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Turner Entertainment Company
Type Subsidiary
Founded August 4, 1986
Founder(s) Ted Turner
Owner(s) Time Warner (1996-present)
Parent Turner Broadcasting System
(sister company Warner Bros. handles all distribution functions)

Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. is an American media company founded by Ted Turner. Now owned by Time Warner, the company is largely responsible for overseeing its library for worldwide distribution.

Contents

Background

Turner Entertainment Co. was established on August 4, 1986 as a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting System to oversee its film library after Ted Turner's short-lived acquisition of MGM/UA.

After re-selling the studio, Turner kept its library, which included the following:

Turner later re-sold United Artists and the MGM logo, keeping the aforementioned library. In 1991, Turner Entertainment's parent Turner Broadcasting purchased Hanna-Barbera and its extensive animated library including The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, and Space Ghost (along with most of the Ruby-Spears library up to 1991). Turner's vast animation library served as the basis for Cartoon Network, and later Boomerang.

Turner Entertainment also played a huge part in film preservation and restoration, thus such classic films as Casablanca, Citizen Kane, King Kong, Easter Parade, and the original The Jazz Singer, can continue to be seen today via its various cable channels, as well as in revival movie houses and home video. The films are also internationally distributed and shown by many channels around the world.

Turner Entertainment also distributes films from RKO Radio Pictures, certain films from Castle Rock Entertainment (1994-1996) and New Line Cinema (1994-1996), and shows from TBS, The CW4Kids, TNT, Cartoon Network, Kids' WB, and PBS (1994-2004) on home video via Turner Home Entertainment, and after 1996, Warner Home Video. (see below.)

The library itself

Today, as part of Time Warner, Turner Entertainment continues to oversee its inherited library, which also includes The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, Gone with the Wind, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, Huckleberry Hound, Jonny Quest and Space Ghost.

There are very few exceptions to this library, however.

Turner Entertainment self-distributed much of its library for the first decade of its existence. After the Time Warner merger, its distribution functions were largely absorbed into WB. As a result, Turner now largely serves merely as a copyright holder for a portion of the WB library (similar to how EMKA's sole purpose is to be the copyright holder for the pre-1950 Paramount sound features, with other NBC Universal divisions handling distribution).

As a production and distribution company

Turner Entertainment, as a production company, also creates original in-house programming, such as documentaries about the films it owns, new animated material based on Tom & Jerry and other related cartoon properties, and once produced made-for-TV movies, miniseries, and theatrical films such as Gettysburg, Fallen, The Pagemaster and Cats Don't Dance under the Turner Pictures banner. Turner also had a international distribution sales unit, Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution. Turner Pictures folded into Warner Bros. after the Turner-Time Warner merger, and currently holds the distribution rights to the films made by the production division.

Cats Don't Dance was produced under Turner Feature Animation, Turner's animation unit, which was folded into Warner Bros. Feature Animation.

Turner also had a television unit called Turner Program Services which had run until 1996 when it was rebranded as Telepictures Distribution which distributed Mama's Family and all TPS shows after 1996. In 2003 Telepictures Distribution was folded into Warner Bros. Television Distribution which meant Telepictures took over all series that were first run and distributed by TD.

The a.a.p. library was technically under the TPS unit of Turner (aside from the copyrights themselves), as a.a.p. was originally a television syndication company. Upon being sold to UA, a.a.p.'s library was made part of the UA television unit. The a.a.p. library continues to be part of Turner/Warner's television unit today.

Home video

  • As previously mentioned, Turner Home Entertainment (THE) released most of the Turner catalog on video;
  • THE also released World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view events, wrestler profiles, and "Best Of" packages on video until the demise of WCW in 2001;
  • THE distributed home video releases from New Line Home Entertainment, as well as PBS programs in the mid-1990s. NLHE solely distributed New Line films on video from 1996 until the Warner Bros./New Line merger in 2008. PBS shows are now distributed on video by Paramount;
  • THE also internationally distributed films produced by Turner Pictures on video;
  • THE distributed the initial video release of an animated film The Swan Princess, which is distributed theatrically by New Line Cinema;
  • Contractually, the MGM and Warner film libraries which Turner owned had been distributed by MGM/UA Home Video until their rights expired in 1999 at which point they were reassigned to Warner Home Video. This transaction also completed WB's re-acquiring of distribution rights to their pre-1950 library;
  • It was absorbed into Warner Home Video after Time Warner bought Turner;
  • Turner Classic Movies releases special edition DVD boxsets of films from both the Turner and Warner catalogs under the TCM label. They are also an affiliate of Movies Unlimited, a Philadelphia based mail order DVD and video company.

External links

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