May 1, 2012
Michael Wright Named President, Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Michael Wright has been promoted to President, Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). In this elevated role, Wright will continue to oversee all programming and scheduling for TNT and TBS, along with original programming for TCM and original content for all three networks' digital extensions. Wright is based in Los Angeles and reports to Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks.
During Wright's ten years at Turner, he's been responsible for multiple programming successes across the networks. For TNT, his notable achievements include The Closer, basic cable's #1 series for five consecutive years; Rizzoli & Isles, which took over the top spot when it premiered in 2010; and last year's #1 new series on basic cable, Falling Skies.
For TBS, Wright was instrumental in the acquisition of The Big Bang Theory. He was also part of the team that recruited Conan O'Brien and brought his critically acclaimed latenight hit to TBS. By crafting a successful lineup that includes The Big Bang Theory, CONAN and Family Guy, Wright and his department have helped elevate TBS to rank as basic cable's #1 network among young adults in 2012.
For TCM, Wright has led development on several acclaimed documentary series and specials that have served to expand the network's already stellar reputation as an authority on the art and history of cinema. Projects include the Emmy®nominated Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood, the TCM Night at the Movies franchise and TCM Presents AFI's Master Class The Art of Collaboration.
Wright has also forged strong creative partnerships with some of the industry's most revered talents, including Steven Spielberg, David E. Kelley, Frank Darabont, Dean Devlin, John Wells, Jamie Tarses, Vince Vaughn and Bill Haber, to name a few.
"Michael Wright has been an essential factor in the success of TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies," said Koonin. "Michael's relationships with creative talent, his eye for storytelling, his deep understanding of each network's unique brand voice and his ability to assemble and lead an extraordinary team have all combined to empower us within the industry. Michael is a great programmer and partner, and I look forward to working with him on shaping the multiscreen future of our business."
Wright's promotion comes as TNT and TBS are significantly expanding their original programming slates. For TNT, that includes the return of five original series and the launch of four new series over the next five months, while for TBS, it means the debut of three new scripted comedy series this year. Both networks are heavily involved in development of new series, as well, working with producers like Frank Darabont, David E. Kelley and Mark Burnett. In addition, TNT and TBS are shifting from premiering originals only in the summer and winter to a yearround model.
Most recently, Wright was executive vice president, head of programming, for TNT, TBS and TCM. He was promoted to that post in 2008. "I've worked at Turner for a decade, and the company continues to be a place where people are passionate about creating great programming," Wright said. "This is a fastchanging, dynamic industry, and I'm excited about building on the strengths of our networks."
Wright, who joined TNT in 2002, was named senior vice president of original programming for the network in 2004. His duties expanded to include TBS in 2005 and TCM in 2007.
Prior to joining Turner, Wright served as vice president of movies and miniseries for CBS Productions and CBS Entertainment. He supervised production of some of CBS' highestrated and acclaimed television movies.
Wright is a board member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the American Film Institute. He serves as secretary for the Hollywood Radio & Television Society Board of Trustees. Wright holds a bachelor's degree in theater arts from the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
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Turner Entertainment Networks