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Current truTV logo
Launched July 1, 1991; 28 years ago (1991-07-01) (as Court TV)
January 1, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-01-01) (as truTV)
Owned by Turner Broadcasting System
(Time Warner)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTVs)
Slogan Way More Fun
Country United States
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Formerly called Court TV (1991–2007)
Sister channel(s)
Dish Network 148 (HD/SD)
242 (HD/SD)
DirecTV (U.S.) 246 (HD/SD)
1246 (VOD)
Available on most U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability
Verizon FiOS 183 (SD)
683 (HD)
AT&T U-verse 164 (East, SD)
165 (West, SD)
1164 (East, HD)
1165 (West, HD)
Southern Fibernet 12 (SD)
1012 (HD)
Streaming media
TVPlayer Watch live (UK only)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television

TruTV (stylized as truTV) is an American cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner.[1][2]

The network was originally founded as Court TV, a network that focused on crime-themed programs, such as documentary series, legal dramas, and coverage of prominent criminal cases. With its 2008 re-launch as TruTV, the network revamped its lineup with a focus on reality shows and "caught on camera" programs, which the network marketed as "actuality" television. In October 2014, TruTV's lineup was re-oriented with a focus on comedy-based reality programs.

As of February 2015, approximately 89.7 million American households (77% of households with television) receive truTV.[3]


As Court TV

The Courtroom Television Network, or Court TV for short, launched on July 2, 1991, originally only available to three million subscribers.[4] Its original anchors were Fred Graham, who was still at the network twenty years later, and Cynthia McFadden, who later joined ABC News. The network was born out of two competing projects to launch cable channels with live courtroom proceedings, the American Trial Network from Time Warner and American Lawyer Media, and In Court from Cablevision and NBC. Both projects were present at the National Cable Television Association in June 1990.[5] Rather than trying to establish two competing networks, the projects were combined in December 14, 1990. Liberty Media would join the venture in 1991.

The channel originally featured continuous live trial coverage, with analysis by anchors. It was led by law writer Steven Brill, who left the network in 1997. The network came into its own during the Menendez brothers first trial and later during the O.J. Simpson murder trial. In 1998, NBC sold its share of the network to Time Warner. That same year, it began running several original and acquired programs in prime time, such as Homicide: Life on the Street and Forensic Files.

In 2004, recognizing the growth of its prime-time programming, Court TV split itself into two brands. Daytime trial coverage was branded as Court TV News, while prime-time and weekend programming took on an increasingly legal reality and drama-based format under the slogan "Seriously Entertaining". Time Warner bought full control of Court TV in 2006 and began running it as part of the company's Turner Broadcasting System division. The buyout of Court TV marked Time Warner's first television network acquisition – rather than a sale – since the acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System in 1996.

Relaunch as TruTV

Previous truTV Logo used from January 1, 2008 to October 26, 2014.

On January 1, 2008, Court TV was relaunched as TruTV, changing the focus of the network to feature reality-based programming. As part of the re-branding, daytime trial coverage, which previously aired from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, was cut back to 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET and branded as "In Session." From 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. ET on weekdays (which later expanded with the scaling back of the "In Session" block to two hours in 2012 and cut entirely in late 2013) and throughout the weekend, it ran original investigation-based programming and several new reality shows not related to law enforcement. The show was produced out of the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The investigation-based programming has slowly been reduced over time, being relegated to TruTV's late night schedule and transferred to sister network HLN and broadcast syndication, with the vast majority of the Court TV archive moving to the broadcast subchannel Justice Network in January 2015. Over the years, truTV's programming has drifted with the addition of competition/game shows, sporting events, and hidden camera prank shows.

2014–present: "The new truTV"

Although noting that it had experienced "tremendous success" with individual programs, TruTV's new president and head of programming Chris Linn explained that the network's overall growth as a brand had been hindered due to its lingering association with Court TV and its tone of programming, and its reliance on "conflict-reliant, heavy, dramatic and maybe overly produced" docuseries with derivative premises. In April 2014, the network announced that it would undergo a brand repositoning for the 2014-15 television season aimed towards "funseekers", with a focus on comedy-oriented docusoaps, semi-scripted series, sketch comedies and reality competitions.[6][7][8]

Building upon the success of Impractical Jokers (which Linn compared to a "canary in the coal mine" due to its contrasting premise to other TruTV programs at the time) and The Carbonaro Effect, TruTV greenlit a number of new series as part of the re-launch, including Barmageddon, the "reality musical" Branson Famous, Fake Off, Hack My Life, and Kart Life. As part of the re-launch, a new branding campaign ("Way More Fun") and refreshed logo were introduced on-air on October 27, 2014; the branding is meant to portray the network in a lighter manner.[6][7][8]

In March 2015, the network lampshaded its temporary prominence during the NCAA tournament with a campaign via social media, "#HaveUFoundtrutv", which countered and commented upon users having issues locating the channel on their local lineups. Puja Vohra, TruTV's senior vice president of marketing and digital, explained that the campaign was intended to portray the network's brand as being "fun" and "self-aware".[9]

High definition

The 1080i high definition simulcast feed of TruTV is available on all major cable and satellite providers. In March 2011, the channel saw carriage of its HD feed increase, due to its coverage of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (and subsequent tournaments), which was its first ever live sports telecast.[10]


As CourtTV, the channel's programming traditionally consisted of reality legal programming and legal dramas, such as legal-based news shows, legal-based talk shows, live homicide trial coverage, court shows, police force shows, and other criminal justice programming. TruTV's reality programming consists largely of shows produced specifically for the channel including Lizard Lick Towing, TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest..., Full Throttle Saloon, Southern Fried Stings, Guinness World Records Gone Wild, Impractical Jokers, Storage Hunters, Most Shocking and its spin-offs Top 20 Countdown: Most Shocking and Most Daring, Upload with Shaquille O'Neal, and Hardcore Pawn.

In Session logo.

The channel also carried a week-daily news block, In Session (the successor to Court TV News), which provided live coverage of trials, legal news and details of highly publicized crimes Monday through Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. ET (except during national holidays, with reruns of the channel's reality programming airing in place of the block on such days). Its coverage included analysis from anchors and guests to help viewers understand legal proceedings. In Session also ran a blog, Sidebar, where the In Session team posted updated legal news and analysis. In Session moved to a new studio in Atlanta at the CNN Center on November 16, 2009. Production of the block was eventually taken over by TruTV's sister network, HLN. In Session anchors also appear on CNN to provide legal analysis about current crime stories and trials. In Session concluded its run on September 26, 2013.[11] It has since then been replaced by earlier episodes of World's Dumbest.

Sports programming

On February 8, 2010, TruTV premiered NFL Full Contact, a show that gave a behind the scenes look at the television production for major football events such as the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, the Pro Bowl, and the season opener; the show was not renewed for a second season.

On March 15, 2011, TruTV began airing live sports programming for the first time with its telecast of the first four rounds of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The agreement is part of a contract between Turner Sports and CBS Sports resulting in shared coverage of the NCAA Tournament through 2024. TruTV featured games up until the Elite 8 round. In addition to games, TruTV broadcasts the postgame studio show Inside March Madness, which airs following that day's game slate. Until its discontinuation, TruTV also aired the pre-season Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. In May 2016, TruTV broadcast the opening rounds of the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship; Turner Sports also holds multi-year rights to this event.[12][13]

In March 2015, TruTV announced that it would begin to air MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout—co-produced between Turner Sports and sister network HBO, the series will feature weekly boxing events from the Top Rank promotion, and lead into major fights being televised by HBO the following night. The series premiered on May 1, 2015.[14][15]


In 2001 Court TV purchased The Smoking Gun, a website that focuses on legal items such as mug shots and other public documents pertaining to famous individuals and cases. The site remained a property of the company through the rebranding to TruTV, but was sold back to its founder in 2014.[16]

Court TV purchased the website Crime Library, which provided detailed information about infamous crimes and how they were solved, in 2001. The website remained an actively updated Court TV/TruTV property until 2014, and was taken offline in 2015.

Online coverage of current trials (including In Session) is now hosted at sister website's "Crime" section. TruTV also maintains truTV video, a streaming video player, where users can watch clips of user-submitted home videos and excerpts from TruTV programs. The network is also part of Turner's TV Everywhere initiative, with the "Watch truTV" website and mobile apps with East and West feeds of the channel available to pay-TV subscribers using their provider sign-in credentials, if available.


On February 3, 2003, Court TV Plus debuted on Sirius Satellite Radio, featuring audio from Court TV programs. Originally on Channel 134, it was moved in September 2005 and aired on Channel 110 until the channel ceased operations on January 1, 2008.



Court TV Canada, a Canadian version of the channel under its previous format, owned by CHUM Limited (and later acquired by CTVglobemedia which then sold its assets to Bell Canada under the Bell Media subsidiary), launched on September 7, 2001. Unlike its U.S. counterpart, it did not re-brand under the TruTV name and continued to operate as Court TV until August 30, 2010, when, as part of a wider licensing agreement with Discovery Communications and CTV, Court TV was officially replaced by Investigation Discovery.

The U.S. version of CourtTV had earlier been approved by the CRTC as an eligible foreign channel in 1997, and indeed, had been carried by several Canadian service providers prior to the launch of the domestic service.[17] However, Court TV/TruTV was never withdrawn as an eligible foreign service for carriage on cable and satellite, meaning that, particularly with the end of the licensing agreement with CTV, there are few hurdles preventing TruTV from re-emerging at some point in the future on Canadian service providers.[18] Meanwhile, many of their original shows have been airing on Action and OLN.

Latin America

The channel was launched on April 1, 2009, in Latin America replacing Retro, also owned by Turner Broadcasting System. The announcement was made on March 25, 2009, by Turner Broadcasting System Latin America.[19] The channel has the same programming, idents, and bumpers from the U.S. version.


The channel was launched on April 1, 2010, in several markets in Asia including Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore on StarHub TV channel 446. The channel is owned and operated by owned by Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific and has similar programming, idents, and bumpers to the U.S. version, but many are also created by the Turner regional office in Hong Kong.

United Kingdom

TruTV launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland as a free-to-air channel on August 4, 2014. It is available on SKY, Freeview, and Freesat.[20]


  1. Bibel, Sara (July 10, 2014). "truTV Continues Bold Brand Evolution with Four New Series and Refreshed Logo". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved July 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Turner Brand — TruTV". Retrieved November 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lee Winfrey (July 7, 1991). "Courtroom network banks on real-life drama". The Pittsburgh Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Fledgling Cable Networks Are Poised for Flight". Retrieved November 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "TruTV Orders Six News Series, Preps Brand Refresh". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "TruTV Finally Turns Its Back on Court Roots With October's Comedic Rebrand (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "TruTV Looks to Complete Makeover With Tweaked Logo, Four New Series Orders". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "TruTV Drums Up March Madness Buzz on Twitter With #HaveUFoundtruTV". Variety. Retrieved 12 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Cablevision, Comcast, DirecTV among providers on board in advance of March Madness". Retrieved November 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Kondolojy, Amanda (September 26, 2013). "'In Session' Trial Coverage on TruTV to End Friday". TV by the Numbers.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Culver column: FSU beach volleyball could be a part of NCAA history". Tallahasse Democrat. Retrieved 8 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Turner Sports Reaches Multi-Year Agreement to Present NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship". NCAA. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "TruTV to broadcast boxing series". Retrieved 2 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Turner Sports Returns to the Ring With HBO and SpiderCam on Friday Night Knockout on truTV". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 2 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: A Note From TSG World Headquarters". The Smoking Gun.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Public Notice CRTC 1997-96". Retrieved November 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  19. "Turner Broadcasting System Latin America, Inc.lanza un nuevo canal: truTV". Retrieved November 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Turner to launch UK free-to-air channel TruTV". Broadcast. May 14, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links