Logo since 2014
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaWorldwide
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerWarner Bros. Discovery
ParentWarner Bros. Discovery Networks
Sister channels
FoundedDecember 14, 1990; 33 years ago (1990-12-14)
  • July 1, 1991; 32 years ago (1991-07-01) (as Court TV)
  • January 1, 2008; 16 years ago (2008-01-01) (as TruTV)
ReplacedCourt TV (cable television)
WebcastWatch Live (U.S. pay-TV subscribers only; 10 minute free trial)
Streaming media
Service(s)Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu, DirecTV Stream

TruTV (stylized as truTV) is an American basic cable channel owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). The channel primarily broadcasts comedy, docusoaps, and reality shows.

The channel was originally launched in 1991 as Court TV, a network that focused on crime-themed programs such as true crime documentary series, legal dramas, and coverage of prominent criminal cases. The channel was initially a joint venture between Time Warner, American Lawyer Media, Cablevision, and NBC, with Liberty Media later joining the venture as well.

By 2005, Liberty Media and Time Warner had purchased ALM, Cablevision and NBC's stakes in Court TV. Time Warner subsequently bought out Liberty's share in 2006 for $735 million, and brought the channel under its Turner Broadcasting subsidiary. In 2008, the channel relaunched as TruTV, changing its focus to action-oriented docusoaps and "caught on camera" programs, which it marketed as "actuality" television. The channel continued to carry legal coverage during the daytime hours under the title In Session, but this was phased out by September 2013.

In 2011, the channel began to add occasional sports broadcasts from Turner Sports, primarily the NCAA men's basketball tournament. In October 2014, TruTV pivoted its format to focus more on comedy-based reality series, such as Impractical Jokers.

As of January 2016, TruTV was available to approximately 91 million households (78.1%) in the United States.[1] By June 2023, this number has dropped to 68.3 million households.[2]


Court TV

For the history of the channel under the original Court TV identity, see Court TV.

The Courtroom Television Network, or Court TV for short, was launched on July 1, 1991, at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and was available to three million subscribers.[3] Its original anchors were Jack Ford, Fred Graham, Cynthia McFadden, and Gregg Jarrett. 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 (ALM), and In Court from Cablevision and NBC. Both projects were present at the National Cable Television Association in June 1990.[4] Rather than trying to establish two competing networks, the projects were combined on December 14, 1990. Liberty Media would join the venture in 1991.

The channel originally consisted of live courtroom trials that are interspersed with anchors and reporters. It was led by law writer Steven Brill, who later left the network in 1997. The network came into its own during the Menéndez brothers' first trial in 1994, and the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995.

In 1997, Time Warner acquired ALM to gain ownership of its stake in Court TV;[5] it subsequently sold its publications to a private equity fund in 1998.[6] In 1998, NBC sold its share of the network to Time Warner. That same year, Court TV began running several original and acquired programs in prime time, such as Homicide: Life on the Street, Cops, and Forensic Files.

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.[7] In the same year, Court TV also purchased the website Crime Library, which provided detailed information about infamous crimes and how they were solved. The website remained an actively updated TruTV property until 2014 and was taken offline in 2015.

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

Recognizing the growth of its primetime programming, Court TV announced in 2005 that it would split its programming into two brands. Daytime trial coverage was branded as Court TV News, while other dayparts—promoted under the tagline "Seriously Entertaining"—focused on reality shows dealing with crime-related topics. In January 2006, the network launched a male-targeted programming block known as "RED" ("Real. Exciting. Dramatic.").[8][9]

In May 2006, Time Warner acquired Liberty Media's stake in Court TV for $735 million, valuing the channel at $1.5 billion. The channel was integrated into Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit; executives indicated that Court TV planned to maintain its existing format, and did not rule out creating synergies with CNN for their legal coverage.[10][11] In 2007, the channel premiered its first original scripted series, 'Til Death Do Us Part—an anthology of crime re-enactments hosted by filmmaker John Waters.[12]


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

On July 11, 2007, Time Warner announced that Court TV would be relaunched as TruTV on January 1, 2008. The new brand was intended to accompany a larger shift towards action-oriented reality series which did not necessarily involve crime or law enforcement, such as Black Gold, Hardcore Pawn, Lizard Lick Towing, Ocean Force, and the caught-on-camera series World's Dumbest. TruTV promoted its new positioning under the slogan "Not Reality. Actuality."; network staff argued that the term "reality" had become associated with "unrealistic" programming, and that it wanted to emphasize that its new programs would feature "real" people.[13][14][15]

As part of the re-branding as TruTV, daytime trial coverage was cut back to 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET and branded as In Session. In 2009, production of the program was shifted to the facilities of HLN in Atlanta. On March 4, 2013, In Session was cut to a two-hour, taped format. On September 30, 2013, In Session was cancelled, and replaced by a block of library programming under the title In Session Presents.[16][17]

In 2011, as part of a new partnership between CBS Sports and Turner Sports, TruTV began to broadcast coverage of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.[18]

Reruns of Court TV series have since aired on HLN (primarily Forensic Files), and have also been syndicated to the over-the-air digital network Justice Network. With changes to HLN's programming strategy and the growing popularity of the genre, the network began to produce and premiere more original true crime programs in 2017.[19][20][21][22] In December 2018, Turner sold the rights to the Court TV brand and programming library to Scripps Media subsidiary Katz Broadcasting, which relaunched it as an over-the-air digital network in May 2019, reviving the dormant brand after 11 years.[23][24][25]

Shift to comedy

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 repositioning for the 2014–15 television season aimed towards "funseekers", with a focus on comedy-oriented docusoaps, semi-scripted series, sketch comedies and reality competitions.[26][27][28]

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, the network 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 (temporarily branding the network as The New truTV) were introduced on-air on October 27, 2014; the branding is meant to portray the network in a lighter manner.[26][27][28]

Since the repositioning, TruTV has also parodied its temporary prominence during the NCAA tournament with various advertising campaigns, seeking to promote the channel and its programming to the expanded audience. A common theme of these campaigns, which have included the 2015 social media campaign "#HaveUFoundtrutv", and a "truTV Awareness Month" campaign in 2018, involve commenting upon viewers who were unaware of the channel or trying to find it on their television provider's lineup. Of the former, Puja Vohra, 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".[29][30]

In December 2016, truTV unveiled a new marketing campaign and slogan, "Funny Because It's tru". The campaign reinforced the network's focus on comedy by satirizing the "cliches" of television promos.[31]

On March 4, 2019, AT&T announced a major reorganization of its broadcasting assets to effectively dissolve Turner Broadcasting. Its assets were dispersed across multiple units of WarnerMedia with TruTV along with TBS, TNT and HBO moving to newly formed WarnerMedia Entertainment.[32]

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 Division I men's basketball tournament (and subsequent tournaments), which was its first ever live sports telecast.[18]


Main article: List of programs broadcast by TruTV

Presently, TruTV airs a mix of original comedy-genre reality and lifestyle series (such as Impractical Jokers, The Carbonaro Effect, and Adam Ruins Everything), as well as acquired sitcoms (such as American Dad! and Family Matters) and films.

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 telecasts of the 2011 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. The agreement is part of a contract between Turner Sports and CBS Sports resulting in shared coverage of the NCAA men's tournament through 2032. TruTV airs games during the opening rounds of the tournament, and exclusively carries the First Four play-in round, which was concurrently introduced the same year. It also carries the studio show Inside March Madness during the tournament. Until its discontinuation, TruTV also aired the pre-season Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

In 2015, TruTV carried a series of HBO-produced Top Rank boxing telecasts under the title MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout, as a companion to HBO World Championship Boxing.[33][34] In May 2016, TruTV broadcast the opening rounds of the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship; Turner would also televise the event in 2017.[35][36]

In 2021, TruTV began to serve as an overflow outlet for the NHL on TNT, in the event that a game in a TNT doubleheader runs long.[37][38] In 2023, TruTV will simulcast TBS's coverage of the MLB playoffs.[39]

As Court TV

Main article: Court TV

In Session logo.

As Court TV, 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.

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. Online coverage of current trials later moved to's "Crime" section and production of the block was eventually taken over by sister network HLN. In Session anchors also appeared on CNN to provide legal analysis about current crime stories and trials. In Session ended its run on September 26, 2013.[40]



Court TV Canada, 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 relaunch under the TruTV name and continued its previous format until August 30, 2010, when, as part of a wider licensing agreement with Discovery Communications and CTV, Court TV Canada was rebranded as a Canadian version of Investigation Discovery.

The U.S. version of Court TV had earlier been approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission 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.[41] Even after its rebrand, 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 CHUM, there were few theoretical hurdles that prevented TruTV from re-emerging on Canadian service providers.[42]

Ultimately, the rights to TruTV's original programs have been dispersed across other Canadian cable channels, particularly CMT and Action, both owned by Corus Entertainment, and OLN, owned by Rogers Media. Of the three networks, Action had been the predominant broadcaster of TruTV programming. On April 1, 2019, Action was converted to a new full-time Adult Swim network.

Latin America

Main article: TruTV (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.[43] The channel has the same programming, idents, and bumpers from the U.S. version. On September 3, 2023, it was announced that TruTV would be replaced by 24/7 channel, Adult Swim on October 31.[44]

On October 31, 2023, after airing 14 years, TruTV was replaced by the 24/7 channel, Adult Swim.

UK and Ireland

Main article: TruTV (UK and Ireland)

In May 2014, Turner Broadcasting System announced that it would launch a separate UK version of the U.S. channel. On February 16, 2017, Sony Pictures Television acquired the channel from Turner.[45] On February 12, 2019, the UK channel was renamed True Crime.[46]


Main article: TruTV (Asia)

The channel was launched on April 1, 2010, in several markets in Asia including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The channel is owned and operated 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. As of 31 December 2018, the selected TruTV programmes is currently shown on Warner TV Asia. The channel shut down alongside TCM.[47]

See also


  1. ^ "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of July 2015". July 21, 2015. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "How many homes the sports networks are available in".
  3. ^ Winfrey, Lee (July 7, 1991). "Courtroom network banks on real-life drama". The Pittsburgh Press.
  4. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (June 3, 1990). "Fledgling Cable Networks Are Poised for Flight". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "Time Warner Buys Court TV Stake". Associated Press. February 20, 1997 – via LA Times.
  6. ^ "Time Warner to Shed Legal Publications". Associated Press. July 19, 1997 – via LA Times.
  7. ^ "Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: A Note From TSG World Headquarters". The Smoking Gun. June 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "COVER STORY: Court TV Details New truTV Brand". Broadcasting & Cable. October 28, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Martin, Denise (July 15, 2005). "Court TV unveils evening docket". Variety. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Bloomberg News (May 13, 2006). "Time Warner Takes Full Control Over Court TV". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  11. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (May 12, 2006). "TW buys out Liberty's Court TV stake". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  12. ^ Wallenstein,AP, Andrew; Wallenstein, Andrew; AP (June 27, 2006). "Milestone: Court TV at 15". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  13. ^ "Making a case for truTV". Los Angeles Times. May 29, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "Court TV Rebrands as truTV". Broadcasting & Cable. July 11, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Court TV exits, truTV appears". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "TruTV Cutting In Session To Two Hours A Day". TVNewser. February 15, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "TruTV Ending 'In Session' Trial Coverage". TVNewser. September 26, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Cablevision, Comcast, DirecTV among providers on board in advance of March Madness". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  19. ^ "HLN Will Add S.E. Cupp as Host, Introduce New Original Series on Friday Nights (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "A News Network With No Trump Bump, HLN Pivots Once Again". Advertising Age. May 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Buckman, Adam (April 21, 2016). "'Forensic Files' And 'The First 48' Are TV's Hard-Boiled Champions". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  22. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (January 20, 2015). "Schiffman, Ford outline vision for Justice". RealScreen. Brunico Communications. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  23. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (December 10, 2018). "Court TV is coming back, thanks to E.W. Scripps decision". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  24. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 11, 2018). "Court TV Brand to Resurface as New Channel From Scripps Co". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  25. ^ "Court TV Brand to Resurface as New Channel From Scripps Co". Variety. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "TruTV Orders Six News Series, Preps Brand Refresh". The Hollywood Reporter. April 21, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "TruTV Finally Turns Its Back on Court Roots With October's Comedic Rebrand (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. September 23, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  28. ^ a b "TruTV Looks to Complete Makeover With Tweaked Logo, Four New Series Orders". The Hollywood Reporter. July 10, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  29. ^ "TruTV Drums Up March Madness Buzz on Twitter With #HaveUFoundtruTV". Variety. March 17, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  30. ^ "Credit where it's due, the truTV Awareness Month campaign is pretty funny". Awful Announcing. March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  31. ^ "TruTV Unveils New Tagline, Promos As Part Of New Brand Campaign". December 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  32. ^ Feiner, Lauren (March 4, 2019). "WarnerMedia reorganizes its leadership team after AT&T acquisition". CNBC. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  33. ^ "TruTV to broadcast boxing series". March 30, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  34. ^ "Turner Sports Returns to the Ring With HBO and SpiderCam on Friday Night Knockout on truTV". Sports Video Group. May 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  35. ^ "Culver column: FSU beach volleyball could be a part of NCAA history". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  36. ^ "Turner Sports Reaches Multi-Year Agreement to Present NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship". NCAA. April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  37. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (May 2, 2022). "First NHL playoffs under ESPN/Turner deal has all games set for big networks despite NBA, but has potential overflow issues". Awful Announcing. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  38. ^ "Islanders 6, Canucks 3: Five-goal first period keys Isles win in first game post-All-Star break". Light House Hocket. February 10, 2022. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  39. ^ "MLB on TBS to Be Exclusive Home of 2023 NLDS & NLCS". (Press release). October 5, 2023. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  40. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 26, 2013). "'In Session' Trial Coverage on TruTV to End Friday". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013.
  41. ^ "Public Notice CRTC 1997-96". July 22, 1997. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  42. ^ "Revised list of non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution as of 1 October 2012". Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  43. ^ "Turner Broadcasting System Latin America, Inc.lanza un nuevo canal: truTV". Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  44. ^ "Adult Swim Latinoamérica: Señal llegará oficialmente en reemplazo de TruTV - TVLaint". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  45. ^ Barraclough, Leo (February 16, 2017). "Sony Pictures Television Networks Acquires British Channel truTV". Variety.
  46. ^ "TruTV UK axed as channel morphes into True Crime". February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  47. ^ "Turner, Fox pull the plug: RIP truTV, TCM, Nat Geo Music".