“True Blood” and “Silicon Valley” will be edited to fit ad breaks on TNT and TBS — and to comply with the TV-MA rating, which does not allow profanity.
If you’ve ever wanted to watch the horny vampire classic “True Blood” without any sex scenes for some reason, TNT has you covered. The Warner Bros. Discovery-owned channel will begin reruns of the HBO series on Saturday; at the same time, the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley” starts on TBS.
Both shows will be edited for new broadcasts on Warner Bros. Discovery’s T-Net channels to fit commercial breaks and meet the standard TV-MA rating. In the case of “True Blood,” that presumably means cutting out much of the show’s nudity, while the average “Silicon Valley” episode will have a bunch of naughty words squeezed out. Both shows will debut on their respective cable channels after airing the NBA All-Star Game, before “True Blood” moves to 10 p.m. on Monday and “Silicon Valley” to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
The initiative is something of a throwback to HBO’s old days, like “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos,” two ’90s hits from the premium cable network that aired on channels like TBS and A&E. edited for syndicated run. “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry David’s long-running and sporadically aired cringe comedy, also made the jump from HBO to basic cable on WGN in 2010 and TV Land in 2015.
Outside of “Curb,” HBO programming since the late 2000s has been largely exclusive to the U.S. channel outside of streaming. As such, “True Blood” and “Silicon Valley” are the premium cable network’s most modern shows to receive syndication treatment (“modern” is relative, given that “True Blood” in 2014, “Silicon Valley” and ended in 2014. 2019).
Warner Bros. Discovery presumably wanted to test this syndication strategy on two relatively older series with significant episode counts (“True Blood” ran for seven seasons and 80 episodes, while “Silicon Valley” ran for 53 episodes over six seasons), as compared to the current , with their buzzing hits like “Succession” (the channel’s longest-running current drama with only 29 episodes). The company will track the series’ performance through Nielsen ratings. If “True Blood” finds an audience on TNT, we may one day discover what a cable-friendly version of “Euphoria” looks like.
The shows could prove valuable roadmaps for TBS and TNT, both of which were heavily impacted by the Warner Bros. Discovery merger when it closed in April. Both channels, along with sister network TrueTV, lost manager Brett Weitz and are now overseen by Kathleen Finch, with original programming on “pause.”
While the channels will still run a small number of shows — such as “Snowpiercer” on TNT and “Miracle Workers” on TBS — both channels are expected to focus more on reruns, so “True Blood” and “ “Silicon Valley” experiment could be a sign of the future of both channels.
Variety was the first to report that “True Blood” and “Silicon Valley” were coming to TV.
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