Creator: TBS

aka: Turner Broadcasting System

This Atlanta-based cable channel began as WTCG, (for Turner Communications Group), an independent station owned by Ted Turner. It then changed its call sign to WTBS (for Turner Broadcasting System) 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  it and the other Turner properties currently belong to Time Warner (also the owner of Warner Bros. ).

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 collage of older movies, off-network reruns, Turner-owned cartoons from Hanna-Barbera, MGM and WB, the occasional 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 Starcade began creeping their way in. By the mid-90s, original programming had increased, with TV movies and new Hanna-Barbera output (specifically Ted Turner's own Captain Planet and the Planeteers (though the first couple of seasons were produced by DiC), as well as SWAT Kats and Two Stupid Dogs) 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 referred to TBS as "The Beastmaster Station" because of its frequent showing of the film The Beastmaster. The channel was "the Mothership" of WCW and its antecedent promotions (GCW, CWG, Mid-Atlantic/Jim Crockett) from basically the national launch until the premiere of 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 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 Comedy Central 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, Conan O'Brien announced a five-year deal with TBS to do an 11 PM talk show.

Not to be confused with Tokyo Broadcasting System, which is known for airing many anime series.

Alternative Title(s):

WTBS, The Superstation, Turner Broadcasting System