What Is the History of the TNT Network?

TNT, or Turner Network Television, was founded by media mogul Ted Turner. It debuted on Oct. 3, 1988, and it was a part of the Turner Broadcasting System, or TBS for short, as a rerun network for classic television shows and old movies such as "Gone with the Wind."

TNT then expanded its range of shows in the early 1990s when it added sports programs by obtaining the rights to broadcast the NFL's Sunday Night Football games, World Championship Wrestling matches and a few NBA games. The network also began airing classic retro cartoon shows such as "The Flintstones" and "Scooby-Doo."

At the start of the new century, things began to change at TNT. The network began to rebrand itself around the tag line “We Know Drama,” and changed its focus toward dramatic television. It also shifted some of its cartoon shows to a sister network, Cartoon Network, and its classic movie rebroadcasts to another sister network, Turner Classic Movies. TNT kept its sports programs and added NASCAR to its sports show lineup. As of 2015, TNT is focusing a bit more on dramatic television, as it began airing syndicated drama series such as "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order" and "ER."