May 11, 2012 9:56am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TNT Orders Unscripted Series From Donnie Wahlberg and 'Extreme Makeover' Producer
TNT is expanding its foothold in the unscripted genre.
The cable network gave series orders Friday to reality projects from Blue Bloods' Donnie Wahlberg and the executive producer of Extreme Makeover and The Moment of Truth.
The first, Boston Blue (working title), hails from Blue Bloods' Wahlberg and is described as a procedural docudrama following the men and women of the Boston Police Department's Gang Unit. Jarrett Creative Group (Celebrity Ghost Stories), Julie Insogna-Jarrett and Seth Jarrett will executive produce alongside Wahlberg and his Donnie D. Productions. Boston, which will consist of eight episodes, will launch next year on TNT.
The second, 72 Hours, is an adventure series in which competing teams are dropped from a helicopter into the wilderness and given three days and a GPS to find a hidden suitcase full of cash as they battle the elements and rival teams to take home the prize. The eight-episode series hails from Lighthearted Entertainment (Extreme Makeover), with Howard Schultz (Extreme Makeover, The Moment of Truth) and Rob LaPlante (The Apprentice) on board as exec producers. Jeff Spangler (The Moment of Truth) will co-exec produce the series, which will launch next year.
"Boston Blue and 72 Hours are excellent fits for two of TNT's most important audience segments," said Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "With Boston Blue, we're looking to grab viewers who come to TNT for such blockbuster originals as The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. And with 72 Hours, we're going after fans of TNT's action-packed dramas like Falling Skies and Leverage."
The projects join The Great Escape, TNT's first reality competition series, as the network continues to bolster its original series offerings and shift to a year-round model.
Blue and Hours join recently greenlighted scripted series including David E. Kelley's Monday Mornings at the Turner-owned cabler.