TNT is going to ramp up the drama this summer with a spectacular lineup of original series, including four brand new shows and five returning favorites. Set to launch new seasons this summer are the hit series Falling Skies, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Perception and Franklin & Bash. New series joining them in the lineup include King & Maxwell; the unscripted competition series The Hero and 72 Hours; and the docu-drama procedural Cold Justice (working title). Here's what Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) had to say about this summer's lineup.
"Even as we expand TNT's lineup of original series to a year-round model, summer remains a big season for us and a great opportunity to introduce new series. This summer, we're bringing our viewers a broad range of exciting dramas on TNT, from our tent-pole scripted dramas Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles to our newest crime drama King & Maxwell, starring Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn, to new unscripted dramas like The Rock's action reality show The Hero and Dick Wolf's compelling new unscripted procedural Cold Justice. They all deliver on TNT's promise of smart, entertaining storytelling featuring a wide range of engaging personalities."
The following is TNT's summer slate of original series, including premiere dates.
The Hero - New Series - Premiere: Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson headlines this epic new competition series that will bring nine ordinary people together and assign them various missions testing their brains, their brawn and even their morality. The show will challenge the competitors to prove they've got what it takes to be heroes, pushing them to the limits to see what they are willing - and able - to overcome, undergo, or sacrifice for the sake of their fellow contestants. Through the show's unique interactive digital platform, viewers will be polled each week to determine the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. The competition will then climax with viewers voting to determine who deserves the grand prize and the title of The Hero. The Hero is executive-produced by Electus (Benjamin Silverman, Chris Grant and Jimmy Fox); 5x5 Media (part of the Electus studio system led by Craig Armstrong and Rick Ringbakk); Charles Wachter; Dwayne Johnson; and Dany Garcia. The series was created by Armstrong and Ringbakk of the Emmy-winning 5x5 Media (Survivor, Fashion Star, TBS's King of the Nerds), along with Wachter (Fashion Star, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution) and Electus' Silverman (Fashion Star, The Biggest Loser, The Office).
72 Hours - New Series - Premiere: Thursday, June 6, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Each week, this action-packed, white-knuckle competition series hosted by Brandon Johnson drops three new competing teams of strangers into the wilderness with only a single bottle of water and a GPS tracking device. The competitors have just three days to find a hidden briefcase full of cash. Along the way, they must survive treacherous terrain and battle the elements to be the first to locate $100,000. 72 Hours comes to TNT from Lighthearted Entertainment (Extreme Makeover), with Howard Schultz (The Moment of Truth), Rob LaPlante (The Apprentice) and Brady Connell (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) serving as executive producers. Jeff Spangler serves as co-executive producer.
Falling Skies - Season 3 - Two-Hour Premiere: Sunday, June 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) ..Regular Timeslot: Sundays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Basic cable's #1 summer drama among key demos tells the extraordinary story about life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. Noah Wyle stars as a college professor who becomes an unlikely resistance leader in this gripping series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg. Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight and Connor Jessup also star. In the third season of Falling Skies, Gloria Reuben is set to guest-star in a multiple-episode arc as Marina Perlata, an aide to Wyle's Tom Mason. In addition, Robert Sean Leonard is slated to guest-star as Roger Kadar, an obsessive but gifted scientist who runs the local power grid and lives underground with his pet rats, earning him the nickname "The Rat King." In addition to Spielberg, Falling Skies is executive-produced by DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Remi Aubuchon and Greg Beeman also serve as executive producers.
Major Crimes - Season 2 - Premiere: Monday, June 10, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Television's favorite squad of detectives has entered bold new territory with this hit crime drama that ranked as basic cable's #1 new series of 2012. The elite team of Major Crimes is back, headed by two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell as Los Angeles Police Captain Sharon Raydor, G.W. Bailey as Lieutenant Provenza, Anthony John Denison as Lieutenant Andy Flynn, Michael Paul Chan as Lieutenant Mike Tao, Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez, Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, Phillip P. Keene as tech expert Buzz Watson and Jonathan Del Arco as Dr. Morales. Graham Patrick Martin returns as Rusty Beck, a homeless teen and material witness taken in by Captain Raydor, and Robert Gossett guest-stars as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor. This season, Nadine Velazquez joins the ensemble as Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios. Major Crimes focuses on how the American justice system approaches the art of the deal as law enforcement officers and prosecutors work together to score a conviction. The series is produced by The Shephard/Robin Company and Walking Entropy, Inc., in association with Warner Bros. Television. James Duff, Greer Shephard, Rick Wallace and Michael M. Robin serve as executive producers.
King & Maxwell - New Series - Premiere: Monday, June 10, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
This brand new private-eye drama features Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn as bestselling author David Baldacci's popular characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. These two aren't your typical private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skills - not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry - give them a leg up on conventional law enforcement. Maxwell is a former Olympic athlete who uses her brains, beauty and Beltway connections to solve cases. King's career in the Secret Service ended when the presidential candidate he was assigned to protect was assassinated, sending him on a downward spiral. Today, King has added a law degree to his arsenal of skills, allowing him to navigate the system in ways a typical private investigator never could. Along the way, King and Maxwell clash over everything, from her garbage-strewn car to his love of wine over beer. King & Maxwell also stars Michael O'Keefe and Chris Butler as F.B.I. Special Agents Rigby and Carter, who clash with King and Maxwell over their less-than-legal methods. This series is being produced by CBS Television Studios. Shane Brennan (NCIS: Los Angeles), Grant Anderson (Third Watch); and Chris Downey (Leverage) serve as executive producers, with Karen S. Spiegel as producer and Baldacci as series consultant.
Rizzoli & Isles - Season 4 - Premiere: Tuesday, June 18, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
One of cable's Top 3 shows for three consecutive years, Rizzoli & Isles will return this summer with Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as Boston's top crime-solving duo. Harmon is Jane Rizzoli, a tough-as-nails Boston police detective, and Alexander is Maura Isles, a smart, impeccably dressed medical examiner from a privileged background. Despite being complete opposites, the two women share an offbeat chemistry, an authentic and deep friendship and a unique working relationship that together, helps them to solve the most complex murder mysteries in the city of Boston. Rizzoli & Isles also stars Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges and Brian Goodman. Developed for television by executive producer Janet Tamaro and developed characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles is produced for TNT by Warner Horizon Television, Janet Tamaro's Hurdler Productions and Bill Haber's Ostar Productions. Tamaro and Haber serve as executive producers.
Perception - Season 2 - Premiere: Tuesday, June 18, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
This fascinating series features one of the most unique crime solvers on television, an eccentric neuroscience professor who is recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases. Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Eric McCormack stars as Dr. Daniel Pierce, who possesses an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the way the mind works. Although Pierce's mind may be brilliant, it's also damaged as he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Rachael Leigh Cook co-stars as FBI agent Kate Moretti, Pierce's former student who has recruited Pierce to consult on cases. Also starring are Arjay Smith, Kelly Rowan and LeVar Burton. In addition, Season 2 will feature special guest star Scott Wolf (Party of Five, V, Everwood) as Donnie, Kate's soon-to-be ex-husband. Perception was created by executive producer Kenneth Biller and co-executive producer Mike Sussman, with McCormack serving as producer. The series comes to TNT from ABC Studios.
Franklin & Bash - Season 3 - Premiere: Wednesday, July 24, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
This buddy lawyer series stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer as two young, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants street lawyers who cause a seismic culture clash when they join a legendary, button-down law firm. This season, Heather Locklear joins the Franklin & Bash cast as Rachel King, a beautiful and brilliant trial lawyer and the firm's newest partner. Malcolm McDowell returns as Renaissance man Stanton Infeld, the brilliant and eccentrically spontaneous patriarch of the law firm. Also starring are Reed Diamond, Dana Davis and Kumail Nanjiani. Franklin & Bash is produced by Four Sycamore Productions, Left Coast Productions and FanFare Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television. Jamie Tarses, Kevin Falls, Matt McGuinness and Bill Chais serve as executive producers.
Cold Justice (working title) - New Series - Premiere: Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
TNT's new unscripted procedural drama follows two top-notch female investigators as they dig into small town murder cases that have lingered for years without answers or closure. Kelly Siegler, a Texas prosecutor for 21 years who has successfully tried 68 murder cases, and Yolanda McClary, a crime scene investigator who worked more than 7,000 cases in her 26 years in the Las Vegas Police Department, are putting their vast knowledge and experience to work helping local law-enforcement officers and families of violent-crime victims get to the truth. With a fresh set of eyes on old evidence, superior interrogation skills and access to advanced DNA technology and lab testing, Siegler and McClary are determined to bring about a legal and emotional resolution. Taking on a different unsolved crime each week, they will carefully re-examine evidence, question suspects and witnesses, and chase down leads in order to solve cases that would have otherwise remained cold indefinitely. TNT has ordered eight episodes of Cold Justice, which comes to the network from Wolf Films and Magical Elves. Cold Justice is executive-produced by Emmy winners Dick Wolf (Law & Order, Chicago Fire), Dan Cutforth & Jane Lipsitz (Top Chef, Fashion Star), Tom Thayer (Hitchcock, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) and Kathryn Vaughan (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition).