Screen Gems Television
From The TV IV
Screen Gems Television was the first incarnation of the television production company now known as Sony Pictures Television (a unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment).
Screen Gems had its pre-television origins in 1939 when Columbia Pictures purchased the Charles Mintz animation studio, which had been notable for producing animated theatrical short series such as Krazy Kat, The Fox and the Crow and Color Rhapsodies. The newly-renamed Screen Gems continued production of its animated shorts until Columbia closed the studio in 1946, although Screen Gems had produced enough output to allow continued new releases until 1949.
Screen Gems was subsequently revived by Columbia in 1948 to serve as its television production and distribution unit. It became a prominent studio beginning with the Golden Age of Television in the 1950s as it produced shows like Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace, Route 66, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and The Partridge Family for the American networks, and it syndicated old Three Stooges theatrical shorts and Universal Studios horror films (under the title Shock for that syndicated package) , leading to a revival in popularity for the Stooges and for Universal Horror (and the horror film genre in general) due to the new TV exposure. Screen Gems syndicated the Universal Horror film package as part of a larger overall catalog of 550 Universal films which Screen Gems had acquired TV distribution rights to in 1957 for a $20,000,000, ten-year lease  until the distribution rights for those films reverted to MCA Television, whose parent company MCA had purchased Universal Studios in 1962, when the ten-year lease period ended.
Screen Gems also formed a partnership with Hanna-Barbera Productions where Screen Gems provided working capital to the animation studio to produce its TV cartoons in exchange for the distribution rights. The first animated series to air under the H-B/Screen Gems partnership was The Ruff & Reddy Show, which debuted on NBC on December 14, 1957. Other shows produced by Hanna-Barbera under Screen Gems during the 1960s, both for the networks and for syndication, included The Huckleberry Hound Show, Quick Draw McGraw, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Yogi Bear Show, Top Cat, Jonny Quest, Magilla Gorilla and Peter Potamus. Hanna-Barbera became independent of Screen Gems in 1967 when Taft Broadcasting bought the studio, which then began producing and syndicating (through its distribution unit, Taft H-B Program Sales) its own output. Screen Gems (and successor Columbia Pictures Television) continued syndicating the pre-1967 Hanna-Barbera shows until the mid-1970s, when Taft H-B picked up the distribution rights; those were passed to Taft H-B's successor company, Worldvision Enterprises, in 1979.
Screen Gems also operated as a broadcasting company through ownership of several American TV stations, including KCPX-TV (now KTVX) in Salt Lake City, Utah (1959-75) and WVUE-TV in New Orleans (1965-77).
The Screen Gems name was retired in 1974 by Columbia, which then renamed its TV division as Columbia Pictures Television. Most shows produced under the Screen Gems banner (with a few exceptions noted below) were later distributed by Colex Enterprises (a joint venture of CPT and LBS Communications) from 1984 to 1988, but are now distributed by CPT's successor-in-interest, Sony Pictures Television. Most of Hanna-Barbera's output produced during its partnership with Screen Gems is now owned and distributed by Warner Bros. Television (through parent Time Warner's 1996 purchase of Turner Broadcasting, which had bought Hanna-Barbera in 1990), with the exceptions of Jeannie (an animated spinoff of I Dream of Jeannie) and Partridge Family: 2200 A.D. (a Partridge Family animated spinoff), which SPT owns the rights to due to the animated series' connection to their parent shows.
The Screen Gems name and logo were revived in 1999 and are currently used by the genre film unit of Sony Pictures.
List of shows produced by Screen Gems
Note: Shows produced by Hanna-Barbera are listed separately in that company's article.
|Burns & Allen||Comedy||CBS||1953–58|
|The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin||Adventure||ABC||1954–59|
|Father Knows Best||Sitcom||CBS||1954–55 1|
|Treasure Hunt||Game show||ABC||1956–59|
|The Donna Reed Show||Sitcom||ABC||1958–66 2|
|Dennis the Menace (1959)||Sitcom||CBS||1959–63|
|The Three Stooges||Comedy||Syndication||1959–present 3|
|The Farmer's Daughter||Sitcom||ABC||1963–66|
|Days of our Lives||Soap opera||NBC||1965–present 4|
|I Dream of Jeannie||Sitcom||NBC||1965–70|
|Love on a Rooftop||Sitcom||ABC||1966–67|
|The Flying Nun||Sitcom||ABC||1967–70|
|The Johnny Cash Show||Variety||ABC||1969–71|
|The Partridge Family||Sitcom||ABC||1970–74|
|Bridget Loves Bernie||Sitcom||CBS||1972–73|
|The Young and the Restless||Soap opera||CBS||1973–present 4|
|Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice||Sitcom||ABC||1973|
|Police Story||Crime anthology||NBC||1973–78 5|
1Although Father Knows Best was produced by Screen Gems and later distributed by its successor companies, Sony Pictures Television gave up full rights to the show in 2008 to the estates of Robert Young and show producer Eugene Rodney, the series copyright holders
2Although The Donna Reed Show was produced by Screen Gems and later distributed by its successor companies, Sony Pictures Television gave up full rights to the show in 2008 to the estate of Donna Reed
3Distributed after 1974 by Columbia Pictures Television, Columbia TriStar Television and Sony Pictures Television
4Produced after 1974 by Columbia Pictures Television, Columbia TriStar Television and Sony Pictures Television
5Produced from 1974 to 1978 by Columbia Pictures Television
- Screen Gems is remembered by many fans of classic TV through its 1965 introduction of its famous closing logo (see infobox above) and accompanying jingle, composed by Eric Siday and Van Alexander, consisting of six short notes followed by two long tones produced on violins and processed through a synthesizer. The jingle, combined with the rough animation of the logo, was disturbing to many TV viewers of that time period (particularly if they were children then), which later led to the logo being nicknamed the "S from Hell" on the Internet by those now-adult viewers. 
- In the animated series Batfink, which Screen Gems distributed, the Eric Siday jingle is replaced in the Screen Gems "S from Hell" closing logo by a trumpet fanfare. 
- Screen Gems Television at the Internet Movie Database
- Screen Gems closing logos at the Closing Logos Group Wiki
- Screen Gems "S from Hell" tribute site