|Industry||Entertainment, Television, television syndication|
|Headquarters||Burbank, California, United States|
|Parent||Warner Bros. Television|
Telepictures (also known as Telepictures Productions; formerly known as Telepictures Distribution and Telepictures Corporation) is an American television and film production company, currently operating as a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Television. Telepictures was established in 1978 by Michael Garin as a television syndication firm.
The company syndicated Rankin-Bass's programming and specials that were produced from 1974 to 1988, including new and successful animated series, such as ThunderCats and SilverHawks. Telepictures indeed bought Rankin-Bass outright in 1983. In addition, Telepictures had syndicated numerous television programs such as My Favorite Martian, Here's Lucy, Love Connection, and the original The People's Court with Judge Joseph Wapner. Telepictures also operated a small publishing arm, which published magazines, such as Muppet Magazine and GoBots Magazine. In 1983, Frank Konigsberg's Konigsberg Co. was merged into Telepictures.
In January 1986, the company merged with Merv Adelson and Lee Rich's Lorimar Productions, creating Lorimar-Telepictures and assumed production and distribution of shows like Dallas and Knots Landing. The company also began distribution of first-run episodes of Mama's Family in June 1986.
The company briefly dabbled into owning television stations by purchasing charter Fox affiliate WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh and attempted to purchase then-CBS affiliate WTVJ in Miami. However, after CBS made a half-hearted attempt to purchase Fox affiliate WCIX from Taft Broadcasting (CBS would later make a more serious attempt to purchase the station two years later and succeeded; it is now CBS O&O WFOR-TV), Telepictures backed off from purchasing WTVJ. (NBC eventually purchased the station; it remains an NBC O&O today.) The company would then subsequently sell WPGH-TV to Renaissance Broadcasting after only a year in ownership; WPGH-TV, which went through several owners in the 1980s, would not have stable ownership until current owner Sinclair Broadcast Group (which had been outbid by Telepictures for the station in 1986) bought the station from Renaissance in 1990.
In 1988, Lorimar Television was created as a separate production entity of Lorimar Telepictures. Around this time, the company purchased a 9% stake in Warner Communications, which set off talks about a possible merger between two entertainment entities. In 1989, Warner finally purchased the company. Lorimar Television became a separate subsidiary of Warner Bros. Television until 1993, while Lorimar-Telepictures unit was folded into Warner Bros. Television Distribution. Telepictures became Telepictures Productions in 1990, a producer of syndicated programming that Warner Bros. Television would distribute.
Beginning in 1994, certain Telepictures shows, such as Extra, were co-produced by then-sister company Time, Inc., under the name Time-Telepictures Television. Most shows produced by them bore a copyright for "TTT West Coast", while Sports Illustrated videos released during the timeframe bore a copyright for "TTT East Coast" instead. The joint venture ceased in 2003 and TTT productions were brought under the main Telepictures name.
In 1995, Time Warner Entertainment formed Telepictures Distribution as a spin-off company to Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, running over the oversight of then-EVP Scott Carlin. The company distributed non-Warner Bros. produced programming to which the syndication rights have been licensed to Warner and/or Turner as well as Warner properties.
In 2003, Telepictures Distribution was folded into Warner Bros. Television Distribution.