TNT, a division of Turner, has given the greenlight to Will, an unconventional period drama centered on a young William Shakespeare, played by newcomer Laurie Davidson.
Will is the newest of five original series coming to the network over the next year, a slate that also includes Animal Kingdom, Good Behavior, The Alienist and Tales from the Crypt.
Also announced at this season's Upfronts, TNT has ordered a pilot for Civil, a gripping drama about a second American Civil War. And Niecy Nash (Reno 911, Scream Queens, The Mindy Project) has just been cast in TNT's previously announced pilot for Claws, an outrageous dramedy set in a Florida nail salon.
TNT's latest programming moves are part of an overall strategy to shift the network's slate of original programming toward exciting, cinematic originals. Leading that shift is Animal Kingdom, an unflinching family crime drama starring Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman and Shawn Hatosy, and set to premiere with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, June 14. Animal Kingdom will be followed this fall by the premiere of Good Behavior, featuring Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery in a no-holds-barred performance as a complicated woman trying to regain her life.
Next year's slate for TNT includes the newly greenlit Will, along with The Alienist, based on Caleb Carr's New York Times bestseller about a serial killer in New York during the Gilded Age, and Tales from the Crypt, a new horror block executive-produced by M. Night Shyamalan and built around a revival of the classic anthology series, complete with a re-imagined Crypt Keeper.
As part of a portfolio-wide Turner initiative to transform the viewing experience for consumers, TNT plans to present new original series like Animal Kingdom and Good Behavior with reduced commercial inventory compared to typical television dramas, adding an extra 10 minutes of story to each episode. In addition, TNT and sister network TBS will lead Turner's expansion onto new platforms this summer by launching apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast.