The experience is everything, and the experience of Wednesday's Turner Upfront 2016 was one to remember.
It started with the CNN Politics team, where Wolf Blitzer introduced Anderson Cooper as host of a "town hall" between Conan and NBA on TNT's Charles Barkley. CNN's outstanding America's Choice 2016 campaign coverage has helped make it the fastest growing Top 75 network in basic cable, and Blitzer's introduction of Cooper marked a fitting start. This particular town hall established three key things: 1) Charles Barkley knows nothing about upfronts, 2) Anderson Cooper knows nothing about sports, and 3) Conan O'Brien sure does love his advertisers. The opener, in the words of one reporter, "killed".
(Anderson Cooper, Conan O'Brien and Charles Barkley open Turner Upfront 2016)
The trio was followed by Turner Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Kevin Reilly, who showcased how the lineups of TBS and TNT are refreshed and energized after last year's reset. TBS continues its surge as a place for fresh, unapologetic and young original comedy series, launching the new series Wrecked in June along with a second season of the hit Angie Tribeca while new series Search Party and People of Earth will also launch on the network later this year.
(TBS Sizzle Reel)
Meanwhile, TNT's evolution continues with more bold, cinematic original dramas with the debuts of Animal Kingdom in June and Good Behavior this fall, followed by the premieres Will, Civil, and The Alienist over the next year and a revival of the pulp classic Tales From the Crypt.
Experience a whole new side of Shakespeare in Will. Coming to TNT in 2017.https://t.co/z5sYnLO2Lk
— TNT Drama (@tntdrama) May 18, 2016
CNN announced its own doubling down on original series with Soundtracks: Songs That Made History, The History of Comedy, and The Nineties -- following in the footsteps of the hit previous CNN decade series.
— CNN (@CNN) May 18, 2016
The foundation of all of this original content across the portfolio is Turner's bold commitment to re-imagining the possibilities of multiplatform advertising. Through the new insights-powered Turner Ignite, Turner will pair smart data solutions with great viewer experiences, breeding solutions to the puzzle of our continually evolving media landscape. As President of Turner Ad Sales Donna Speciale put it following Cooper's opening town hall, "We know that to be effective we must deliver premium content at scale with the personalization you (advertisers) crave from digital."
Whether it's breaking news, comedy, drama or sports, it's clear that Turner is committed to ensuring that the experience is everything -- whether you're a consumer or an advertiser. Check out more photos from Turner Upfront 2016 below, and click here to learn more about Turner Upfront 2016.