October 26, 2014

Super Movies


January 1, 1970—Atlanta independent UHF Channel 17 (WJRJ) purchased and renamed WTCG (for Turner Communications Group).

April 15, 1972—First Braves game on Channel 17 (at San Diego Padres).

October 10, 1972—First Hawks game on Channel 17 (vs. Buffalo Braves).

January 3, 1976—Atlanta Braves purchased by R.E. Turner.

December 17, 1976—WTCG transmitted via satellite, becoming cable's first superstation.

January 28, 1977—TBS purchases a controlling interest in the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks.

August 21, 1979—Turner Communications Group becomes Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

August 27, 1979—WTCG call letters changed to WTBS.

February 1, 1981—Superstation WTBS qualifies for Nielsen ratings.

June 29, 1981—WTBS begins "Turner Time," starting programming at :05 and :35 after the hour.

January 30, 1982—Superstation premiere of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Besides obtaining rights to the series, WTBS also contracts with The Cousteau Society to air original programming on Cousteau's explorations.

January 10, 1983—Debut of five-year, 55-part Portrait of America series (Peabody Award-winner in 1984).

March 28, 1984—Cousteau/Amazon series debuts (Peabody Award-winner in April 1985).

June 6, 1984—TBS announces exclusive two-year NBA cable contract (extension through 1988 announced in February 1986 and extension through 1990 announced in November 1987).

August 20, 1984—TBS announces long-term program-production agreement with the National Audubon Society.

January 13, 1985—WTBS and The Cousteau Society announce agreement to co-produce original programs through 1990, titled Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World.

April 12, 1985—Superstation WTBS begins stereo transmission 24 hours a day (Padres vs. Braves).

August 6, 1985—TBS announces the Goodwill Games world-class summer sporting event to take place in Moscow in July 1986.

September 7, 1985—TBS wins an Emmy (Informational Special) for Cousteau/Mississippi.

November 7, 1985—TBS and the National Geographic Society announce long-term programming agreement.

November 18, 1985—First Better World Society special, Challenge of the Caucasus, debuts.

March 25, 1986—TBS acquires MGM film library.

July 5, 1986—The Goodwill Games open officially in Moscow.

August 8, 1986—MGM Entertainment Company becomes Turner Entertainment Co.

September 8, 1986—Color Classics debut with the world premiere of a patented color version of the Oscar®-winning movie Yankee Doodle Dandy.

February 27, 1987—Secrets of the Titanic becomes basic cable's highest-rated documentary program.

September 22, 1987—Superstation WTBS changes its logo to SuperStation TBS to emphasize the network's national programming prominence.

March 1988—SuperStation TBS reaches 50 percent penetration of all American television households.

March 20-22, 1988—The most extensive look ever at the people, geography and culture of the USSR, Portrait of the Soviet Union, premieres.

July 12, 1989—SuperStation TBS announces plans to air NBA Atlanta Hawks package, showcasing 25 regular season Hawks games during the 1989-90 season.

July 24, 1989—SuperStation TBS announces plans to indemnify cable operators who agree not to black out TBS against syndex-related claims when the new syndicated exclusivity rules take effect on January 1, 1990.

September 4, 1989—SuperStation TBS renamed TBS Superstation to reflect the strong national standing of the network.

December 13, 1989—TBS Superstation commemorates the 50th anniversary of Gone With the Wind, airing a recently restored print that brings to life the vibrancy and color of the original. This also marks the network's first transmission of a D2 digital tape, ensuring the highest quality audio and video on television.

March 5-6, 1990—Portrait of the World series continues with the debut of Portrait of Great Britain.

June 15, 1990—TBS and The Cousteau Society announce agreement to co-produce original programs through 1994, titled Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World II.

July 20, 1990—The Goodwill Games officially open in Seattle, Wash.

August 12, 1990—TBS' weekly environmental series, Network Earth, premieres.

September 16, 1990—Captain Planet and the Planeteers® premieres on the network.

November 1990—TBS bought MGM/UA movie package which included the James Bond series and all five Rocky movies.

March 6, 1991—Diamonds are Forever delivers the largest movie audience in basic-cable history (4.47 million homes).

December 17, 1991—TBS celebrates its 15th anniversary as a superstation.

January 16, 1992—TBS announces Save the Earth campaign.

September 27, 1992—Real News for Kids premieres.

December 3, 1992—TBS announces The Native Americans project.,

April 16, 1993—TBS announces commitment to produce more than 30 hours of high-profile, long-form documentary series for 1993 and 1994.

February 1994—TBS acquires the show Full House, which will begin airing in September 1998.

September 24, 1994—Feed Your Mind, TBS Superstation’s weekly series geared toward children ages 6-12, premieres.

October 6, 1994—R.E. Turner and Robert Redford announce Redford’s role as creative advisor on The Native Americans.

March 8, 1995—Turner Entertainment Group announces creation of Turner Original Productions, a nonfiction development and production unit creating original programming for TBS Superstation, as well as augmenting the existing nonfiction programming of other TEG entities.

April 1995—Moon Shot wins a Peabody award.

November 1995—TBS acquires the off network, non-exclusive rights to Friends, which will begin airing in September 2001.

November 1995—TBS acquires The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which will begin airing in September 1999.

January 8, 1996—Steven Spielberg, in Association With Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Presents Survivors of the Holocaust, premiering on TBS Superstation commercial free.

February 1996—Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream is nominated for Oscar® for Best Feature Documentary.

March 1996—Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream and The Private Life of Plants win George Foster Peabody awards.

December 17, 1996—TBS celebrates its 20th birthday as a Superstation.

January 1997—Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. announce deal for TBS and TNT to share the world broadcast premiere rights to Michael, Space Jam, Mars! Attacks and others.

February 12, 1997—Turner Broadcasting announces acquisition of U.S. network television premiere rights to several award-winning movies, including Shine, The English Patient and Evita.

June 16, 1997—TBS Superstation acquires the off network, non-exclusive rights to The Drew Carey Show, which will begin airing in September 2002.

July 14, 1997—TBS Superstation and the 1998 Goodwill Games announce a one-year campaign (the SuperChallenge) to help children in need by generating one million hours of volunteer time and $1 million for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

September 14, 1997—TBS Superstation airs the world broadcast premiere of Dumb and Dumber. The movie delivers the largest audience (4,695,000) of any theatrical movie in basic cable history.

December 31, 1997—TBS Superstation converts from a super-station to a free market superstation.

January 8, 1998—TBS Superstation premieres Thunder, a weekly live wrestling show, to a 4.0 rating#3151;basic cable's highest-rated original series debut.

April 1998—TBS Superstation announces its first four development deals for original movies.

May 18, 1998—TBS acquires Home Improvement, which will begin airing in the fall of 2002.

June 2, 1998—TBS Superstation announces development deal for a four-hour authorized miniseries entitled The Reagans, about the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Nancy Reagan will consult on the film, which is slated to premiere on the Superstation in 1999.

August 16, 1998—TBS Superstation airs the world broadcast premiere of The American President. The movie delivers the largest audience (4,963,000) of any theatrical movie in basic cable history, breaking the old record set by Dumb and Dumber.

September 14, 1998—TBS Superstation acquires exclusive cable rights to Seinfeld, in its second cycle of syndication. Seinfeld will join the Superstation line-up in September 2002.

September 23, 1998—TBS Superstation announces its first original movie, Fatal Error starring Antonio Sabáto Jr. and Janine Turner.

October 4, 1998—TBS Superstation's NASCAR Web event surrounding the UAW-GM Quality 500 sets a network record for single-day Web events, drawing more than 564,000 page views. The Web event, the Superstation's third with NASCAR, features exclusive footage from a Batman vs. Joker stunt spectacular, as well as in-car cameras giving visitors a driver's eye view of the track.

December 9, 1998—TBS Superstation teams with Columbia TriStar for an original series entitled The New Ripley's Believe It or Not, to begin airing on the Superstation in January 2000.

March 28, 1999—TBS Superstation premieres its first Superstation Original Movie: Fatal Error, starring Antonio Sabàto Jr., Janine Turner and Robert Wagner. The movie posts an impressive 3.4 rating and ranks as basic cable's top original movie of the week.

June 10, 1999—TBS Superstation premieres The Chimp Channel, an original half-hour comedy series based on the Superstation's popular Monkey-ed Movies shorts.

June 13, 1999—Silent Predators, the Superstation's second original movie, premieres, earning a 4.9 rating.

August 15, 1999—TBS Superstation's third original movie, First Daughter, premieres with a 6.9 rating, making it basic cable's highest-rated movie of the year. Its 5,309,000-household audience gives it basic cable's largest movie audience of all time (excluding miniseries).

October 10, 1999—Michael has its world broadcast premiere on TBS Superstation and earns a 5.5 rating, making it basic cable's highest rated movie of the year to date.

October 17, 1999—TBS Superstation's fourth original movie, The TimeShifters premieres with a 3.4 rating. It joins the Superstation's earlier original movies to give the network basic cable's highest average rating of the year for original movie premieres (4.7).

October 24, 1999—TBS Superstation counter programs the World Series with a Julia Roberts marathon. Pretty Woman earns a 6.1 rating and delivered 4,770,000 households, giving it basic cable's highest rating and largest movie audience for a theatrical for the year to date. Pretty Woman joins The American President, Dumb and Dumber and Diamonds are Forever to give the Superstation four of basic cable's five largest movie audiences of all time.

November 21, 1999—TBS Superstation's cable debut of the classic The Wizard of Oz draws basic cable's largest theatrical movie audience of all time, delivering more than 5 million households. The movie also earns a 6.4 household rating, making it basic cable's highest-rated theatrical for the year to date.

January 12, 2000— TBS Superstation's premiere of RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!® earned an electrifying 3.3 rating and delivered a record-breaking 2.6 million households, giving it basic cable's largest audience for an original series premiere ever (excluding sports). The series debut, which ranked as basic cable's top program of the night, was especially popular among adults 18-34, (1,134,000) with the show ranking third in its time period (8-9 p.m.) among all networks, broadcast or cable, beating NBC’s presentation of Dateline and CBS’s presentation of Jag.

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