TNT Serie joins Premiere

US television operator Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) will distribute its new thematic channel TNT Serie in Germany on the pay-TV platform Premiere.

The subscription channel, which is due to launch on January 28 2009, will form part of family package Premiere Familie. TNT Serie will screen mostly international comedy and drama series, including German TV premieres such as Big Love, Rescue Me, Tell Me You Love Me, Friday Night Lights and 30 Rock. German pay-TV premieres include Monk, King of Queens, Smallville, Gilmore Girls, Without a Trace and Psych. Further highlights are Emergency Room, Nip/Tuck, Six Feet Under, Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld.

Programmes will be shown without commercial breaks in widescreen format 16:9 with the option to select either the dubbed German or original language version. TNT Serie will initially broadcast daily from 20:15 until 06:00 CET with a 24-hour schedule planned during the course of next year. The service will compete with US series channel Fox, due to launch on Premiere on October 4.

Industry observers have been expecting TNT Serie to join the Premiere bouquet as TBS holds an 8.5% stake in Premiere Star, the third party broadcasting platform which Premiere launched last year. The pay-TV platform distributes the same-named subscription package on Astra (19.2 East) and markets Premiere Familie via cable, satellite and ADSL.

According to TBS, negotiations are currently taking place with further platform operators. The television division of US media concern Time Warner already operates news channel CNN, cartoon services Cartoon Network and Boomerang as well as film channel TCM in German-speaking Europe. The company disclosed its intention to launch TNT in Germany in April.