Court TV Gears Up for Major Branding Initiative
Court TV, one of ad-supported cable’s fastest-growing networks, will undergo a major branding initiative that will include a new name, a new look and a new logo, as well as an expansion of the network’s already successful programming line-up, according to an announcement today by Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks; Marc Juris, the network’s general manager; and Marlene Dann, executive vice president of Court TV daytime. Under a positioning that promises to provide viewers with first-person access to exciting, real-life stories, the network will feature original programming that targets a highly coveted psychographic known as “Real Engagers.” The newly re-branded network is slated to launch Jan. 1, 2008.
“One of the first steps we take in creating a brand is to find out what is working and build from there,” Koonin explained. “TBS had its comedy block to help build the ’very funny’ brand, and TNT had viewers predisposed to drama.”
“We have identified a very strong audience segment driving our prime-time success, an audience we call Real Engagers,” Juris added. “These viewers watch a tremendous amount of television and love real-life action programming, real-life emotion and access to places they can’t normally go. Now that we have identified our target audience, we can evolve our programming to serve those viewers, while also capturing the unrealized potential of our new consumer brand.”
In determining the direction for the network, extensive research was conducted into who Court TV’s fringe, prime-time and late-night viewers are and what kind of programming they desire. The compiled data showed the network’s line-up attracts a dual audience that skews slightly male and loves programming with real people, real-life situations and true stories. These viewers are eager for thrills, excitement and suspense. They are also eager to get inside people’s minds. And while they tend to favor action-oriented programming, they are also interested in compelling stories and characters.
Upcoming and in-development projects that will join successful returning series in support of the new brand include such series and specials as The Room, a real-life look at police interrogations; The Real Hustle, featuring a trio of con artists targeting unsuspecting marks; Tiger Team, featuring a team of security experts hired to test high-end security systems; and Most Daring, a gripping series that focuses on life-or-death rescues.
Leveraging the success of its enormously popular online destination The Smoking Gun (www.thesmokinggun.com), the network is also developing quarterly specials. The first such special, entitled The Smoking Gun Presents The Dumbest Criminals In The World, will count down the 20 dumbest criminals caught in the worst possible situations.
The following are upcoming series and series in development reflecting the new network brand:
— Beach Patrol: Hawaii – New season premiering Summer 2007
Court TV’s popular Beach Patrol goes Hawaiian with this fast-paced, hard-driving series that follows lifeguards from the Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services unit. The series will feature daring rescues on some of the world’s most beautiful (and sometimes most dangerous) beaches, including Waikiki, Sandy, Maka Pu, Pipeline, Waimea Bay and Sunset.
— Bounty Girls – New series premiering 2007
Sunshine State Bail Bonds in Florida is home to an elite team of female bounty hunters who use their brains and beauty to track down the most elusive criminals. Court TV’s cameras go along for the ride, following the best in the business as they do their jobs in style.
— The Smoking Gun Presents The Dumbest Criminals in the World – New quarterly special in production
This first in a series of quarterly specials from the network’s enormously popular online investigative journalists will count down the 20 dumbest criminals. Footage from surveillance and police cameras exposes people doing truly stupid things while in the process of committing a crime, from getting stuck in a chimney to leaving the gun on the counter during a convenience-store hold-up.
— The Real Hustle – New series in production
The Hustlers – Apollo Robbins, scam expert and master pickpocket; Ryan Oakes, sleight-of-hand artist with a background in psychology; and Dani Marco, queen of distraction and femme fatale – carry out some of the most audacious and notorious scams on unsuspecting marks. In this first season, the trickster trio takes on savvy New Yorkers and shows how even the most sophisticated city-slickers can be hustled.
— Most Daring – New series in production
Building on the Court TV success of Bruce Nash/Nash Entertainment’s Most Shocking, MOST DARING will captivate viewers with nail-biting stories of exciting rescue missions.
— Tiger Team – New series in development When major businesses and governments need to test their security vulnerabilities, they bring in a group of security professionals with expertise in everything from hacking to kidnapping. This new series follows one such Tiger Team as they carry out their own impossible missions.
— The Room – New series in development Real cops interrogate real suspects in this intense, claustrophobic series that uses actual police interrogation-room footage to show how detectives break suspects and get much-needed confessions.
In addition, Koonin announced a new daytime line-up that will begin at 9 a.m. with the network’s acclaimed courtroom coverage, the gold standard of the industry. Then at 3 p.m., that coverage will continue via broadband at courttv.com, making way for a two-hour afternoon block that includes Nancy Grace: Closing Arguments and the recently announced new series with Star Jones.
“Within the network’s new branded environment, our successful daytime line-up of legal coverage will be getting a make-over,” said Dann. “With a revamped daytime schedule, we can create appointment viewing for our series with Star Jones and Nancy Grace, while also expanding the network’s award-winning courtroom coverage onto broadband.”
Court TV®, a Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. company, provides a window on the American system of justice through distinctive programming that both informs and entertains. Seen in nearly 88 million U.S. homes, Court TV Networks is comprised of Court TV News™, which provides live trial coverage in daytime; Court TV: Seriously Entertaining™ in prime time, featuring investigative drama, expert reality and compelling non-fiction series; and Court TV Extra™, a subscription Web-based service offering viewers an interactive opportunity to watch multiple live trials on the Internet, while accessing the tremendous resources of Court TV Online™. The Court TV Web sites can be accessed via www.courttv.com and www.courttvnews.com.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the cable industry
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