TNT/TBS TV Summer 2008 Highlights

The Closer - Kyra Sedgwick

Here are some of the Summer 2008 Highlights we can expect from TNT and TBS:

TNT Original Series:

THE CLOSER – One-hour drama series

New season to premiere Monday, July 14, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)

Season 3 marathon to lead into season premiere
No original series in the history of cable has ever been as popular as TNT’s award-winning drama starring Kyra Sedgwick, who took home the Golden Globe® for Best Actress in a Drama Series in January 2007 for her performance. She plays CIA-trained Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a former Atlanta detective brought to Los Angeles to head a special LAPD unit charged with cracking sensitive, high-profile murder cases. This top-notch investigator is highly skilled at diving deeply into a case, leaving no stone unturned as she pinpoints her suspect and draws out a confession. Joining Sedgwick once again is THE CLOSER’s two-time Screen Actors Guild Award®-nominated ensemble cast: Jon Tenney, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds, Robert Gossett, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Raymond Cruz, Michael Paul Chan and Gina Ravera.

SAVING GRACE – One-hour drama series

New season to premiere Monday, July 14, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

This provocative drama series stars Academy Award®-winner Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko, an intense Oklahoma City police detective at the top of her field. She is a forceful investigator whose wild personal life translates into a no-holds-barred approach to her detective work. She lives hard and fast, getting involved in numerous affairs, including with her partner Ham (Kenneth Johnson, The Shield) and fellow detective Butch (Bailey Chase, Las Vegas). When her life reaches its darkest, Grace begins being visited by an unconventional angel named Earl (Leon Rippy, Deadwood). Earl is determined to help Grace come to terms with her past so that she can get her future on track. He uses dreams to connect her in strange ways with a death row inmate (Bokeem Woodbine, The Big Hit). And he leaves various cryptic clues for Grace, all of which are interpreted by her best friend and criminalist colleague, Rhetta Rodriguez (Laura San Giacomo, Just Shoot Me). Grace’s mesmerizing journey is played out every week as she unapologetically stares down internal and external demons and refuses to conform to anyone’s expectations. SAVING GRACE also stars Lorraine Toussaint (Any Day Now) as Kate Perry, Grace’s friend and boss, Gregory Cruz (Criminal Minds) as Detective Bobby Stillwater and Dylan Minnette (Grey’s Anatomy) as Grace’s nephew Clay.

TNT Special Events:

LAW & ORDER Independence Day Marathon – Friday, July 4

TNT offers dramatic fireworks with an all-day marathon of this enduring legal series.

Championship Sports:

NASCAR ON TNT – Coverage begins Sunday, June 8

It’s drama at every turn as TNT presents 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage, which includes telecasts of six consecutive Cup races beginning Sunday, June 8, from Pocono Raceway. The NASCAR on TNT Summer Series will feature two marquee primetime races with the Daytona race on July 5 and racing from Chicagoland Speedway on July 12; both races take off at 8 p.m. (ET). Rounding out the network’s schedule are races in Michigan (June 15), Sonoma (June 22) and Loudon (June 29). The Daytona 400 will feature the return of Wide Open Coverage, the highly lauded innovative broadcast format that provides continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and offers original branded content and on-screen graphic elements from sponsors. The production features 22% more unobstructed race action than that of a standard telecast. The network’s 2008 race programming marks TNT’s 24th year of televising Cup coverage, making it NASCAR’s longest running broadcast partner. TNT, along with former NASCAR broadcast partner NBC, won an Emmy® for its 2006 NASCAR coverage. TNT’s NASCAR coverage includes comprehensive pre-race coverage to provide viewers with analysis, updates, interviews and features and will include all of the TNT announcers and pit reporters who will provide analysis and commentary on the NASCAR season to date. Also, TNT will cover the drivers preparing for the race and all of the exciting moments leading up to green flag action.

BRITISH OPEN – Thursday, July 17-Sunday, July 20

TNT offers extensive coverage of golf’s oldest championship each July as the sport’s best battle for one of its most prestigious titles. British Open Coverage also includes the SENIOR BRITISH OPEN Thursday, July 24-Friday, July 25, the WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN Thursday, July 31-Friday, Aug. 1.

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP – Thursday, Aug. 7-Sunday, Aug. 10

The drama unfolds during the year’s last major golf event as TNT airs more than 17 hours of live coverage of the 2008 PGA Championship. TNT provides exclusive coverage on Thursday and Friday, as well as weekend coverage.

TBS Summer 2008 Highlights:

TBS Original Prime-Time Series

Tyler Perry’s HOUSE OF PAYNE – Half-hour scripted comedy airing Wednesdays beginning at 9 p.m.

Each Wednesday, TBS devotes two full hours to this comedy that ranks as ad-supported cable’s #1 sitcom of all time. Set in Atlanta, it features LaVan Davis as fireman Curtis “Pops” Payne, a man who believes his house should be his castle, he the king and his wife, Ella (Cassi Davis), the queen. Unfortunately, their castle has turned into Grand Central Station thanks to frequent visits from their son, Calvin (Lance Gross), a college student whose lack of funds keeps him returning to his parents’ table, as well as from their nephew CJ (Allen Payne) and CJ’s family: wife Janine (Demetria McKinney) and children Malik (Larramie Doc Shaw) and Jazmine (China McCain). Pops is forced to give up even more of his precious privacy when CJ’s house burns down and Ella offers to take in the entire family.

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW – Half-hour scripted comedy returning for second season Thursday, June 12, at 9 p.m.

Ad-supported cable’s #1 original sitcom of all time among adults 25-54 is back in the house as this top-rated series gears up for its second season. The show stars Blue Collar Comedy Tour headliner Bill Engvall as Bill Pearson, a family counselor whose hilariously unconventional family could use a good dose of counseling itself. Nancy Travis (Becker, The Jane Austen Book Club) co-stars as his wife, while Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) plays his best friend. The series also features Jennifer Lawrence (Drillbit Taylor), Graham Patrick Martin (The Girl Next Door) and Skyler Gisondo (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as the Pearson children.

MY BOYS – Half-hour scripted comedy returning for second season Thursday, June 12, at 9:30 p.m.

A memorable trip to Rome with a mystery date will mark the second-season opener of this critically acclaimed original series, which returns with all new episodes this summer. The popular comedy stars Jordana Spiro (JAG, Must Love Dogs) as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sports writer looking for love while also trying to maintain her close connection with her friends, most of whom are guys. Returning with Spiro for the second season of MY BOYS is the show’s top-notch ensemble cast, including Jim Gaffigan (That ‘70s Show, Ed), Kyle Howard (Related, Orange County), Reid Scott (American Dreams), Michael Bunin (Scrubs), Jamie Kaler (The Family Stone) and Kellee Stewart (Guess Who?).