Television Inc. was a television production company that went
through several name changes. It was originally called Aaron Spelling
Productions, then Spelling Entertainment Inc. and eventually part of
Spelling Entertainment Group. The company produced popular shows such
as The Love Boat, Dynasty, Beverly Hills, 90210, 7th Heaven, Melrose
Place and Charmed. The company was founded by television producer
Aaron Spelling on October 25, 1965. The company is currently an
in-name-only unit of
Television Studios. A related company,
Spelling-Goldberg Productions, co-existed during a portion of the same
time period and produced other well-known shows such as Charlie's
Angels, Starsky & Hutch, and Fantasy Island but these series are
not part of the modern day library now owned by CBS. Another related
company, The Douglas S. Cramer Company co-existed during a portion of
the same time period (held by Douglas S. Cramer, who held the position
as Executive VP), produced shows like Wonder Woman, Joe and
Bridget Loves Bernie
Bridget Loves Bernie and TV movies like Dawn: Portrait of a
Teenage Runaway, but these series are almost neither series or TV
movies are not part of the modern day library now owned by CBS, almost
nor airing on ABC.
2.1 Viacom acquisition
3.1 Thomas-Spelling Productions
4 Spelling's library today
5 Spelling Entertainment Group
6 Past names
7 See also
8 Notes and references
In October 25, 1965, after his exit from
Four Star Television
Four Star Television as a
staff writer prior to becoming a producer,
Aaron Spelling formed his
own company with Danny Thomas, Thomas-Spelling Productions.
Thomas-Spelling Productions was a television production company formed
Danny Thomas and producer
Aaron Spelling on April 15, 1966
as a partnership with 24 properties. The company adapted its name by
July 18, 1966 when it announced the financial involvement of ABC with
its first show, Range (later Rango), a half-hour comedy western
starring Tim Conway. ABC also pick up another show for a pilot, just
in an outline treatment, in The Guns of Will Sonnett. Thomas-Spelling
Productions' active operations ended with the last season of The Mod
Squad in 1972. Spelling formed a new partnership with Leonard
Goldberg, Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Aaron Spelling, who was still involved with Thomas-Spelling
Productions, signed an exclusive deal with ABC via Aaron Spelling
Productions for TV series and feature films.
In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Spelling was called king in television.
Aaron Spelling Productions struck a deal with Warner Bros.
Television Distribution for worldwide syndication rights to future
Spelling productions. In 1984, Spelling had seven shows for the ABC
television network, accounting for one-third their prime time
schedule. This outweighed other production companies by a large
margin, leading many industry insiders to dub ABC as "Aaron's
Broadcasting Company". Spelling himself was never amused with this
Aaron Spelling Productions went public in 1986 after raising $80
million. On August 17, 1987, Spelling extended its contract with
ABC for three more years. On September 28, 1987, Spelling's
arrangement with ABC became non-exclusive as it was signed a deal to
other networks. In 1988,
Aaron Spelling Productions acquired Laurel
Entertainment and most of the Taft Entertainment Company, including
Worldvision Enterprises, Inc. All three companies became part of
Spelling Entertainment Inc. – though Worldvision was the only Taft
division to continue operating. The sale was completed on March 1,
In the early 1990s
Beverly Hills, 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210 and
Melrose Place helped
propel Fox even higher and reach a new generation of young teen
viewers. Also in the 1990s the WB was launched and their longest
running, highest rated and most successful show during their time in
operation was 7th Heaven for ten seasons. By 2006, another new
network, the CW, used 7th Heaven in their first season in operation as
the newest network. Spelling's ABC, Fox, and WB shows were enormously
successful for the company and they wasted no time entering into the
world of merchandise in the 80's and 90's. The company also was one of
the first production companies to actively run a website for a show
they produced when the internet was just taking off in the 1990s. The
website was for Melrose Place.
Spelling Entertainment Inc. was acquired by The
Charter Company on
April 6, 1991. On March 31, 1992, Spelling and Charter announced a
merger agreement. On October 5, 1992, Charter changed its name to
Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. and updated its NYSE ticker symbol
to SP. On October 5, 1993, Blockbuster, Inc. acquired a
controlling stake in Spelling Entertainment Group. On April 28,
1994, Spelling Entertainment acquired
Republic Pictures for $100
In August 1994, a syndicated package of shows was produced by Spelling
TV for Worldvision's Spelling Premiere Network. These shows included
22 episodes of Robin's Hoods, 13 episodes of Heaven
Help Us, and 9
episodes of University Hospital, Heaven's midseason replacement.
On September 29, 1994, Blockbuster merged with Viacom. Blockbuster by
then owned 67% of Spelling Entertainment. After the merger,
Spelling Entertainment integrated Worldvision into their Republic
Pictures unit, thus dismantling Worldvision as a production company.
Worldvision distribution functions continued until 1999, when it was
Paramount Domestic Television
Paramount Domestic Television that year and assumed
distribution functions (Viacom had bought Paramount Communications -
formerly Gulf+Western - the parent of
Paramount Pictures and its
television division, in 1994).
In 1995, Viacom attempted to sell its then-78% share of Spelling. One
reason was that they wanted to recoup the debt incurred from buying
Paramount Communications. Also, they felt that the operations of
Television was too similar to its Paramount Television
division. Potential bids came from PolyGram, New World Entertainment,
and News Corporation. These plans were called off in 1996 as Viacom
could not find the perfect bidder. The remainder of Spelling
Entertainment was then acquired by Viacom on June 23, 1999.
Before the merger with Viacom, most of Spelling's shows were
distributed by Worldvision, with older Spelling shows distributed by
several others including
Television and 20th Television.
The company's first home was a suite of offices on the old Warners lot
in Hollywood. A newer base followed when the company was an original
anchor tenant of the Wilshire Courtyard buildings in LA's revitalized
Miracle Mile district.
Aaron Spelling was said to have loved his old
office's 1970s shag carpet so much that he had it removed piece by
piece and installed in the new office. The company grew so large with
so many different entities that at one point it leased all three top
floors of the 5700 building and held additional office space across
Aaron Spelling had one of the largest offices in Hollywood
for a single executive. Upon the company's exit, media companies from
all over Los Angeles vied for the desirable office suites; the newly
CW Network briefly looked at the offices when considering a
location for the new start-up network. Spelling
moved to smaller offices in Santa Monica in 2006.
Aaron Spelling remained active and involved as CEO until his
death in 2006. Company president Jonathan Levin handled day-to-day
operations and longtime Spelling producing partner, E. Duke Vincent
helped guide the successful production company.
Television was eventually downsized even further & became
a small "production shingle" under
Paramount Television (now CBS
Television Studios), a division of
CBS Corporation, with a small
staff. The company became an in-name-only unit of
Studios after Aaron Spelling's death in 2006.
The company can be credited with helping several networks (ABC, Fox,
the WB, and the CW) with successful shows.
7th Heaven was the last series produced by Spelling Television
broadcast on network television.
On May 13, 2007 Spelling
Television was shutdown and became an in-name
only unit of
Rango (ABC), originally called Range, a half-hour western comedy
Tim Conway and created by writers Harvey Bullock and Ray
Allen, which debuted in a mid-season on January 13, 1967
The Guns of Will Sonnett (ABC), another half-hour western co-created
by Spelling and writer Dick Carr
The Mod Squad
The Mod Squad (ABC) 1968-73
The New People (ABC) 
Spelling's library today
The CBS/Viacom split essentially resulted in the de-merger of Spelling
and Republic. Spelling retained the rights to the television side of
the Spelling/Republic library, while Republic retained the theatrical
and direct-to-video sides of the library.
Currently, all television programs that were produced or acquired by
Television are distributed by
Television company logo and series were seen on broadcast
television for the last time during the rerun of the 7th Heaven series
finale on September 16, 2007. The Spelling logo continues to appear on
the covers of DVD releases of the Spelling library except for those
shows owned outright by Sony Pictures Television, and shows that were
not originally produced by Spelling although eventually later
acquired, such as Bonanza.
In late 2008, some of Spelling Television's productions, including
Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Twin Peaks, and The Love Boat
began streaming full episodes online through CBS's website under the
CBS owned POP TV formerly called TVGN, airs many of these
shows, while the
CBS All Access streaming service and the
Hulu distribute the shows online.
Spelling Entertainment Group
Before the full acquisition by Viacom in 1999 (where only Spelling
Television would be left standing as a separate operating unit),
Spelling Entertainment Group's holdings consisted of the following:
Television and most of the libraries of ancestor companies
Spelling-Goldberg Productions properties which were sold
off to Columbia Pictures Television, modern day Sony Pictures
Television, and the earliest telemovies up until 1973, which is owned
by Disney-ABC Home Entertainment and
Television launched in 1994 (now a unit of
Television launched as a separate division for
daytime production based at NBC.
Laurel Entertainment, Inc.
Republic Pictures including:
much of its own library of films and in-house TV series
The inherited holdings of
National Telefilm Associates (NTA), which
It's a Wonderful Life
Most of Paramount's own classic animated library
United Artists material (including High Noon)
NBC shows, such as Get Smart,
The High Chaparral
The High Chaparral and Bonanza
Worldvision Enterprises acquired in 1989:
Sunn Classic Pictures and Titus Productions libraries
The Taft International Pictures and Taft Entertainment Television
libraries, including the game show Blackout
Majority of the
Quinn Martin library.
Pre-1973 ABC shows, as well as US television rights to NBC's Little
House on the Prairie (premiered in 1974)
Selznick International Pictures library (excluding Gone with the
Wind, which was acquired by
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1944, and
Turner Entertainment Co.
Turner Entertainment Co. in 1986; Turner merged with
Time Warner in 1996)
The television rights to most of the
Carolco Pictures library
TeleUNO, Latin American cable network launched in 1993
Virgin Interactive Entertainment (91%, acquired in 1994)
In 1998, Spelling divested in several assets in an attempt to focus
solely on television. Spelling Films was shut down, as well as their
home video arm (which operated under the Republic brand). In May 1998,
TeleUNO was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment. In September
1998, Spelling licensed the North American home video rights to its
library to Artisan Entertainment, initially for seven years. That same
month, Virgin Interactive's software development assets were sold to
After the late 2005 corporate split between Viacom and CBS
Corporation, some of the above have gone to each company. Films mostly
went to Viacom's
Paramount Pictures unit and television with CBS
Television Distribution unit, while the Selznick
films went to the various territorial television syndication divisions
of Disney/ABC, as ABC itself holds the rights to the Selznick films.
As for DVD rights, these are also split:
CBS Home Entertainment owns worldwide DVD rights to the television
library, with distribution by Paramount (one exception being the
United Kingdom rights to Twin Peaks, which, due to prior contracts,
are handled by Universal Studios Home Entertainment through its
Universal Playback label). Another exception is Holocaust, a
miniseries Spelling acquired in the Taft Entertainment acquisition -
CBS has licensed DVD rights to various other companies outside the US,
while Paramount owns the United States rights.
In the United States, a few of the films (most notably It's a
Wonderful Life) have DVD rights owned by Paramount, but the rest were
Lionsgate Home Entertainment, successor to previous
Spelling/Republic video licensee Artisan Entertainment, but was
shifted to Olive Films. In the rest of the world, DVD rights to the
films are owned by various other companies (for example, Universal in
the UK, and Paramount themselves in France and Region 4).
Aaron Spelling Productions (1965–1988)
Spelling Entertainment Inc. (1988-1992)
Spelling Entertainment Group (1992–1999)
Notes and references
^ Broadcasting, Aug. 1, 1988, pg. 44
^ Los Angeles County, The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25, 1988
^ a b c Program notes: Exclusive deal. Broadcasting, Jul 7, 1969, pg.
^ Broadcasting Magazine, April 3, 1982, pg. 118
^ a b "Spelling, Aaron". Museum of Broadcast Communications, The.
Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ Broadcasting Magazine, July 21, 1986, pg. 54
^ Broadcasting Magazine, August 18, 1987, pg. 112
^ Broadcasting Magazine, September 28, 1987, pg. 96
^ "Spelling Entertainment Inc. formed in reorganization of Aaron
Spelling Productions Inc.; merger with Worldvision and Laurel also
^ "Spelling sells stake in firm". Chicago Tribune. April 6, 1991.
Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ "The Free Library" SPELLING ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND THE CHARTER
COMPANY ANNOUNCE MERGER AGREEMENT PRNewswire thefreelibrary.com,
Retrieved on January 30, 2013
^ "The Charter Co. Shareholders Approve Name Change to Spelling
Entertainment Group Inc". October 5, 1992. Retrieved January 19,
^ SPELLING ENTERTAINMENT COMPLETES SALE OF SHARES TO BLOCKBUSTER
thefreelibrary.com, Retrieved on May 27, 2013
^ "Orlando Sentinel" Blockbuster's Spelling Finishes Buying Republic
articles.orlandosentinel.com, Retrieved on May 27, 2013
^ Kleid, Beth (August 28, 1994). "Focus : Spelling Check :
Mega-Producer's Latest Venture is His Own 'Network'". Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
^ Kleid, Beth (November 21, 1994). "Morning Briefing: Television:
Coming Attractions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 24,
^ "Viacom Completes Merger With Blockbuster".
^ Geraldine Fabrikant (August 11, 1995). "Viacom to Put Spelling Stake
Up for Sale". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ Mark Landler (May 22, 1996). "Viacom Drops Plan to Sell Its Stake in
Spelling Group". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ a b Broadcasting, Dec 12, 1966, pg. 103 "
Aaron Spelling -partner
Danny Thomas in Thomas/Spelling Productions and president, Aaron
Spelling Productions. "
CBS Shows Online Hulu
^ Moore, Linda (1993-01-27). "Spelling unveils cable venture".
^ "Sony compra TeleUno" (in Portuguese). 1998-05-07. Retrieved
^ Times Wire Services (1998-09-06). "
Virgin Interactive Operations
Sold for $122.5 Million". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035.
David R. Andelman
Joseph A. Califano Jr.
William S. Cohen
Charles K. Gifford
Bruce S. Gordon
Broadcast TV assets
The CW (co-owned with Warner Bros.)
Decades (co-owned with Weigel Broadcasting)
CBS Broadcast Center
CBS Studio Center
Ed Sullivan Theater
Big Ticket Entertainment
CBS Sports Network
Pop (50% with Lionsgate)
AXS TV (minority stake)
CBS Studios International
CBS All Access
CBS Sports HQ
Simon & Schuster
Atria Publishing Group
Gallery Publishing Group
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster Audio Publishing
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
CBS News Radio
CBS Sports Radio
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Home Entertainment
CBS Sports HQ
CBS Paramount Domestic Television
CBS Paramount Network Television
Paramount Stations Group
Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Gulf and Wester