Warner Bros. Television

Warner Bros. Television

company_name = Warner Bros. Television
company_type = Subsidiary of Time Warner
foundation = 1955
founder = William T. Orr
location_city = Burbank, California
location_country = USA
key_people = Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO
Alan F. Horn, President and COO
Edward A. Romano EVP and CFO
num_employees =
industry = Television production
products = Television programs
revenue = profit$11.7 billion USD (2007) [cite web |url=http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.aspx?Feed=BW&Date=20080206&ID=8146081&Symbol=TWX |title=Time Warner Inc. Reports Results for 2007 Full Year and Fourth Quarter] |
operating_income = profit$845 million USD (2007)
homepage = http://www.warnerbros.com/

Warner Bros. Television is the television production and distribution arm of Warner Bros. Entertainment, itself part of Time Warner. Alongside CBS Paramount Television, it serves as a television production arm of The CW Television Network (in which Time Warner has a 50% ownership stake), though it also produces shows for the other networks, such as Chuck on NBC, Pushing Daisies on ABC, and Fringe on FOX.

History and production

The division was started in 1955 with its first and most successful head being Jack Warner's son-in-law William T. Orr. ABC had major success against its competition with Walt Disney's Disneyland (TV series) and approached Warner Bros. initially with the idea of purchasing the studio's film library (WB eventually sold the rights to the negatives of 750 films and over 1500 shorts to Associated Artists Productions in 1956 [Sperling, Cass Warner, Warner Jr, Jack, Millner Cork "Hollywood Be They Name"] ). WB formally entered television production with the premiere of its self-titled anthology series "Warner Bros. Presents" on ABC. The one hour weekly show featured rotating episodes of television series based on the WB films, "Casablanca" and "King's Row", as well as an original series titled "Cheyenne". The last with Clint Walker was the first one hour television western and became a bit hit for the network and the studio.

The success of "Cheyenne" led WBTV to produce many series for ABC such as Westerns "(Maverick", "Lawman", "Colt .45", "Bronco" that was a spin off of "Cheyenne", "Sugarfoot", and "The Alaskans"), private detective shows ("77 Sunset Strip", "Hawaiian Eye", "Bourbon Street Beat", and "Surfside Six"), and other shows such as "The Gallant Men" and "The Roaring 20's" using stock footage from WB war films and gangster films respectively. The company also produced Jack Webb's "Red Nightmare" for the U.S. Department of Defense that was later shown on American television on Jack Webb's "General Electric True". All shows were made in the manner of WB's B pictures in the 30s and 40s; [ p.88 Baughman, James L "The Republic of Mass Culture" Journalism, Filmaking, and Broadcasting in Amereica since 1941" JHU Press 2006] fast paced, lots of stock footage from other films, stock music from the Warners music library and contracted stars working long hours for comparatively small salaries with restrictions on their career.

Two of the most popular stars, James Garner and Clint Walker quit over their conditions, though Garner never returned to the Warner's fold. Successful Warners television stars found themselves in leading roles of many of the studio's films with no increase in salary. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. was simultaneously the lead of "77 Sunset Strip", in a recurring role on "Maverick", and also headlined several films until exhaustion forced the studio to give him a rest.

WBTV exclusively produced shows for the ABC network until 1963, when "Temple Houston" premiered on NBC.

The streak of identifiable series subsided in 1963 with a halt of using stock company (acting) contract players and Jack Webb taking over WBTV and not being particularly successful. However, many series were still filmed at Warner Brothers such as "F-Troop" and "The F.B.I. (TV series)". [Woolley, Lynn, Malsbar, Robert, Strange Jr, Robert G "Warner Brothers Television: Every Show of the Fifties and Sixties Episode-By-Episode" McFarland Company (1985)]

In 1989, it acquired Lorimar-Telepictures. Telepictures was later absorbed into WBTV's distribution unit, and in the late 1990s, came back as a secondary syndication arm. In 1993, Lorimar Television was absorbed into WBTV.

In 2006, WBTV made its vast library of programs available for free viewing on the Internet (through sister company AOL's IN2TV service), with "Welcome Back Kotter" as its marquee offering. Some of these programs have not been seen publicly since their last syndicated release in the 1980s.

WBTV has had a number of affiliated production houses that have co-produced many of their shows with WBTV. These include but are not limited to: Bruce Helford's Mohawk Productions ("The Drew Carey Show", "The Norm Show", "The Oblongs", "George Lopez"), John Wells Productions ("ER", "The West Wing", "Third Watch"), Jerry Bruckheimer Television ("Without a Trace", "Cold Case"), Miller-Boyett Productions - which was inherited from Lorimar ("Full House", "Family Matters") and others.

Partial list of programs produced by WBTV

Live action
*"Maverick" (1957-1962)
*"77 Sunset Strip" (1958-1964)
*"F Troop" (1965-1967)
*"The F.B.I." (1965-1974)
*"Kung Fu" (1972-1975)
*"Wonder Woman" (1975-1979)
*"Alice" (1976-1985)
*"The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979-1985)
*"Love, Sidney" (1981-1983)
*"Scarecrow and Mrs. King" (1983-1987)
*"V" (1984-1985)
*"Night Court" (1984-1992)
*"Growing Pains" (1985-1992)
*"Spenser For Hire" (1985-1988)
*"Head of the Class" (1986-1991)
*"Full House" (1993-1995), (1987-1988) episodes on Lorimar-Telepictures, (1988-1993) episodes on Lorimar Television.
*"Freddy's Nightmares" (1988-1990)
*"Murphy Brown" (1988-1998)
*"Just the Ten of Us" (1988-1990)
*"Tales from the Crypt" (1989-1996)
*"Family Matters" (1993-1998) (1989-1993) episodes on Lorimar Television.
*"Life Goes On" (1989-1993)
*"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990-1996) (distr.)
*"The Flash" (1990-1991)
*"Sisters" (1993-1996) (1991-1993) episodes on Lorimar Television.
*"Step By Step" (1993-1998) (1991-1993) episodes on Lorimar Television.
*"Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" (1993-1997) (1992-1993) episodes on Lorimar Television.
*"Living Single" (1993-1998)
*"ER" (1994-2009)
*"Friends" (1994-2004)
*"Babylon 5" (1993-1999)
*"MADtv" (1995-2009)
*"The Drew Carey Show" (1995-2004)
*"The Wayans Bros." (1995-2000)
*"The Parent 'Hood" (1995-2000)
*"Two of a Kind" (1998-2000)
*"Sex and the City" (1998-2004) (distr.)
*"Jesse (1998-2000)
*"The West Wing" (1999-2006)
*"Gilmore Girls" (2000-2007)
*"Without a Trace" (2002-present)
*"What I Like About You" (2002-2006)
*"Everwood" (2002-2006)
*"Two and a Half Men" (2003-present)
*"The O.C." (2003-2007)
*"One Tree Hill" (2003-present)
*"Cold Case" (2003-present)
*"Joey" (2004-2006)
*"Twins" (2005-2006)
*"The War at Home" (2005-2007)
*"The Class" (2006-2007)
*"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (2006-2007)
*"Gossip Girl" (Co-produced with CBS Paramount Television) (2007-present)
*"Aliens in America" (Co-produced with CBS Paramount Television) (2007-2008)
*"Life Is Wild" (Co-produced with CBS Paramount Television) (2007-2008)
*"Pushing Daisies" (2007-present)
*"Chuck" (2007-present)
*"" (Co-produced with C2-Pictures) (2007-present)

ee also

*Peter Roth (executive)
*Warner Bros. Animation
*Warner Bros. International Television
*Warner Bros. Television Distribution


Woolley, Lynn, Malsbar, Robert, Strange Jr, Robert G "Warner Brothers Television: Every Show of the Fifties and Sixties Episode-By-Episode" McFarland Company (1985)

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