Turow, North Patterson, Brown, Gardner, Higgins Clark heading to TNT.

TNT is working with several chart-topping authors on a new lineup of original movies set to debut in November and December 2011. The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery(working title) will feature a slate of six contemporary crime dramas, from true-crime stories to fictional mysteries. TNT is developing the two-hour movie Innocent, based on the book by best-selling author Scott Turow. TNT is also developing movies based on Richard North Patterson’s Silent Witness; Sandra Brown’s Ricochet; Lisa Gardner’s Hide; April Smith’s Good Morning, Killer; and Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark’s Deck the Halls. The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery marks TNT’s return to original TV movies, a format that has earned the network many Emmys, along with unprecedented ratings that hold records yet today.

More and more, TNT seems to becoming a full network. Their dramatic programming is based primarily on crime drama (THE CLOSER, MEMPHIS BEAT, SOUTHLAND, LEVERAGE, RIZZOLI & ISLES) and these should appeal to the followers of those series. While it sounds like a smart move, it is too bad they are not looking beyond the established best-sellers for material. I could rattle off a dozen novels that would be fabulous picks for this series. Hopefully the next batch looks deeper into the crime genre.

INNOCENT is Scott Turow’s follow-up to the massively successful PRESUMED INNOCENT, the novel that was a hit movie with Harrison Ford (Back when Harry acted and made good films).