TBS to debut ‘Worst’ series

Net to dub 2-hour block 'Unbelievable Wednesdays'

Solidifying its strategy to create an original series night on Wednesdays, TBS Superstation will debut its new reality series “Worst-Case Scenario” on July 10 after its highly rated 8 p.m. original series “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”

The cable network will employ a big promo push ahead of the launch, dubbing the two-hour block “Unbelievable Wednesdays.”

“When we looked for a second original series, we wanted something that was compatible with ‘Ripley’s,’ and this certainly is,” TBS exec VP-G.M. Dennis Quinn told Daily Variety. “It gives us the opportunity to brand that evening. In fact, the word ‘unbelievable’ is a great descriptor; that’s the word that captures both of these products.”

San Francisco news personality Mike Rowe and stuntwoman Danielle Burgio (“Matrix,” “Matrix” II”) will host “Worst-Case Scenario,” which is based on Josh Piven’s and David Borgenicht’s book “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.”

Columbia TriStar Domestic TV, which also produces “Ripley’s” along with Angry Dragon Entertainment, is producing. Craig Piligian, who co-exec produced CBS’ first three “Survivors,” is exec producing.

Wednesdays and Sundays rep the network’s biggest opportunities to debut originals. That’s because TBS owns the rights to Atlanta Braves baseball games, which have the potential to appear during every other night of the week. Sundays on TBS are reserved as the movie platform for both TBS originals and other television premieres.

Quinn outlined a number of other programming initiatives:

  • TBS, which will preem five original movies this year, will ramp up the number of made-for pics it rolls out in the next few years.

  • The network likely will expand beyond reality with its future series. In fact, Quinn said, the majority of projects in development are scripted.

  • Also in development are four franchises along the lines of the existing “Dinner and a Movie,” “The Man Made Movie” and “Movies for Guys Who Like Movies,” which are hosted programming segments that wrap around theatricals. The idea is to have one of these standing franchises in place for every night of the week. Quinn said that at least three additions are likely to debut by the fall, but he did not elaborate on what they might be.

  • TBS also is putting finishing touches on an off-network sitcom block to debut this fall, likely starting with repeats of “Home Improvement,” followed by “Drew Carey,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and then another “Seinfeld.”

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