UPFRONT 2017: The Experience Is Everything at Turner's 2017 Upfront

Turner Upfront 2017

The Experience Is Everything at Turner’s 2017 Upfront

Stars and Executives from Turner's Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT,
truTV, Turner Sports, and More Surprise and Delight Jam-Packed Audience
At Morning Event Punctuated by Premium Content, Platform Expansion
And a Continued Commitment to Trusted Brand Environments

Global content leader Turner electrified The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City this morning with a star-studded, dynamic showcase of the company’s portfolio of top-rated media brands and forward-thinking advertising innovations. The morning event kicked off with an anthem video that crystallized Turner's vision and commitment to reimagining the viewing experience for consumers, while highlighting the innovative spirit that remains alive and vibrant across the company today.

Results resonated as an underlying theme throughout the presentation which showcased Turner’s portfolio of leading entertainment, kids, news and sports brands – including Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Sports. All were highlighted throughout the 90-minute presentation as the company drove home its omni-channel approach to premium, transparent and trusted environments and its ability to deliver for advertisers at massive scale, across all screens and experiences. Across its portfolio, Turner continues to invest in high quality, distinctive, premium video content that engages TV audiences across multiple platforms and elevates each of our brands.

"I've been with Turner for 30 years and what's clear to me, now more than ever, is that having a deep, diverse set of premium content is vital in not only reaching consumers, but turning them into devoted fans of your brand," said David Levy, president of Turner. "Today, Turner showed that it is not just meeting that consumer demand, but also unleashing the full power of its portfolio to deliver lasting experiences that are shaping today's culture, while also spurring on innovations the industry needs to transform itself for the next generation. From new content and ad models that break the mold to strategic investments in technology and platforms beyond just the television screen, Turner's upfront was about renewing our commitment to our highly engaged and loyal fans, as well as to our advertising partners who, in turn, support us in bringing these experiences and innovations to life."

Turner Upfront News

The Turner Upfront 2017 presentation this morning included a series of new announcements that demonstrated the company's commitment to transforming the viewing experience, expanding platform availability and investing in premium content. They join recent announcements made about new series greenlights and projects in development.

  • TBS announced a new four-year deal with Conan O'Brien that will keep his late-night show on TBS through 2022 and will extend the Team Coco brand into digital content, podcasting, gaming, pay TV and live events.
  • TBS has given the greenlight to three new series: Miracle Workers, a Heaven-set workplace comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Owen Wilson and executive-produced by Lorne Michaels; Close Enough, a brand new animated series from Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel; and a new untitled series from the comedy trio The Dress Up Gang, whose viral videos include the popular My Roommate, My Friend series. The network is also teaming up with entertainment icon and actor Snoop Dogg to refresh and update the classic game show The Joker's Wild has titled the forthcoming project starring Tracy Morgan as The Last O.G., adding Cedric the Entertainer, Taylor Mosby and Dante Hoagland to the cast.
  • TNT has greenlit two documentary series: Michael Moore Live from the Apocalypse and Who Run the World? from Sarah Jessica Parker, Morgan Spurlock and Refinery29. The network has also ordered a pilot for Highland, a scripted drama written by Liz Sarnoff and actress-comedian Margaret Cho, and announced Daveed Diggs, who earned a Tony® for the Broadway hit Hamilton, will star in the network's drama pilot Snowpiercer, which will be directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson.
  • TNT is working with master storyteller and filmmaker Ridley Scott to develop a night of original science-fiction programming. Initial plans call for the block to serve as a showcase for hour-long series, short-form programs and other formats to be developed in collaboration with Scott.
  • Super Deluxe, which has quickly grown to average more than 30 million unique users every month on social and recently hit the billion views milestone, will have its own 90-minute interactive, alternative late-night block on TBS called Super Deluxe.
  • Adult Swim has greenlit two new series: The Jellies!, an animated series from Tyler, The Creator that will air this summer; and Mostly 4 Millennials, a live-action series created by and starring Derrick Beckles, and executive produced by Eric Andre. The network has also announced a new special from comedian Jena Friedman, and has ordered a stop-motion animated pilot titled The Shivering Truth, created by Vernon Chatman and featuring the voices of Michael Cera and Jonah Hill.
  • truTV's slate of five upcoming series includes Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks, which will launch later this year and provide a refreshing new take on traditional stand-up comedy; At Home with Amy Sedaris from the comedy icon; the comedic anthology series Bobcat Goldthwait's Misfits & Monsters; the scripted comedy I'm Sorry, from Andrea Savage; and the live call-in talk show The Chris Gethard Show.
  • Cartoon Network recently greenlit Unikitty!, an all-new animated series produced by Warner Bros, that will follow Unikitty, the beloved fan-favorite character from the global blockbuster The LEGO Movie, and her whole cast of friends into a world full of adventure, excitement and dance parties.
  • CNN will be adding five new original series to its slate in 2018: Detroit 1963: Once in a Great City; American Heiress: The Patty Hearst Story; 1968: The Year That Changed America; Kennedys: An American Dynasty and Pope.
  • HLN will debut Unmasking A Killer, a new five-part series 10 years in the making, about the investigation, the case files and the mind of The Golden State Killer.

Turner Content

Over the past year, Turner has debuted a wealth of new programming with outstanding results, including an unprecedented string of comedy hits as part of TBS's extensive brand evolution, with Angie Tribeca, The Detour, Wrecked, People of Earth, Search Party and the buzz-generating late-night powerhouse Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; the hit TNT dramas Animal Kingdom and Good Behavior; bold new truTV projects in Upscale with Prentice Penny and Talk Show the Game Show; CNN’s Emmy-nominated United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, The History of Comedy and Believer with Reza Aslan; and much more.

During this year's Upfront season, Turner will roll out nearly 17,000 hours of original content, from high-quality dramas, comedies, animation and specials to world-class sports and news coverage. The roster of scripted and unscripted series and specials includes the hotly anticipated TNT dramas Claws, Will and The Alienist; new comedies from TBS, such as The Guest Book, The Last O.G., Tarantula, Final Space and The Cops, along with the new competition series Drop the Mic; and, the newly announced projects and returning series from Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, and truTV.

With Turner’s primary focus on creating optimal viewing experiences for consumers across its portfolio of brands, Turner’s networks can now be found on more devices and platforms than ever before. Over the coming months, Turner is doubling down on those efforts by launching branded apps on connected devices, smart TVs and other consumer devices, including Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, Vizio SmartCast and Samsung televisions. Additionally, Turner is ramping up efforts in the podcast space to create strategic, 360-degree brand extension opportunities for its leading entertainment brands. New original podcasts coming this summer from Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN Money and truTV, with more launches later in the year.

Turner Results

Driven by its powerful portfolio of brands and premium content, Turner is scoring competitive success across every platform.

The Turner portfolio reaches 80% of American adults each month across television, digital and mobile platforms.

Turner is home to three of cable’s top 10 networks in primetime and total day with adults 18-49, with TBS ranking #1 in prime and Adult Swim topping the charts for total day.

While other media companies are aging up, Turner has three of cable’s top 5 entertainment networks in primetime among millennials, including Adult Swim (#1), TBS (#3), and TNT (#4). Adult Swim has been cable’s #1 home with millennials for over a decade.

A social media powerhouse, the Turner portfolio boasts well over 750 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

With its growing investments in premium content, Turner’s portfolio has seen explosive growth in VOD, including accounting for 11% of all set-top VOD transactions for Q1 2017 to-date. Further, Cartoon Network is the #1 network across both cable and broadcast on VOD.

Turner Ad Sales

Following the Turner anthem video, President of Turner Ad Sales Donna Speciale opened the event, “We believe in pushing the boundaries. And we have the results to prove it. Turner is committed to leading the industry. We remain and always have been a trusted partner.”

She later returned to the stage to share a client testimonial video that Turner produced. “We have rebuilt Turner to put the consumer at the center and to support you. To meet your needs and expectations...We’re proud of how we’ve done it, and how well our solutions are working.” After revealing real results from client partnerships, she added, “I understand, you are tired of paying more for less. Well, now consider paying more for more.”

Turner has spent the past several years investing in new innovations, ad models, and award-winning data and content solutions through its Turner Ignite business unit, achieving impressive results for advertisers while keeping fans engaged with Turner’s portfolio. Here are some of the client results shared this morning:

  • Turner has been a pioneer in creating new opportunities for advertisers to more efficiently and effectively reach and engage with fans through its TargetingNOW and AudienceNOW solutions. More than 130 audience-driven deals have been executed thus far, spanning every major ad category, and have significantly lowered advertisers’ target CPM by as much as 20 percent as well as increased in-target impressions by an average of 24 percent.
  • And, recently Turner joined with Fox Networks Group and Viacom to announce OpenAP, the television industry’s first open platform for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement. This unexpected partnership will support cross-publisher targeting and independent measurement, providing advertisers the consistency, transparency and simplicity of traditional ad guarantees within advanced audiences.
  • Two years ago, Turner was an industry first-mover in announcing reduced commercial interruptions, first on truTV and later on TNT, which have paid off in deeper engagement with audiences, increased awareness of brands within that programming, and greater sales compared to traditional commercial breaks. truTV will significantly increase available inventory with reduced commercial interruptions which will make up 15 percent of the network’s total prime schedule. Also, additional original content from TNT will in this format beginning this fall.
  • While reducing ad clutter, Turner last year launched its Native Plus format, providing brands the opportunity to tell more of their own story within Turner’s premium environments while also driving scale for their content in a way that only television can. Nearly every Turner network has utilized the format, totaling almost 9 hours of traditional commercial time replaced with approximately 200 Native Plus storytelling pods.
  • Turner has also tapped into its massive social following across its brands to support true, omni-channel campaigns for advertisers. Through Launchpad, the company’s powerful social optimization capability, more than 375 million views were delivered for brands in 2016. Turner is doubling down on Launchpad this year and expanding internationally to meet the global demand from marketers wanting to engage with the company’s fans across its portfolio.

Turner Talent

More than 100 stars from across the Turner portfolio are walking the red carpet leading into Turner Upfront 2017. The talent roster attending this morning's presentation include the following:

Adult Swim
Breckin Meyer and Matthew Senreich (Robot Chicken)

Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360°)
Anthony Bourdain (Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown)
Dana Bash (Chief Political Correspondent)
Don Lemon (CNN Tonight)
Alisyn Camerota (New Day)
Chris Cuomo (New Day)
Erin Burnett (OutFront)
Jake Tapper (The Lead)
Wolf Blitzer (The Situation Room)
Lisa Ling (This is Life)
Robin Meade (HLN’s Morning Express)

Rashida Jones, Hayes MacArthur, Jere Burns, Deon Cole and Andrée Vermeulen (Angie Tribeca)
Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter (CONAN and People of Earth)
Louis C.K. and Albert Brooks (The Cops)
Jason Jones and Natalie Zea (The Detour)
Donny Divanian, Cory Loykasek and Frankie Quinones (Dress Up Gang)
Method Man, Hailey Baldwin and DJ Nu-Mark (Drop the Mic)
Olan Rogers (Final Space)
Samantha Bee (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Detour)
Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Allen Maldonado, and Ryan Gual (The Last O.G.)
Ana Gasteyer, Oscar Nunez and Nasim Pedrad (People of Earth)
Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Reynolds, Meredith Hagner and Brandon Micheal-Hall (Search Party)
Asif Ali, Zach Cregger, Rhys Darby, Brooke Dillman, Will Greenberg, Jessica Lowe, Ally Maki and Brian Sacca (Wrecked)

Daniel Brühl and Dakota Fanning (The Alienist)
Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy, Finn Cole, Jake Weary, and Ben Robson (Animal Kingdom)
Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Karrueche Tran, Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, Dean Norris, Jack Kesy, Harold Perrineau, Jason Antoon, and Kevin Rankin (Claws)
Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto (Good Behavior)
Shaquille O'Neal (Inside the NBA & American Race);
Laurie Davidson, Olivia DeJonge, and Jamie Campbell Bower (Will)

Adam Conover (Adam Ruins Everything)
Amy Sedaris (At Home with Amy Sedaris)
Michael Carbonaro (The Carbonaro Effect)
Chris Gethard (The Chris Gethard Show)
Damien Lemon (Comedy Knockout)
Andrea Savage and Tom Everett Scott (I'm Sorry)
Joe Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn and Sal Vulcano (Impractical Jokers)
Jon Glaser (Jon Glaser Loves Gear)
Cipha Sounds (Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks)
Guy Branum (Talk Show the Game Show)
Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, Ben Roy and Maria Thayer (Those Who Can't)
Abbi Crutchfield and Matthew Latkiewicz (You Can Do Better)

The Turner Portfolio

Turner Upfront news and photos are being posted on social media using #TurnerUpfront. Press releases, executive bios, talent tip sheets, video pieces and other information can be accessed through the Turner Upfront press website at EventPress.Turner.com.

Additional details on each network featured during Turner's 2017 Upfront can be found in the links below.

Adult Swim


Cartoon Network









Turner’s truTV Announces 2017-18 Programming Slate with 17 Creator-Driven Comedic Series, Pilots and Renewals

Turner Sports

Turner Sports News & Programming Information and Executive Bios

About Turner

Turner, a Time Warner company, is a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data driven insights and industry leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, TCM, TNT, truTV, and Turner Sports. To learn more about Turner visit www.Turner.com.

Publicity Contacts

Sal Petruzzi

Turner Ad Sales
Jenn Toner