More Flicks for TV via TNT

New York -- Turner Network Television’s slate of new original programming includes three made-for-TV movies in development, on top of the entertainment channel’s previously announced raft of dramatic series and miniseries that are studded with marquee Hollywood talent.

TNT’s three original movies include a sequel to last year’s top-rated telepic, The Librarian,which starred Noah Wyle as a brilliant man with 22 academic degrees hired to protect a secret cache of information hidden beneath the Metropolitan Library.

The network’s development slate also includes Pleading Guilty,based on the best seller by Scott Turow. It is about an ex-cop, now part of a top-drawer law firm, who must track down what happened to $5.6 million that disappeared from the firm’s most important client.

TNT’s third telepic is Avenger, a thriller based on the best-selling novel by author Frederick Forsyth.

TNT and its sister service, TBS, were slated to unveil their new programming slates at their upfront presentation late Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden here.

TBS’ biggest news is Earth to America,a two-hour comedy event that will be taped at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas Nov. 17, airing later on the network.

Earth to America will feature stand-up comedy, taped vignettes, comedy sketches and musical performances from talent such as Larry David, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Cameron Diaz, Ray Romano and Ben Stiller.

At the upfront presentation, Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus was slated to make his pitch to Madison Avenue about “One Television World,” Turner’s vision that the dividing lines between broadcast and cable have been erased, with all networks competing for viewers and dollars on an even playing field.

TNT was also expected to tell media buyers about some of the new series and miniseries the network previously announced.

In June, TNT will debut its six-week miniseries from Steven Spielberg, Into the West.

TNT also has two drama series in the hopper for the summer: The Closer, with Kyra Sedgwick, debuting June 13, and Wanted,with Gary Cole, bowing July 13.

And the network has a limited series on the drawing board, slated for summer 2006, based on the anthology Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King.

During its part of the upfront presentation, TBS officials were expected to talk about several previously announced series, namely Minding the Store,about comedian Pauly Shore trying to get his mother’s world-famous Comedy Store back on track, and Daisy Does America, where British comedian Daisy Donovan hits the road “to become an All-American girl.”

TBS also kicks off a second season of The Real Gilligan’s Island June 8.