TNT Nabs Rights to 'Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

TNT said Monday that it has acquired TV rights to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Peter Jackson's second movie in the trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit has raked in $127.5 million domestically and $403.8 million worldwide since its release Dec. 13.

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TNT  will air the network TV premiere of the movie in 2016.

The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will make its debut on the network next year.

TNT previously aired the network TV premiere of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2004. The Two Towers debuted in 2005, and The Return of the King made its network TV premiere on TNT in 2006.

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"TNT has been the primary television home to Tolkien's Middle Earth for nearly a decade, beginning with our network television premieres of The Lord of the Rings trilogy," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "We're proud to continue our association with these extraordinary and enormously popular epics with the acquisition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

The Hobbit trilogy is being distributed domestically by TNT's corporate sibling Warner Bros. Pictures.