TBS Superstation

TBS Superstation’s fall lineup of movie franchises, off-network comedies and sports represents a “dream we have promised all of our sales people and staff for so long,” programming exec Bill Cox says.

One of the biggest changes that has Cox, the cabler’s senior VP of programming, buzzing is the addition of three new franchises: “The Movie Break” on Thursday nights, “The Movie Bowl” (Saturdays) and “Movie & a Makeover” (Saturday and Sunday mornings starting in 2003).

The trio of hosted programming strands built around movies follow the successes of “Dinner & a Movie” (Mondays), “The Man Made Movie” (Tuesdays) and “Movies for Guys Who Like Movies” (also Tuesdays), which have been boons for TBS in many ways.

“They not only differentiate us with viewers, they create destination viewing and also have given our advertisers breakthrough promotional platforms,” says VP-GM Dennis Quinn. “Product placement, and sponsorship deals and merchandising opportunities have far exceeded our expectations.”

TBS’ sked is organized vertically, Cox says, because of its deal to air Atlanta Braves baseball games on varying days in the six months a year. That’s in contrast to many other cablers’ horizontal strategy, for example skedding a movie every night at 8.

“Seinfeld” and “Drew Carey” will join the TBS’ off-network comedy block (4-8 p.m.), which leads into TBS’ primetime lineup. The block already features “Friends,” “Home Improvement” and “Roseanne.”

Wednesdays and Sundays are the only nights when the Braves don’t air. Wednesdays have been branded “Unbelievable Wednesdays,” with original series “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and “Worst Case Scenario.” TBS is hoping to launch a scripted show in the 10 o’clock hour Wednesdays during the 2003-04 TV season.

World broadcast premieres of theatrical hits and original telepics continue to be lynchpins in TBS’ Sunday strategy.

The big change on Saturday is the addition of Big 12 and Pac-10 NCAA football, followed by “The Movie Bowl.”

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