TNT is bolstering its bid to grow into a Monday-through-Friday network airing original series from top producers and featuring big-name talent. Net announced the greenlighting of two dramas series Wednesday — one from Jerry Bruckheimer and one produced by and starring Jada Pinkett Smith.
The orders bring the Time Warner-owned cabler’s stable of original hourlongs to seven.
Mulling over about a half-dozen pilots, the cabler chose to move forward with “The Line,” a crime drama produced by Bruckheimer and starring Dylan McDermott.
Also getting a 10-episode order is medical drama “Time Heals.” Series stars Pinkett Smith, who will produce along with John Masius (“Providence,” “Dead Like Me”) and Jamie Tarses.
Both dramas will bow later this year on TNT under the watch of exec VP and head of programming Michael Wright, as the net looks to expand its sked to as many as three nights of original series in the coming months.
“The Line,” which comes to the cabler from Warner Horizon Entertainment, will star McDermott as the head of an undercover crime-fighting team so covert that some of its operatives don’t even know they’re involved. Logan Marshall-Green (“The OC”), Omari Hardwick (TNT’s “Saved”) and Nicki Aycox (“Supernatural”) will co-star. Jonathan Littman (“CSI,” “Cold Case”), Danny Cannon (“CSI,” “Eleventh Hour”) and Doug Jung (“Big Love”) will exec produce along with Bruckheimer.
Arriving from Sony Pictures Television, “Time Heals” will be set in a Charlotte, N.C., hospital, with Pinkett Smith playing a strong-but-caring director of nursing set on overcoming apathetic doctors, administrators and colleagues. David Julian Hirsh (TBS’ “Lovebites”), Laura Kenly, Christina Moore (“90210”) and Suleka Mathew (“Men in Trees”) will co-star.
Still under consideration by TNT for series greenlight is “Men of a Certain Age,” a midlife-themed hourlong starring and exec produced by Ray Romano. Sources close to the network, meanwhile said that “Night and Day,” a crime drama produced by Joel Surnow, will not be picked up.
TNT meanwhile is readying the Jan. 26 launch of “Trust Me,” which stars Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh as Chicago ad agency denizens. Series will benefit from lead-in by original episodes of “The Closer,” basic cable’s top-rated original series.
Cabler made a splash last year during the upfronts by promising to stock its weekday primetime slate with originals over the next few years.