Though Court TV flew out of 2006 – a year which saw it bought out by Time Warner for US$735 million – in a celebratory mood, with rumors of record ad revenues and its highest-ever ratings, don’t expect the US net to sit down and catch its breath any time this year, or next for that matter. While 2007 saw some major tinkering with the sked, greater changes are on the horizon.
The Court TV brand has come into its own, and much of that dynamism can be laid at the feet of GM of programming and marketing, Marc Juris. While carriage deals and buyouts create huge amounts of trade press, it’s what’s on the screen that matters to viewers, and Court TV’s ‘red’ (‘Real. Exciting. Dramatic.’) primetime initiative struck a chord with channel surfers. Shows like Forensic Files, Most Shocking, Cops, Body of Evidence and Under Fire made sure the channel grabbed viewers and kept them hanging on. And, not one to rest on last year’s successes, Juris brought a slew of new programming into the development slate, including the quirky Till Death Do Us Part, hosted by John Waters.
But, come January 2008, Court TV will be no more. In its place will be a whole new channel – complete with a new name, a new logo and a whole new look. While Court TV has outgrown the confines of the court, expect the new channel to come from red’s creative DNA – lots of real people, real-life stories, and tons of action.