January 1, 1970Atlanta
independent UHF Channel 17 (WJRJ) purchased and renamed WTCG (for
Turner Communications Group).
April 15, 1972First
Braves game on Channel 17 (at San Diego Padres).
October 10, 1972First
Hawks game on Channel 17 (vs. Buffalo Braves).
January 3, 1976Atlanta
Braves purchased by R.E. Turner.
December 17, 1976WTCG
transmitted via satellite, becoming cable's first superstation.
January 28, 1977TBS
purchases a controlling interest in the National Basketball Association's
August 21, 1979Turner
Communications Group becomes Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
August 27, 1979WTCG
call letters changed to WTBS.
February 1, 1981Superstation
WTBS qualifies for Nielsen ratings.
June 29, 1981WTBS
begins "Turner Time," starting programming at :05 and
:35 after the hour.
January 30, 1982Superstation
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, 1983Debut
of five-year, 55-part Portrait of America series (Peabody Award-winner
March 28, 1984Cousteau/Amazon
series debuts (Peabody Award-winner in April 1985).
June 6, 1984TBS
announces exclusive two-year NBA cable contract (extension through
1988 announced in February 1986 and extension through 1990 announced
in November 1987).
August 20, 1984TBS
announces long-term program-production agreement with the National
January 13, 1985WTBS
and The Cousteau Society announce agreement to co-produce original
programs through 1990, titled Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World.
April 12, 1985Superstation
WTBS begins stereo transmission 24 hours a day (Padres vs. Braves).
August 6, 1985TBS
announces the Goodwill Games world-class summer sporting event
to take place in Moscow in July 1986.
September 7, 1985TBS
wins an Emmy (Informational Special) for Cousteau/Mississippi.
November 7, 1985TBS
and the National Geographic Society announce long-term programming
November 18, 1985First
Better World Society special, Challenge of the Caucasus, debuts.
March 25, 1986TBS
acquires MGM film library.
July 5, 1986The
Goodwill Games open officially in Moscow.
August 8, 1986MGM
Entertainment Company becomes Turner Entertainment Co.
September 8, 1986Color
Classics debut with the world premiere of a patented color version
of the Oscar®-winning movie Yankee Doodle Dandy.
February 27, 1987Secrets
of the Titanic becomes basic cable's highest-rated documentary
1987Superstation WTBS changes its logo to SuperStation
TBS to emphasize the network's national programming prominence.
TBS reaches 50 percent penetration of all American television
March 20-22, 1988The
most extensive look ever at the people, geography and culture
of the USSR, Portrait of the Soviet Union, premieres.
July 12, 1989SuperStation
TBS announces plans to air NBA Atlanta Hawks package, showcasing
25 regular season Hawks games during the 1989-90 season.
July 24, 1989SuperStation
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, 1989SuperStation
TBS renamed TBS Superstation to reflect the strong national standing
of the network.
December 13, 1989TBS
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, 1990Portrait
of the World series continues with the debut of Portrait of Great
June 15, 1990TBS
and The Cousteau Society announce agreement to co-produce original
programs through 1994, titled Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World
July 20, 1990The
Goodwill Games officially open in Seattle, Wash.
August 12, 1990TBS'
weekly environmental series, Network Earth, premieres.
1990Captain Planet and the Planeteers® premieres
on the network.
bought MGM/UA movie package which included the James Bond series
and all five Rocky movies.
March 6, 1991Diamonds
are Forever delivers the largest movie audience in basic-cable
history (4.47 million homes).
December 17, 1991TBS
celebrates its 15th anniversary as a superstation.
January 16, 1992TBS
announces Save the Earth campaign.
1992Real News for Kids premieres.
December 3, 1992TBS
announces The Native Americans project.,
April 16, 1993TBS
announces commitment to produce more than 30 hours of high-profile,
long-form documentary series for 1993 and 1994.
acquires the show Full House, which will begin airing in September
1994Feed Your Mind, TBS Superstations weekly
series geared toward children ages 6-12, premieres.
October 6, 1994R.E.
Turner and Robert Redford announce Redfords role as creative
advisor on The Native Americans.
March 8, 1995Turner
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.
Shot wins a Peabody award.
acquires the off network, non-exclusive rights to Friends, which
will begin airing in September 2001.
acquires The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which will begin airing
in September 1999.
January 8, 1996Steven
Spielberg, in Association With Survivors of the Shoah Visual History
Foundation, Presents Survivors of the Holocaust, premiering on
TBS Superstation commercial free.
Aaron: Chasing the Dream is nominated for Oscar® for Best
Aaron: Chasing the Dream and The Private Life of Plants win George
Foster Peabody awards.
December 17, 1996TBS
celebrates its 20th birthday as a Superstation.
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, 1997Turner
Broadcasting announces acquisition of U.S. network television
premiere rights to several award-winning movies, including Shine,
The English Patient and Evita.
June 16, 1997TBS
Superstation acquires the off network, non-exclusive rights to
The Drew Carey Show, which will begin airing in September 2002.
July 14, 1997TBS
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.
1997TBS 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, 1997TBS
Superstation converts from a super-station to a free market superstation.
January 8, 1998TBS
Superstation premieres Thunder, a weekly live wrestling show,
to a 4.0 rating#3151;basic cable's highest-rated original series
Superstation announces its first four development deals for original
May 18, 1998TBS
acquires Home Improvement, which will begin airing in the fall
June 2, 1998TBS
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, 1998TBS
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.
1998TBS Superstation acquires exclusive cable rights
to Seinfeld, in its second cycle of syndication. Seinfeld will
join the Superstation line-up in September 2002.
1998TBS Superstation announces its first original
movie, Fatal Error starring Antonio Sabáto Jr. and Janine
October 4, 1998TBS
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, 1998TBS
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, 1999TBS
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, 1999TBS
Superstation premieres The Chimp Channel, an original half-hour
comedy series based on the Superstation's popular Monkey-ed Movies
June 13, 1999Silent
Predators, the Superstation's second original movie, premieres,
earning a 4.9 rating.
August 15, 1999TBS
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, 1999Michael
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, 1999TBS
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, 1999TBS
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, 1999TBS
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 NBCs presentation of Dateline
and CBSs presentation of Jag.