Court TV unveils new name

Network will be re-launched as 'truTV'

Turner Entertainment Networks is rebranding Court TV as truTV, a moniker reflecting its ongoing conversion to an entertainment network heavy on reality shows and true crime.

“This gives us a focused brand and a wide playing field,” said Turner prexy Steve Koonin. “We felt the Court TV name was limiting us in defining what we are and what we are delivering.”

The name change marks another step in the channel’s conversion to an entertainment-focused web targeted at a demo the network refers to as “real engagers,” or those interested in true stories, widely defined as news, true crime, reality shows or nonfiction entertainment.

Last year the net began branding itself as two distinct schedules, a six-hour legal news block in the morning and a primetime lineup with shows like “Most Shocking,” “Forensic Files” and “Haunting Evidence.”

Change at Court TV accelerated after Time Warner acquired the web in December and integrated it into the Turner stable of entertainment nets including TNT, TBS and TCM.

Along with two different programming styles, the network will have two business models. The morning legal news block won’t be Nielsen rated and will rely on direct-response advertising, which doesn’t require ratings guarantees.

Nielsen measurement will begin at 3 p.m. ET, when legal coverage moves online and the net turns to Star Jones, who will host a talkshow that launches this fall.

At the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers in February, Koonin said the web would change its name and rebrand at the beginning of 2008 but didn’t reveal what the new name would be.

General manager Marc Juris said the truTV moniker reflects an evolution of the channel over the past few years. “This is the brand catching up to the programming,” he said.

The network is planning a consumer branding campaign in January to relaunch as truTV, timed to avoid competing with holidays and the launch of the broadcast schedules in the fall.

Joining the sked this fall are “Bounty Girls,” a reality show starring four female detectives; “The Real Hustle,” about con artists going after unsuspecting marks; and “Most Daring,” about life-or-death rescues.

Net announced a series of projects in development, including “Neighbors 911,” a reality series produced by Granada America, and “Ski Patrol,” a reality series from Bunim/Murray Prods.

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