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TBS Strategic Opportunities - August 2009



TBS loves its off-net TV and original half-hour comedy series.  FAMILY GUY and THE OFFICE are key to attracting core young male viewers, while Tyler Perry's programming brings in women.

At the 2009/2010 upfront presentation, TBS' original programming chief Michael Wright outlined the network's goals / positioning. "By dedicating ourselves to comedy and building a foundation with some of the best comedies on television, TBS has become younger and more diverse. TBS is also dedicated to quality, original programming. We are working with great comedy talent to create shows that complement our lineup of acquired series."

TBS has expanded their comedy festival coverage and led the rebirth of sitcoms on cable. With a slate of programming successes and record growth among young demos, TBS is able to attract top talent to its programs,

TBS plans to expand its late night presence, and has a slew of late night comedies in development, and a George Lopez talk show in the works.  Michael Wright has said "We see late-night as a real growth opportunity."  While he said Comedy Central and MTV have "sort of cornered the market" on "snarky" shows aimed at young men, TBS is looking to offer "feel-good" comedy for the late-20s, date-night movie audience. The "everyman" or "blue-collar" brand of humor seems to resonate best with TBS audiences. ENGVALL in particular fills a void left by the diminishing number of feel-good family sitcoms on the air.

Cable is the perfect place for the sitcom's comeback, according to TBS' original programming chief Michael Wright. "Because we don't have to aggregate the same size audience as (the broadcast networks) do, we have greater freedom to pursue different forms and grow the audience," he says. But the broadcast pendulum has swung, and the networks are producing more single and multi-camera sitcoms than in the past. Look for TBS to face stiffer competition from the networks in the fall.


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