[[caption-width-right:241:[[{{Slogans}} Very funny.]]]]

This UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}-based cable channel began as WTCG, (for '''T'''urner '''C'''ommunications '''G'''roup), an independent station owned by Ted Turner. It then changed its call sign to WTBS (for '''T'''urner '''B'''roadcasting '''S'''ystem) as its U.S. cable coverage increased, mainly due to satellite coverage (hence why it used to be called ''TBS Superstation'', as a superstation was a term for a broadcast TV station carried in many markets; from the late 90s until the 2004 format change, it was branded mainly as "the Superstation"). Now known as TBS, and separate from the Atlanta station [[note]]now known as WPCH, "Peachtree TV", which split in 2007 to allow TBS to carry Major League Baseball games involving teams other than the Braves. TBS doesn't even run it anymore, having leased its operations to Atlanta's Creator/{{CBS}} station WGCL 46[[/note]] it and the other Turner properties currently belong to Time Warner (also the owner of Creator/WarnerBros).

It's secret weapon was "Turner Time", scheduling programs 5 minutes after the top of the (half) hour in order to make sure viewers would miss the beginnings of other channels' fare and thus be resigned to stay with TBS for another show. It would also get it's own listings in TV Guide back when that was still a big thing, hence attracting more attention. Up until the 2004 format change, it was, befitting the genesis of the network, a grab bag of older movies, off-network reruns, Turner-owned cartoons from Creator/HannaBarbera, MGM and WB, the occasional Creator/{{CNN}}-produced news update in between programs, Atlanta sportscasts, and the ''National Geographic Explorer'' series. Starting in the mid-80s, some low-budget original sitcoms, game shows and movies like ''GameShow/{{Starcade}}'' began creeping their way in. Also during this time, the national feed carried one of the few American {{Teletext}} services, ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electra_(teletext) Electra]]'', which was a joint venture between TBS, Zenith Electronics (who made Teletext-capable TV sets) and Taft Broadcasting (who programmed the service).

By the mid-90s, original programming had increased, with TV movies and new Hanna-Barbera output (specifically Ted Turner's own ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' (though the first couple of seasons were produced by DiC), as well as ''SwatKats'' and ''WesternAnimation/TwoStupidDogs'') constituting the majority of the new stuff, alongside sportscasts, movie wraparounds (some of which lasted until 2011), and WCW wrestling (see below).

Back in the 1990s, most TV watchers [[FanNickname referred to TBS as "The Beastmaster Station"]] because of [[AdoredByTheNetwork its frequent showing]] of the film ''Film/TheBeastmaster''. The channel was "[[Wrestling/DustyRhodes the Mothership]]" of Wrestling/{{WCW}} and its antecedent promotions (GCW, CWG, Mid-Atlantic/Jim Crockett) from basically the national launch until the premiere of ''[[Wrestling/WCWMondayNitro Monday Nitro]]'' in 1995. Afterwards, ''Thunder'', the much-loathed B-show, aired on TBS.

TBS was also known for many years (1973 to 2007, to be more precise) as the TV home of the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Atlanta Braves]]. Famously, at one point Ted Turner tried to get pitcher Andy Messersmith (who wore #17) to wear the name "CHANNEL" on the back of his jersey (CHANNEL 17, get it?) The league immediately put the kibosh on that. However, the national broadcasts on TBS helped the Braves build a considerable nationwide fan base, so much so that the franchise was nicknamed "America's Team". They also aired Atlanta Hawks basketball as well (Turner owned them and the Braves for a while).

In June 2004, in response to sibling TNT's post-2001 focus on dramatic programming (and possibly Time Warner's divestiture of its stake in Creator/ComedyCentral to Viacom the previous year), it decided to situate itself into the genre of comedy, after years of not having a genre (the comedy focus is a little looser than TNT's on drama, though, as evidenced by the movies it tends to run). To that end, on April 12, 2010, Creator/ConanOBrien announced a five-year deal with TBS to do an [[Series/{{Conan}} 11 PM talk show]].

Not to be confused with Creator/TokyoBroadcastingSystem, which is known for airing many {{anime}} series.