive rebrand, with the introduction of a new logo (designed by Trollbäck + Company) and a new slogan, "We Know Drama", which emphasized the channel's new focus on dramatic programming, including sports and off-network syndicated dramas such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, ER and Judging Amy. As the decade went on, the channel's format became a direct contrast to sister network TBS, which had focused on a wider variety of programming initially but moved toward and now focuses largely on comedic series and films, and by extension Cartoon Network, which showed exclusively animated programming at the time (that channel still has a predominately animated schedule). In addition, NASCAR coverage moved to TNT from TBS starting with the 2001 season, as Turner Broadcasting System management believed that it would fit more with TNT's new format than TBS.

On January 1, 2003, TNT launched a substitute feed called "TNT Plus", although it does not appear this was ever reflected in the channel's on-air identity. The apparent sole purpose of its establishment was to force renegotiations with cable and satellite providers to increase carriage fees to help pay for TNT's new NBA and NASCAR contracts, well before the channel's distribution agreements with providers were scheduled to come up for renewal. In theory, TNT Plus was to have been the sole carrier of Turner's NBA and NASCAR coverage from that point forward, while any providers still carrying the original TNT would have seen replacement programming instead.[5] Although it appears that Comcast did not immediately sign on to carry TNT Plus, there is no evidence that Turner had actually pulled its sports programming from the "original" TNT.[6]

On December 7, 2008, TNT unveiled an update to its logo, displaying it mainly in a silver (shown on-screen during programming and on the TNT website) or sometimes gold beveling. The "We Know Drama" tagline remained, but the channel added more of a focus on its original series and announced plans to carry three nights a week of original programming during primetime starting in 2009.[7] In 2012, TNT rebranded itself with a new slogan: "Drama, Period." (visually displayed as "Drama.," with the TNT logo serving as the period symbol), with the logo being simply recolored to match the themes of its shows.

On May 14, 2014, TNT altered its on-air branding to "TNT Drama" and introduced a new slogan, "Boom". The branding campaign reflects the channel's refocusing towards action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy and mystery/suspense series alongside its slate of crime dramas.[8] The channel purchased basic cable rights in September for the next five Marvel Studios movies starting with Avengers: Age of Ultron.[9] In 2016, TNT changed its logo in order to catch up with sister channel TBS as they also rebranded their logo on October 31, 2015, earlier than TNT did.


TNT currently airs a mix of original drama and reality series, and reruns of dramas that originally aired on the major broadcast networks. Original programs currently seen on TNT include Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, The Librarians, Boston's Finest, Murder in the First, and The Last Ship. The channel's daytime, overnight and Saturday morning schedule is heavily dominated by reruns of current and former network police procedural series, while its weekday morning schedule focuses on sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy series. Such programs include Castle, Bones, Supernatural , "Charmed" and TNT mainstay Law & Order.


Feature films have been a mainstay of TNT since its inception. TNT maintains movie licensing agreements with sister company Warner Bros. Entertainment (primarily releases from Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema), Touchstone Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Since the launch of Turner Classic Movies, TNT's movie lineup has shifted away from classic films (outside of special airings of films such as The Wizard of Oz, which is shown on the channel each November around Thanksgiving weekend), in favor of more recent films released from the 1980s onward, with an emphasis on films released after 1995. Presently, most of the films broadcast on TNT are of the drama and action genres, however some comedic films continue to air on the channel periodically. Movies generally air on the channel during the overnight hours on most nights and for much of the day on weekends (except from 3:00 to 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and Sunday mornings and 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern on Saturdays – with the end time subject to variation – due to blocks of drama series reruns that typically air in those timeslots).

Beginning in 1997, TNT broadcast a 24-hour marathon of the 1983 comedy film A Christmas Story from the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day; the marathon ran simultaneously on sister channel TBS until 2009, when the annual event became exclusive to that channel. However, as of 2014, TNT has begun airing the movie for 24 hours once again. Once each weekend, TNT airs a movie in primetime with limited commercial interruption, branded in on-air promos under the title "More Movies, Less Commercials" (sister channel TBS also runs a primetime movie with limited commercial interruption each weekend).


Torneo Federal A (Federal A Tournament of AFA)

In 2003, TNT obtained partial televisión televisión rights exclusive to the Torneo Argentino A, Argentina Tercera División in Interior Zone called El Partido del Domingo En Vivo (The Sunday Match Live) (Except Argentina) are broadcast live Sunday at 11:00 am (local time) on TNT Latin América and Brazil.

NFL football

In 1990, TNT obtained partial television rights to the National Football League (NFL)'s Sunday Night Football package, in a comprehensive agreement in which games were split with ESPN. The NFL on TNT consisted of three or four preseason game broadcasts and telecasts of regular season games during the first half of each season; which it retained until 1997. Abiding by NFL broadcasting rules, TNT distributed its game telecasts to broadcast television stations in the local markets of the teams playing in that week's game.

NBA basketball

TNT obtained partial cable television rights to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1988–89 season. From that point on, TNT shared broadcast rights with TBS, which initially only aired game telecasts from the Atlanta Hawks (which Turner had purchased from developer Tom Cousins in 1985, as part of a deal that also included the sale of the Omni International Hotel, which was converted to serve as the headquarters for sister channel CNN), before expanding its NBA coverage to include games from other teams within the league. In the early 1990s, some Hawks game telecasts shown on TNT and TBS became subject to blackout within 35 miles of the home team's arena; this restriction was dropped in 2000, allowing TNT the right to be the exclusive broadcaster of any game it chose to carry.

TNT had regularly broadcast NBA games on multiple Tuesday nights until the 2002–03 season; the weekly telecasts were then moved to Thursday nights in 2003–04 season, when TBS was opted out of rights to NBA coverage as a result of the league's contract renewal with Turner Sports. In addition to carrying NBA regular season games (which typically air as a doubleheader on most weeks), TNT also airs opening night games, the NBA All-Star Game, and the vast majority of games within the conference playoffs and one of the Conference Finals (the Eastern Conference Finals in odd-number years and the Western Conference Finals in even-number years) under the NBA on TNT branding.

College basketball

In 2011, TNT obtained a share in the television rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, as part of a comprehensive broadcast rights deal known as NCAA March Madness. The deal also involves CBS and fellow Turner properties TBS and TruTV. TNT and the other two Turner-owned channels involved in the deal presently each hold partial rights to games played in the second and third rounds of the tournament (CBS and TBS will alternate coverage of the regional semifinals, regional finals, the Final Four and national championship game beginning in 2016).[10][11]


In 2001, TNT assumed the partial cable television rights to select Winston Cup and Busch Series races as part of a deal between NASCAR, NBC and TNT. Turner Broadcasting initially planned to have TBS serve as the cable partner during negotiations, which would have allowed it to retain rights to NASCAR events, but decided that the NASCAR telecasts would better fit TNT's "We Know Drama" image campaign. TNT retained NASCAR rights after NBC chose not to renew its broadcast contract following the 2006 NASCAR season; the channel's broadcasting agreement with the organization ended in 2014, as a result of a television deal with NBC effective that year, which gave it rights to the last 20 races of the 2014-15 NASCAR Sprint Cup season as well as rights to Sprint Cup events through 2025 (with NBCSN serving as its cable partner).[12] The last race broadcast by TNT was the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13, 2014.

PGA golf

TNT televises the PGA Championship,[13] carrying full coverage of the first two rounds and early coverage of the weekend rounds. The rights have been held since 1999, and the current contract with the PGA of America is through 2019.

In 2003, TNT took over the rights to broadcast the Thursday and Friday rounds of The Open Championship,[14] as well as the rights to the Women's British Open and Senior British Open (with ABC carrying coverage of the weekend rounds); ESPN assumed the Open Championship rights in 2009. From 2000 to 2007, TNT also carried the biennial PGA Tour-managed Presidents Cup;[15] the television rights were assumed by Golf Channel beginning with the 2009 event as part of its overall cable deal with the PGA Tour.

List of programs broadcast by TNT

Current programming

Acquired programming
Sports programming

TNT, through the Turner Sports division of parent company Turner Broadcasting System, holds the broadcast rights to the following sports telecasts:

Future programming

In development

Former programming

Original programming
Unscripted series
Sports programming
Acquired programming
This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
Children's programming

Most of these programs have since moved to sister channels Cartoon Network or Boomerang, or were aired simultaneously on the former during their TNT runs.


European, Australian, Latin American, Spanish and Asian versions of TNT were launched in the 1990s, which were exclusively dedicated to movies, mainly from the MGM and Warner Bros. archives (however, the U.K. and Scandinavian versions of TNT both broadcast WCW Monday Nitro on Friday nights on a four-day delay from its U.S. broadcast, and the Latin American version aired a children's block called "Magic Box"). The European, Australian and Asian versions of TNT shared channel space with Cartoon Network, while the Latin American version shared space with CNN International. The EMEA, Asian and Australasian TNT channels were eventually relaunched as Turner Classic Movies, while the Latin American version retained the TNT branding. The most well-known TNT channel in Europe was (and still is) the French version, which used similar graphics to what the flagship U.S. channel was using at the time.

Latin America

Regional versions of TNT were launched in Brazil and Latin America in 1991; the channel mostly shows films, along with a few series. All programs used to be presented subbed in Spanish and Portuguese, until 2015, when the channel reverted it and made available the dubs; however, the channel also offers closed captions (which can be removed or placed by the user) on digital operators. TNT Latin America and TNT Brazil began operating high definition simulcast feeds in 2009.



In January 2009, a version of TNT launched in Germany as TNT Serie. The channel shows a wide variety of older and recent American drama and comedy programs (such as 30 Rock, Murder, She Wrote, Monk, Six Feet Under, Seinfeld, ER, The King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Falling Skies). TNT Serie maintains two audio channels: one with the original English language audio track and one with a German-dubbed soundtrack. In June 2009, the German version of TCM was relaunched as TNT Film. TNT Serie and TNT Film both launched high definition simulcast feeds in the fall of 2010.


The TNT brand returned to the Spanish market in the summer of 2007, when it launched exclusively on pay television platform Digital+. As of 2012, TNT is available on several cable providers in Spain. TNT España is divided in two blocks: one exclusively carrying movies and another exclusively carrying television series (such as The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Falling Skies and Sherlock). TNT España was the first channel which produced a television series for a pay/cable channel in Spain.


A local version of TNT in Turkey launched on March 3, 2008 by Doğan Media Group as a channel focusing on feature films. Foreign television series and movies were eventually added to the channel's schedule. On January 24, 2011, it was relaunched as a general entertainment channel with the addition of new television series to its lineup.[35] In 2012, TNT was rebranded as tv2.


The Scandinavian TNT channel was originally launched by tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet as "Aftonbladet TV7" on October 9, 2006. Aftonbladet sold the channel in late 2007. In August 2008, it was sold once again to NonStop Television. On March 2, 2011, the channel was relaunched as TNT7, following the Turner Broadcasting System's purchase of NonStop Television owner Millennium Media Group. On March 21, 2012, the channel was renamed TNT, dropping the "7" from the name.

Netherlands and Flanders

On April 10, 2012, TNT HD Benelux launched in Belgium, carried exclusively on Telenet. The first month of the service was offered to consumers for free, with a subscription required thereafter to view the channel. TNT HD Benelux offers a mix of comedies, movies and current television series (such as Falling Skies, Shameless and Memphis Beat), as well as reruns of older series (such as ER, The West Wing and Smallville).[36] The channel launched in the Netherlands on January 24, 2013;[36] however, it was dropped by pay television providers in that country on January 1, 2014.


The Polish version of TNT was launched in both SD and HD on October 6, 2015, replacing Turner Classic Movies.


The Romanian version of TNT was launched for first time on September 1, 1998, with Cartoon Network, until 2000-2001 when it was replaced with Turner Classic Movies. On October 6, 2015, TCM was replaced by TNT, 17 years after the first launch.


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External links

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