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TNT/TBS upfronts

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Oops, this isn’t the kind of message about stability that you want to send to advertisers: Power problems brought the TNT-TBS upfront presentation to a halt in New York today. The network dimmed the house lights in preparation to air some TBS clips but they never played in the Hammerstein Ballroom. The crowd sat in the dark for a minute or two before the house lights came up.

“You know, I love working for TBS,” quipped Conan O’Brien, who was on stage to introduce the clips.

Turner programming topper Steve Koonin then took the stage and kept the crowd in stitches by joking “we’re not changing our rates” while the cabler raced to restore the video. Ray Romano — star of TNT’s Men of a Certain Age — also did a little improv.

The video was restored after 25 minutes. TNT/TBS then released this statement: “A power surge caused a temporary disruption to video elements at the upfront this morning. Turner executives and show talent rose to the occasion and the show continued after a brief interruption.”

A few minutes later, the power went out again during a promo for Falling Skies starring Noah Wyle. When Mark Paul Gosselaar came up to introduce his new dramedy Franklin and Bash, he joked, “Here’s a clip….hopefully.”

Afterwards, Koonin told EW, “I’m actually very proud of today. We’re not the smartest, we’re not the best, we don’t get everything done right. But we care. We are passionate.” — With reporting from Sandra Gonzalez

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