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Paramount Television

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Paramount Television
Paramount TV 1995.jpg
Founded January 1, 1968 (reincorporated from Desilu Productions)
Dissolved August 27, 2006 (merged with CBS Productions to become CBS Paramount Television)
Notable Works Star Trek: The Original Series
The Brady Bunch
The Odd Couple
Happy Days
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Nash Bridges
Criminal Minds

For the current company, see Paramount Television Studios

Paramount Television was the second incarnation of the television production company now known as CBS Studios (owned by Paramount Global).



Paramount Pictures had some early involvement in television production during the Golden Age of Television with its ownership of fledgling network the Paramount Television Network (which served as a vehicle for the studio's in-house TV productions, which were distributed to other American stations and some Canadian stations), as well as having an ownership stake in the DuMont Television Network. Also, Paramount was the original owner of Los Angeles station KTLA and also owned Telemount Productions, which produced a few network and syndicated shows in the 1950s.

A later attempt by Paramount to launch a TV production unit, Paramount Pictures Television, produced pilots for proposed series which never made it past the pilot stage, including a 1959 TV movie titled Destination Space (which it co-produced with CBS, which also aired that movie). In the mid-1960s, Paramount joined forces with Talent Associates to produce most of the first season of the spy parody sitcom Get Smart (credited on that show as Talent Associates-Paramount), but by 1966, Paramount was nearing bankruptcy and had largely distanced itself from television when it was purchased that year by Gulf+Western. In 1967, Gulf+Western acquired Desilu Productions and its syndication unit, Desilu Sales, from Lucille Ball and made it the TV division of Paramount while keeping the Desilu name for several months until December 29 that year, when Desilu was dissolved and then reincorporated as Paramount Television (PTV) on January 1, 1968 (with Desilu Sales reincorporated as Paramount Television Sales at the same time), marking Paramount's first genuine foray into television production under Gulf+Western ownership.

Following the reincorporation, PTV took over production of the shows previously made by Desilu, including The Lucy Show, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Mannix. The first show to be produced by PTV from its debut, Here's Lucy (the third long-running sitcom to star Lucille Ball), debuted on September 23, 1968 and was co-produced with Ball's new production company, Lucille Ball Productions, but PTV co-produced only the first season before it sold its stake in the show to Ball after that season. In the fall of 1969, PTV launched two new shows, the family sitcom The Brady Bunch and the romantic comedy anthology Love, American Style.

During the 1970s, PTV produced several series that were based on films produced by parent studio Paramount Pictures, including Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple (which spawned the animated spinoff The Oddball Couple, co-produced with DePatie-Freleng Enterprises), Petrocelli (based on the 1970 Paramount film The Lawyer) and Serpico. In 1974, Happy Days (which was based on the 1972 Love, American Style episode "Love and the Television Set", later retitled "Love and the Happy Days" in syndication when Happy Days became successful) debuted in mid-season on ABC and became one of PTV's most successful productions, as well as helping elevate ABC to number-one status among the American networks during the 1970s. Happy Days later spun off several series, including the successful Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy, the less successful Joanie Loves Chachi, Out of the Blue and Blansky's Beauties, and Saturday morning animated shows Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Laverne and Shirley in the Army (billed simply as Laverne & Shirley on-screen).

In 1978, a Star Trek sequel series titled Star Trek: Phase II was announced by PTV as the flagship series of a proposed fourth television network owned by Paramount, the Paramount Television Service, but the plans for that network were ultimately scrapped by the studio's board prior to its planned launch at the start of the 1978-79 TV season and Star Trek: Phase II was revamped into a feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which debuted in theatres on December 7, 1979. PTV later contributed some programs to syndication service Operation Prime Time, including music/dance show Solid Gold. In 1981, the PTV-produced entertainment news program Entertainment Tonight debuted on weeknights in first-run syndication. In 1987, the Star Trek franchise returned to television when Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in syndication and quickly became a success for PTV, which then focused on other shows for first-run syndication like Friday the 13th: The Series (horror), War of the Worlds (sci-fi, based on the 1953 Paramount movie of the same name), The Arsenio Hall Show (late-night talk) and Hard Copy (tabloid news).

In 1989, PTV parent company Gulf+Western was reincorporated as Paramount Communications after the company sold off its non-entertainment assets to focus on its core entertainment and media units. Another syndicated Star Trek series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, debuted at mid-season in January 1993. Paramount Communications (including PTV) was purchased by Viacom in 1994, and Viacom's syndication unit, Viacom Enterprises, was folded into Paramount Domestic Television beginning in 1995, while its TV production unit, Viacom Productions, became a division of PTV that year. Also in 1995, Paramount finally realized its plans for its own TV network, the United Paramount Network (UPN, co-owned with Chris-Craft Industries), which PTV began producing shows for upon its launch that January. The first show to air on UPN was Star Trek: Voyager, the first network-based Star Trek series to air since The Original Series' run on NBC. Other shows produced by PTV which aired on UPN included Star Trek: Enterprise, The Sentinel, Seven Days, One on One, Moesha and Girlfriends.

Viacom acquired former parent company CBS in 2000, which led to PTV producing more shows to air on CBS (some of which, including JAG, Becker and Nash Bridges, were already in production at the time). Four of the new PTV shows, NCIS (a JAG spinoff), Numb3rs, Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer, became hits for CBS following the Viacom acquisition. In 2004, Viacom Productions was folded into PTV, which assumed production of the former VP shows thereafter. On January 3, 2006, Viacom split into two separate companies, with the existing Viacom reincorporating as CBS Corporation while the current Viacom was spun off from it. CBS retained PTV in the split and merged it with CBS Productions, along with their respective syndication units, to form CBS Paramount Television (CPTV) on January 16, 2006, with the shows formerly produced under the PTV banner transitioning to CPTV beginning on May 28, 2006. With the ending of Criminal Minds in February 2020, NCIS is now the last network show originally produced by PTV which is still in production as of 2021.

All shows produced by PTV and its predecessors prior to 2006 are now owned by PTV's legal successor, CBS Studios, and are distributed by CBS Media Ventures in off-network and first-run syndication.

Paramount Domestic Television

Paramount Domestic Television (PDT) was formed in 1982 as Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming. It served as the successor-in-interest to previous distribution companies dating back to Desilu Sales, which was first formed in 1962 as the syndication arm of Desilu. Shortly after its acquisition by Gulf+Western in 1967, Desilu Sales merged with Paramount's original TV syndication unit, Paramount Television Enterprises, to form Paramount Television Sales, later renamed Paramount Television Domestic Distribution prior to the 1982 reorganization.

When Viacom bought Paramount Communications in 1994, it folded its Viacom Enterprises distribution unit into PDT early in 1995, significantly increasing PDT's back catalogue as it picked up shows produced in-house by CBS (and its original syndicator CBS Films) along with the pre-1960 Desilu catalogue. The PDT library was further increased with Viacom's 1999 acquisitions of Rysher Entertainment's catalogue and Spelling Entertainment, giving it the archives of Spelling Television and Worldvision Enterprises (along with Worldvision's predecessors ABC Films, NBC Films, National Telefilm Associates and Republic Pictures Television).

In 2004, PDT's international division, Paramount International Television, merged with CBS Broadcast International to form CBS Paramount International Television (CPIT). When CBS merged PTV (and PDT) with CBS Productions (and its CBS Enterprises distribution unit) to form CBS Paramount Television in 2006, the TV production unit became CBS Paramount Network Television (CPNT) while the syndication unit was renamed CBS Paramount Domestic Television (CPDT), though both units identified on-screen simply as CBS Paramount Television. On September 26, 2006, CBS announced that it would merge CPDT with King World to form CBS Television Distribution (CTD), whose on-screen logo debuted in syndication on August 20, 2007.

Production codes

The format for weekly produced shows is SSSSS-EEE, where S is a five digit show number and E is a three digit episode number. Daily produced shows is SE, where S is the variable letter show identifier and E is a variable sequential digit episode count. Only the episode portion is used on internal marketing material and feed slates.

List of shows produced by Paramount Television

Note: All shows produced by Paramount Television and its predecessors prior to its 2006 merger with CBS Productions to form CBS Paramount Television are now owned or co-owned by CBS Studios.

Title Format Network Years
The Lucy Show Sitcom CBS 1962–68 1
You Don't Say! Game Show NBC 1963–69 1
Star Trek Science fiction NBC 1966–69 1
Mission: Impossible Espionage CBS 1966–73 1
Mannix Crime Drama CBS 1967–75 1
The Brady Bunch Sitcom ABC 1969–74
Love, American Style Sitcom anthology ABC 1969–74
The Odd Couple Sitcom ABC 1970–75
The Immortal Sci-fi drama ABC 1970–71
The Sandy Duncan Show Sitcom CBS 1971–72
The Brady Kids Animated sitcom ABC 1972–74 2
Star Trek: The Animated Series Animated sci-fi NBC 1973–74 2
The Magician Crime drama NBC 1973–74
Happy Days Sitcom ABC 1974–84
Petrocelli Legal drama NBC 1974–76
Paper Moon Sitcom ABC 1974–75
The Oddball Couple Animated sitcom ABC 1975–77 3
Laverne & Shirley Sitcom ABC 1976–83
The Brady Bunch Hour Variety ABC 1976–77 4
Mork & Mindy Sitcom ABC 1978–82
Taxi Sitcom ABC 1978–82
NBC 1982–83
Angie Sitcom NBC 1979–80
Solid Gold Music chart/variety Syndication 1980–88 5
Fonz and the Happy Days Gang Animated sitcom ABC 1980–81 6
Bosom Buddies Sitcom ABC 1980–82
Here's Boomer Adventure/drama NBC 1980–82
Police Squad! Police procedural parody/sitcom ABC 1982
Joanie Loves Chachi Sitcom ABC 1982–83
The New Odd Couple Sitcom ABC 1982–83
The Powers of Matthew Star Sci-fi NBC 1982–83
Cheers Sitcom NBC 1982–93
Family Ties Sitcom NBC 1982–89
Webster Sitcom ABC 1983–87
Syndication 1987–89
Anything for Money Game show Syndication 1984–85
MacGyver Action-adventure drama ABC 1985–92
The Bronx Zoo Drama NBC 1987–88
Duet Sitcom FOX 1987–89
Friday the 13th Horror Syndication 1987–90
Star Trek: The Next Generation Science fiction Syndication 1987–94
War of the Worlds Science fiction Syndication 1988–90
Mission: Impossible Espionage ABC 1988–90
Dear John Sitcom NBC 1988–92
The Arsenio Hall Show Late-night talk show Syndication 1989–94
Hard Copy Tabloid news Syndication 1989–99
Wings Sitcom NBC 1990–97
The Montel Williams Show Talk show Syndication 1991–2008 7 8
Sightings Paranormal documentary/news FOX 1992–97
Frasier Sitcom NBC 1993–2004
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Science fiction Syndication 1993–99
The Busy World of Richard Scarry Animation Showtime 1994–97 9
Duckman Animated sitcom USA 1994–97
Leeza Talk show NBC 1994–99
Syndication 1999–2000
The New Price Is Right Game show Syndication 1994–95 10
Sister, Sister Sitcom ABC 1994–95
The WB 1995–99
Star Trek: Voyager Science fiction UPN 1995–2001
JAG Adventure/legal drama NBC 1995–96 11
CBS 1997–2005
Real TV Reality Syndication 1996–2001
Nash Bridges Police procedural CBS 1996–2001 12
Clueless Sitcom ABC 1996–97
UPN 1997–99
Seven Days Science fiction UPN 1998–2001
Judge Mills Lane Courtroom show Syndication 1998–2001 12
Girlfriends Sitcom UPN 2000–2006
The CW 2006–2008
Maximum Exposure Reality Syndication 2000–2002
Soul Food Drama Showtime 2000–2004
One on One Sitcom UPN 2001–2006
Star Trek: Enterprise Science fiction UPN 2001–2005
The Dead Zone Suspense/sci-fi USA 2002–2007 13 14
NCIS Police procedural CBS 2003–present 15
The 4400 Science fiction USA 2004–2007 16
Criminal Minds Crime drama CBS 2005–2020 15 17
Ghost Whisperer Supernatural drama CBS 2005–2010 15 17

1 Produced until December 1967 by Desilu Productions
2 Co-produced with Filmation Associates
3 Co-produced with DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
4 Co-produced with Sid & Marty Krofft Productions
5 Co-produced with Operation Prime Time
6 Co-produced with Hanna-Barbera Productions
7 Co-produced with Mountain Movers (1991-94) and Out of My Way Productions (1994-98)
8 Produced and distributed until 1995 by Viacom Enterprises, from 2006 to 2007 by CBS Paramount Television and from 2007 to 2008 by CBS Television Distribution
9 Co-produced with CINAR Animation
10 Co-produced with Mark Goodson Productions
11 Co-produced with NBC Productions in Season One only
12 Produced until 1999 by Rysher Entertainment
13 Produced after 2006 by CBS Paramount Television
14 Co-produced with Lionsgate Television
15 Produced from 2006 to 2009 by CBS Paramount Television and after 2009 by CBS Television Studios
16 Produced until 2004 by Viacom Productions and from 2006 to 2007 by CBS Paramount Television
17 Co-produced with Touchstone Television/ABC Studios

External links