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CBS Television Studios
Type Subsidiary
Founded Los Angeles, California, USA January 17, 2006
Headquarters Los Angeles, California,  United States
Key people Leslie Moonves, President & CEO
Industry Television Production
Owner(s) National Amusements
CBS Corporation
Parent CBS Corporation

CBS Television Studios (CTS) (formerly CBS Paramount Television, Desilu Productions, Paramount Television, among other companies) is an American television production/distribution company that was formed on January 17, 2006 by CBS Corporation merging Paramount Television and CBS Productions. It is the television production arm of the CBS network (CBS Productions previously assumed such functions), and, alongside Warner Bros. Television, it is also the television production arm of The CW Television Network (in which CBS has a 50% ownership stake).


Background and timeline


Paramount Pictures' early television ventures

  • 1939: Established experimental television stations in Los Angeles (W6XYZ) as Television Productions Inc. and Chicago (W9XBK) with Balaban and Katz.
  • 1943: Began commercial broadcasting over WBKB in Chicago (now WBBM).
  • 1947: Began commercial broadcasting over KTLA in Los Angeles.
  • 1949: The first major studio to establish program syndication as Paramount Television Network (much of which originated from KTLA).
  • 1964: Paramount branched out of broadcasting with the sale of KTLA to Golden West Broadcasters.

Desilu Productions

  • 1951: Desilu Productions formed by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.
  • 1957: Desilu Studios is established in Hollywood and Culver City, following the purchase from RKO.
  • 1962: Desilu Sales Inc. is formed as the company's syndication arm.
  • 1967: Desilu Productions is acquired by Gulf+Western Industries. The company merges with Paramount Pictures in July.[1] Desilu Sales, in turn, merges with Paramount's syndication division to become Paramount Television Sales.

Paramount Television

  • 1966: March 24, Gulf+Western acquires Paramount Pictures.
  • 1967: Paramount Television Enterprises releases 60 titles from their post-1949 feature film library to television broadcasters under the Paramount Portfolio I umbrella package.
  • 1968: Paramount Television, formerly Desilu, is established as the studio's television production unit.[1]
  • 1977: Paramount Television Service is formed.
  • 1982: Paramount Television Group and Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming are established.
  • 1989: June 5, Gulf+Western is reincorporated as Paramount Communications, Inc.
  • 1994: March 11, Viacom acquired Paramount Communications, resulting in the formation of Paramount/Viacom as a byline for several of Viacom's subsidiaries.
  • 1995: Viacom launched the United Paramount Network (UPN) with Chris-Craft Industries.


  • 1952: CBS forms CBS Productions as the network's television production unit.
  • 1953: CBS forms CBS Films as the distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local TV stations in the United States and abroad.
  • 1971: CBS Films is spun off as Viacom International, Inc.
  • 1995: November 28, Westinghouse Electric acquires CBS.
  • 1999: Viacom merges with its creator CBS.


  • 1971: Viacom Enterprises is established for domestic and overseas syndication of off-network and first-run television programs from various independent producers.
  • 1974: Viacom Productions is formed as the company's television production unit.
  • 1995: Viacom Enterprises was absorbed into Paramount Domestic Television. The name Paramount Network Television (PNT) was also used for the first time ever (Viacom Productions would also become a division of PNT).
  • 2004: Viacom Productions was folded into Paramount Television by ceasing its television operations.

Aaron Spelling

  • 1967: Thomas/Spelling Productions formed by Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas.
  • 1969: Aaron Spelling Productions was established.
  • 1972: Spelling-Goldberg Productions formed by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.
  • 1988: Aaron Spelling Productions acquires Laurel Entertainment, Inc.
  • 1989: Aaron Spelling Productions is renamed Spelling Entertainment, Inc.
  • 1992: Spelling Entertainment becomes Spelling Television, Inc.
  • 1994: Blockbuster buys 20% of Spelling, Inc.
  • 1995: Spelling Entertainment Group is formed.
  • 1996: Spelling-Goldberg Productions ceases.
  • 1999: Viacom acquires 80% of Spelling Entertainment Group (Such as Spelling Television) and Rysher Entertainment's TV holdings.

Worldvision Enterprises

  • 1962: ABC forms ABC Films as the domestic syndicator of independent programming supplied for the network. Worldvision Enterprises (WVE) was also established, initially as the network's international distribution branch to other countries.
  • 1973: Worldvision name adapted by ABC's original domestic syndication arm, formed in 1962.
  • 1979: Worldvision acquired by Taft Entertainment Company (TECO)
  • 1990: Worldvision acquired by Spelling from Great American Broadcasting (successor to Taft beginning in 1987).

King World

  • 1964: King World Productions (KWP) founded by Charles King.
  • 2000: In January, CBS acquires King World and forms CBS Enterprises, Inc., after which Eyemark Entertainment folds into King World.
  • 2000: After Viacom's merger with CBS, Paramount TV acquires CBS Enterprises, which included King World at that time.
  • 2006: September 26, As part of the corporate restructuring, King World along with CBS Paramount Domestic Television and CBS Paramount International Television forms the CBS Television Distribution group.

Group W

  • 1963: Group W Productions established by Westinghouse Broadcasting
  • 1995: Westinghouse Electric acquires CBS and the company is renamed to CBS, Inc.
  • 1995: Group W Productions is renamed to Eyemark Entertainment.

CBS Paramount Television

The CBS Paramount Television logo, used from 2006 to 2009.
  • 2004: August 10, Viacom merged the international television banners of CBS Broadcast International and Paramount International Television to form CBS Paramount International Television.
  • 2004: Viacom merged CBS Productions and Paramount Network Television to form CBS Paramount Network Television. Their respective logos remain the same.
  • 2006: When the CBS/Viacom split took effect, CBS inherited Paramount's TV program library, with the new Viacom keeping Paramount's films.
  • 2006: On January 17, CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves announced that Paramount Television would be renamed CBS Paramount Television as of that day, after merging with CBS Productions, with both the CBS 'eyemark' and Paramount's mountain united in the new logo, and the network division becoming CBS Paramount Network Television.[1]
  • 2006: CBS Corp. merged its TV distribution arms—King World, CBS Paramount International Television and CBS Paramount Domestic Television—to form CBS Television Distribution (CTD).
  • 2009: May 15, CBS quietly drops the Paramount name after a three and a half year loan of it's use from now sister company Viacom forming CBS Television Studios.[2]

The production company today: CBS Television Studios

CBS Paramount Television was the only CBS division that used the Paramount name and logo in its own name and logo (Paramount Pictures is currently owned by the post-2006 Viacom that was spun off from CBS, which was once known as the old Viacom). All three of its original divisions had used Paramount in their name: CBS Paramount Network Television (the production arm), CBS Paramount Domestic Television (the US distribution arm), and CBS Paramount International Television (the international distribution arm). When the companies split, CBS had permission to use the Paramount name for three years. The contract expired in 2009, and thus the Paramount name is now gone from television for good, after 42 years as a production company (39 as Paramount Television), and before that, the owners of two early television stations (KTLA and WBKB), an earlier production company (Telemount Productions), and part-owners of the DuMont Television Network. The new company also dissolves the revived CBS Productions, the in-name-only producer of 90210.

National Amusements retains majority control of both CBS and the new Viacom. For a short time, many of Paramount's theatrical films were distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution (the new name for the distribution arm as of 2007).[2] Paramount Home Entertainment continues to distribute home video sales of CBS shows through the CBS DVD brand.

The studio has an output deal with Australia's Channel Ten, which means that Ten usually gets first airing rights to the studio's productions.

Until recently—in the U.S.—King World distributed its product independently from CBS Paramount Domestic Television, while internationally CBS Paramount International Television handled distribution and sales. As of September 27, 2007 the CBS Television Distribution logo appears after shows that had been distributed by King World.

Starting in the fall of 2009, all shows produced by the company will air either on CBS or the CW. In the past, Paramount Television produced shows for all networks, but especially had a good relationship with ABC (much as Universal Television had a good relationship with now co-owned NBC). The Cleaner, which airs on A&E, is the last show from the company to air on a network other than CBS or the CW .


Among CBS Television Studios' holdings are libraries from the following:

Properties owned outright

Television rights only


Around the same time of then-CPT's formation, Viacom completed its acquisition of DreamWorks SKG, so then-CBS Paramount Television got distribution rights to DreamWorks' library of films (such as Shrek and Gladiator) originally in co-operation with Tribune Entertainment, while being solely responsible for DreamWorks' TV series (such as Spin City, which PDT was already distributing anyway having done so since the show's reruns debuted in syndication in 2000, and Father of the Pride).

After DreamWorks became independent again, their live-action studio announced a distribution pact with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Thus, TV rights to their live-action library will move to Disney-ABC Domestic Television (except films released prior to 9-17-2005; CBS retains the TV rights to those and all animated productions, as Paramount continues to distribute animated films).

Past names

  • CBS Paramount Television (2006-2009)
  • Paramount Television Group (1967–2006)
    • Desilu Productions, Inc. (1951–1967)
  • CBS Productions (1952–2006, 2008-Present)

Shows produced (starting in 2009)

Airing on CBS

Airing on the CW

Airing on A&E


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Patrick J. White, The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier p. 117, 141. New York: Avon Books, 1991. ISBN 0380758776
  2. CBS Television Distribution Syndication Bible TV Movies. Retrieved May 17, 2009.

External links


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