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|Founded||January 17, 2006|
|Headquarters||CBS Studio Center, |
|David Stapf (President)|
|Parent||CBS Entertainment Group|
|Subsidiaries||Big Ticket Entertainment|
CBS Media Ventures
CBS Studios is an American television production company which is a subsidiary of CBS Entertainment Group unit of ViacomCBS. It was formed on January 17, 2006, by CBS Corporation as CBS Paramount Television, merging Paramount Television and the original CBS Productions. It is the television production arm of the CBS network (CBS Productions previously assumed such functions), and, alongside with AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia through its Warner Bros. Television Studios, it is also the television production arm of The CW (in which ViacomCBS has a 50% ownership stake).
In 1952 the Columbia Broadcasting System formed an in-house television production unit, CBS Productions (commonly referred to as The CBS Television Network), as well as facilities in the newly established Television City in the Fairfax District, Los Angeles in Westside. Also formed is CBS Television Film Sales (later known as CBS Films) as the distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local television stations in the United States and abroad.
In 1963, CBS Studio Center is established in Studio City, Los Angeles district of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. Later in 1971, CBS Films is spun off as Viacom International, Inc. The company is re-established as CBS, Inc., in 1974. In 1978, the production unit gained the secondary/alternate name CBS Entertainment Productions.
In 1994, Westinghouse Electric acquired CBS. Viacom merged with its creator CBS, in 1999.
In 1939, experimental television stations were established in Los Angeles (W6XYZ) as Television Productions Inc. and Chicago (W9XBK) with Balaban and Katz. Commercial broadcasting began in 1943 over WBKB in Chicago (now WBBM-TV). Commercial broadcasting began in 1947 over KTLA in Los Angeles. In 1949, the first major studio to establish program syndication as Paramount Television Network (much of which originated from KTLA). Paramount branched out of broadcasting in 1964 with the sale of KTLA to Gene Autry.
Desilu Productions formed in 1950 by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Desilu Studios was established in Hollywood and Culver City in 1957, after Arnaz/Ball purchased the RKO Pictures studio lot. Desilu Sales Inc. was formed in 1962 as the company's syndication arm. In 1967, Desilu Productions was acquired by Gulf and Western Industries. The company becomes the TV division of Paramount Pictures Corporation in July, retaining the Desilu name until the end of that year. Desilu Sales, in turn, merges with Paramount's syndication division to become Paramount Television Sales.
From 1966 to 1967, Gulf+Western acquired Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television Enterprises released 60 titles from their post-1949 feature film library to television broadcasters under the Paramount Portfolio I umbrella package. In 1968 Paramount Television, formerly Desilu, was established as the studio's television production unit. In 1977, Paramount Television Service was formed. In 1982 Paramount Television Group and Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming was established. In September 1989, Gulf+Western was reincorporated as Paramount Communications, Inc.. On March 11, 1994, Viacom acquired Paramount Communications, resulting in the formation of Paramount/Viacom as a byline for several of Viacom's subsidiaries. In 1995, Viacom launched the United Paramount Network (UPN) with Chris-Craft Industries.
CBS Paramount Television was the only CBS division that used the Paramount name and logo in its own name and logo (Paramount Pictures was owned by the post-2006 Viacom that was spun off from CBS, which was once known as the first 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 was 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 WBBM-TV), an earlier production company (Telemount Productions), and part-owners of the DuMont Television Network until its revival in 2013 now running as Paramount Television Studios. The new company exempts programming from the revived CBS Productions, the in-name-only producer of 90210, Melrose Place and Three Rivers, among others.
National Amusements retained majority control of both CBS and the second 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). Paramount Home Entertainment continues to distribute home video sales of CBS shows through the CBS DVD brand.
The studio had an output deal with Australia's Network 10, in which Ten receives first airing rights to the studio's productions. The deal ended after Network Ten's administration and later acquisition by CBS in 2017, giving Ten acquisition rights through now-owner CBS Studios International.
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 16, 2007, the CBS Television Distribution logo appears after shows that had been distributed by King World.
From 2009 until 2011, all shows produced by the company aired on either 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 eventually sister network NBC). The Cleaner, which aired on A&E until September 2009, was the most recent show from the company to air on a network other than CBS or the CW (which is ironic when NBC/ABC's ownership of A&E is taken into account). This was until BET began airing new episodes of The Game in 2011. In 2012, USA Network began airing Common Law.
CTS does not directly produce any shows appearing on Showtime, a premium cable television network co-owned with the studio. Instead, sister company Showtime Entertainment handles in-house productions for the network. However, CTD and its international arm handle syndication distribution for these shows if they ever appear in syndication.
On October 25, 2018, CBS Television Studios announced the opening of a new animation division named CBS Eye Animation Productions. A new Star Trek series entitled Star Trek: Lower Decks was announced at the same time.
It was announced on August 14, 2019, that parent company CBS Corporation would reunite with Viacom into a combined media company and be renamed ViacomCBS. For the first time in 13 years, ViacomCBS will encompass Paramount's film studio, the current incarnation of its television division and CBS's production studio under one umbrella.
On October 8, 2020, it was announced that CTS had been renamed CBS Studios as part of a unification of branding elements between CBS divisions, citing that use of the word "Television" in the name was antiquated due to its position of producing programming for multiple platforms.
More recently, the company struck a deal with Syrreal Entertainment. Writer Lauren Ashley Smith also received an overall deal with the studio. Alex Kurtzman and his Secret Hideout production company has struck an overall deal with the studio in 2021.