The Premiere of Claws Signals a Shift in TNT’s Programming

The dark-comedy drama, Claws premiered Sunday June 11 with a lot of buzz thanks in part to it’s fantastic and diverse cast, social media campaign and other activations. The series centers around a close-knit group of nail technicians whose side hustle has them running drugs for the Dixie Mafia. It stars Niece Nash as Desna, the leader of the crew, Karrueche Tran as Virginia, the new girl, Judy Reyes as Quiet Ann, the silent muscle, Jennifer Lyon as Jenn, the Desna’s loyal friend, and Carrie Preston as Polly, the soft-spoken sweetheart back from a stint in prison for identity theft.

In order to promote this refreshingly new series on television, TNT did everything possible to make the premiere of Claws  a must see event and signal its change in direction of standard police procedural dramas and into something more diverse and risqué. TNT’s audience skewers towards an older audience, but Claws diverse cast and crew was TNT’s first step into a whole new territory.

TNT activated a group of influencers to appear at the show’s set in New Orleans in May to give people a candid BTS view of the show before it aired on June 11. The cast and influencers interacted in an authentic and unforced manner that was broadcast on their socials for their fans to watch. A month later, the influencers were invited and flown to the L.A. Premiere and After Party.

The social media campaign consisted of plenty of planning and execution to make sure that the show’s feel and vibe were introduced to the audience months before the premiere. The Claws social channels were up and running in March and through eye-catching assets and clever, femme-tastic captions, fans were brought from their world to the salon in Palmetto, Florida. While highlighting the characters and plot, the social channels also showed off the nail art and design that makes the show unique. Nail influencers and others with fantastic nails were shown love through posts and engagement on Instagram.

On top of that, Turner and Twitter teamed up for a live stream of the premiere on Twitter right after the premiere on TNT. A unique hashtag emoji for #ClawsTNT was also created to spur the conversation on Twitter.

On top of influencer and social activations, TNT sought the incomparable services of the Queen of R&B Mary J. Blige to release an original song and music video for the premiere. The song and video “Strength of a Woman” is the female empowerment anthem that lines up with the show themes of strong female bonds and ambition in a male-dominated world.

On premiere night June 11, the series had to compete with several high-profile events such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 (E3), the FIFA World Cup Qualifying game between Mexico and the United States, the Tony Awards, the Stanley Cup Final and more. The east coast series premiere trended fourth on Twitter behind those events and sustained that spot until an hour before the west coast premiere. The west coast premiere trended seventh on Twitter behind Stanley Cup and E3 related topics.

The series’ trending spot was helped with a combination of the show’s well received praise from the Black Twitter community and high-profile celebs posting about their excitement of the show’s premiere including Snoop Dogg, Gabrielle Union, Queen Latifah and more. Cashmere and TNT also organized a Live Twitter Party with the cast where cast members engaged with fans on Twitter along with the main @ClawsTNT handle cranking out Tweets, GIFs, RTs, Likes and replies with the audience.

Claws airs every Sunday at 9/8c on TNT this summer. Remember to get your #ClawsUp with the @ClawsTNT Twitter handle, which will be live-tweeting during both east coast and west coast airing using the hashtag #ClawsTNT.