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TruTV Expands Sports Slate

Turner’s TruTV, which televised a number of NCAA March Madness basketball games this year, is adding to its roster of sports programs.

At its upfront presentation in New York last night, Tru announced a slate of new programming, and sports and competition series played a big part of it.

NFL Films is producing a new unscripted series for the network, “Semi-Pro” (working title). The series follows a team of semi-pro football players as they practice, play and hit the bars after the game.

“Semi-Pro” is the second series to come to TruTV from NFL Films. Last year the channel televised “NFL Full Contact,” which was a behind the scenes look at an NFL game.

Another sports-themed series coming to Tru this year is MotoClash (wt), which is from producers Tony Scott and Ridley Scott. The series chronicles World MotoClash, the longest motorcycle race in the world.

Other competition series include “Guinness World Records” (wt) which has a pair of brothers traveling the country trying to help people break Guinness world records.

Finally, TruTV has acquired off-network rights to the ABC series “Wipeout,” which will debut on Tru this Fall.

More information on these and the other pickups, after the jump.

truTV Reveals Adrenaline-Packed Slate of New Programming,
Including Projects from Tony Scott and Ridley Scott, NFL Films,
Jennifer Lopez and Guinness World Records

truTV Acquires Hit Reality Competition Series Wipeout to Air Starting This Fall

Today, at its second-annual Upfront event, truTV unveiled a programming slate designed to build on the network’s momentum as one of the hottest destinations on television. truTV’s exciting slate of upcoming projects includes an inside look at semi-pro football from NFL Films and a behind-the-scenes pass to see the making of the world’s toughest motorcycle race from blockbuster film and TV producers Tony Scott and Ridley Scott. truTV also has projects in the works from Nuyorican Productions, owned by Jennifer Lopez, and Guinness World Records, famed arbiters of records around the globe.

In addition, truTV will bolster its lineup by adding the network’s biggest-ever acquisition: the hit reality competition show Wipeout. (Full Wipeout release: http://news.turner.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5642.) The series challenges contestants to compete in what is billed as the world’s largest obstacle course.

“truTV delivers a unique brand of high-stakes, high-impact television,” said Marc Juris, executive vice president and general manager of truTV. “We have tremendous momentum as a network, driven by our strength in original programming and our ongoing growth in brand awareness.”

“truTV continues to deliver a growing audience with valuable demo delivery for our increasing list of advertising partners,” said Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales/Marketing and Acquisitions. “To build on the record ratings the network has seen in primetime, research shows that viewers tuning in to truTV are more engaged than those watching similar networks.”

In 2010, truTV notched its best year ever in primetime delivery of key adult and male demos. The network followed that performance with record-setting deliveries in the first quarter of 2011. truTV’s median age of 44 has dropped seven years since the network’s rebranding in January 2008. This spring, truTV changed the game by partnering with TNT, TBS and CBS to air the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

Original programming is the cornerstone of truTV’s strong lineup and will include the return of 20 series in 2011. Today, truTV announced renewals of three hit series and additional episodes for another series:

HARDCORE PAWN – truTV returns to Detroit for a fourth season of HARDCORE PAWN, an inside look at one of the country’s largest pawn shops and the family that runs it. HARDCORE PAWN, which currently ranks as the most-watched show on truTV, comes to the network from Zodiak USA (Secret Millionaire).

BLACK GOLD – truTV has renewed BLACK GOLD for a fourth season. The series follows roughneck crews in the oil fields of Texas as they struggle against the elements, equipment and sometimes each other. BLACK GOLD comes to truTV from Original Productions (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers), a FremantleMedia company.

FULL THROTTLE SALOON – Experience the motorcycles and mayhem in Sturgis, S.D., as truTV brings back FULL THROTTLE SALOON for a third season. FULL THROTTLE SALOON captures all the action at the “World’s Largest Biker Bar” during Sturgis’ famous motorcycle rally. The series comes to truTV from A. Smith & Co. Productions (Hell’s Kitchen).

LIZARD LICK TOWING – truTV has ordered additional episodes of the first season of LIZARD LICK TOWING, which features Ron and Amy Shirley and Bobby Brantley, three breakout personalities from the network’s hit ALL WORKED UP. LIZARD LICK TOWING follows the Shirleys’ Lizard Lick, N.C., towing and repo company. The series comes to truTV from Zodiak USA.

Today, truTV also announced the following new projects:

SEMI-PRO (working title) – In this league, the players have all the heart … and half the talent. It’s semi-pro football, where grown men live the dream of winning a championship, or at least hitting the bars after the game. Over the course of a season, SEMI-PRO follows a colorful group of semi-tough, semi-good players as tempers flare and rivalries burn. SEMI-PRO comes to truTV from NFL Films.

MOTOCLASH (working title) – World MotoClash is the race of a lifetime: It’s known as the longest, most dangerous motorcycle race in the history of the sport. And getting there is half the battle. truTV takes an inside look at what it takes to make it in this intense race. MOTOCLASH comes to truTV from RD Independent Productions and executive producers Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Mary Lisio and David Zucker of Scott Free.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS (working title) – If you want to set a world record, take a few lessons from the Pumphrey brothers. Craig “The Professor” Pumphrey and Paul “The Human Bulldozer” Pumphrey are Guinness World Record holders who coach others on the ins-and-outs of being best on the planet. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS comes to truTV from High Noon Entertainment (Cake Boss).

IMPRACTICAL JOKERS – The IMPRACTICAL JOKERS are four lifelong friends on a mission to embarrass each other to the max. Since they were kids, Sal, Murr, Q and Joe have dared one another to do the most ridiculous, humiliating public pranks imaginable. Now, to find out who’s best under pressure, they’ll compete in unbelievably awkward social experiments – all recorded by hidden cameras. The loser must do the most mortifying challenge ever. IMPRACTICAL JOKERS comes to truTV from NorthSouth Productions (Say Yes to the Dress).

CHILL – Joe O’Donoghue, or “Joey Ice,” is a frenzied, profanity-spouting, modern-day Michelangelo in frozen H2O. Customers don’t go to Joey for typical ice sculptures. Joe and his Brooklyn team specialize in over-the-top, outrageous, never-before-seen creations. But with goods that can melt or bust to pieces, a potential disaster is always just around the corner. CHILL comes to truTV from Entertainment One Television (Haven, Hung) and Left/Right (Showtime’s This American Life).

SOUTH BEACH TOW – Tremont Towing is a family-run business in beautiful South Beach, where every day is spring break. The problem? There isn’t nearly enough parking. With plenty of confrontations, hilarious interactions and a slew of unpredictable situations, it’s never a dull moment at SOUTH BEACH TOW. The show comes to truTV from Nuyorican Productions (DanceLife) and Bodega Pictures.

HOLLYWOOD TAXI – Mike Grasso is a veteran driver who has cruised the streets of Hollywood more than 34 years. Today, he presides over a fleet of 290 cabs. From celebrities to partiers, HOLLYWOOD TAXI captures the wildest rides in Tinseltown. HOLLYWOOD TAXI comes to truTV from Irwin Entertainment (Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew).

BEAR SWAMP RECOVERY – Owned by a large Sicilian family, the crew at Bear Swamp Recovery in New Jersey repossesses what others simply can’t. And business booms in the summer, when the shore is overrun with careless vacationers and crazy locals who think the rules don’t apply to them. BEAR SWAMP RECOVERY comes to truTV from Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment (Scott Baio is 45…and Single, Beverly Hills Fabulous).

truTV has acquired exclusive, off-network cable rights to air the acquired series WIPEOUT. The series debuted on ABC in 2008 and will join the truTV lineup in fall 2011:

WIPEOUT – In WIPEOUT, contestants face wildly outrageous barriers, from Big Balls to complex contraptions, for the chance at winning a cash prize. WIPEOUT, which is also shown in numerous international versions around the globe, ranks among the world’s top-rated game shows. The series was recently voted by Entertainment Weekly’s readers as “Reality TV’s Guiltiest Pleasure.” WIPEOUT is executive-produced by Matt Kunitz (Fear Factor) and Scott Larsen. Shye Sutherland, Kevin Wehrenberg, Trice Barto and J. Rupert Thompson are co-executive producers. The series is produced by Endemol USA. David Goldberg is the chairman of Endemol North America.

About truTV
truTV is television’s destination for real-life stories told from an exciting and dramatic first-person perspective. Currently seen in 93 million U.S. households, the network is enjoying its best deliveries ever in key demographics. truTV features high-stakes, action-packed originals that give viewers access to places and situations they can’t normally experience. truTV’s primetime fan favorites include the original series Black Gold, Operation Repo, truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest… truTV is also a partner in airing the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. During the daytime, the channel features expert trial coverage under the name In Session.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

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