Filmways


Filmways

Infobox_Company
company_name = Filmways, Inc.

company_type = Corporation
foundation = 1960
location = Sonoma County, California
key_people =
industry = Motion pictures, television programs
dissolved = 1982 into Orion Pictures

Filmways Inc. was a television and film production company founded by American film executive Martin Ransohoff in 1960. It is probably best-known as the production company of CBS' "rural comedies" of the 1960s, including "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Petticoat Junction", and "Green Acres".

Filmways acquired famous companies throughout the years, such as Heatter-Quigley Productions (for "Hollywood Squares"), Ruby-Spears Productions and American International Pictures.

History

* 1960: Filmways, Inc. was formed by Martin Ransohoff;
* 1966: The company acquired Heatter-Quigley Productions;
* 1969: Filmways bought Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma County, California, outside of San Francisco. [ [http://www.gt-racing.co.uk/circuits/northamerica/searspoint.html Sears Point ] ]
* 1972: Ransohoff left Filmways, Inc.
* 1974: The company acquired book publisher Grosset & Dunlap from American Financial Group;
* 1975: Filmways, Inc. bought syndicator Rhodes Productions;
* 1978: The company acquired Ruby-Spears Productions;
* 1979: Filmways bought American International Pictures;
* 1980: Rhodes broke apart from the company by becoming independent;
* 1981: Ruby-Spears Productions was sold to Taft Broadcasting;
* 1981: Sears Point Raceway was sold;
* 1982: The company sold Grosset & Dunlap to G. P. Putnam's Sons;
* 1982: Filmways, Inc. merged with Orion Pictures.

Announcements at the end of productions

Most productions ended with the announcement, "This has been a Filmways Presentation", with Donna Douglas providing the voice-over for the color episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies", although "Green Acres" featured a specialised rendition with Eva Gabor ("This has been a Filmways presentation, dahling.").

Ownership of television properties

Today, most of the Filmways library, including "Green Acres", "The Addams Family", "Cagney & Lacey", "Death Wish II" (a Cannon film), "The Hollywood Squares", and "Mister Ed" is owned by MGM (successor-in-interest to Orion which it purchased in 1998, and also owners of the Cannon Films library).

Exceptions

* CBS holds ownership rights to "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction". Viacom (the parent of CBS from 1999-2005, actually started as CBS' syndication arm) syndicated these two programs since the 1970s.

* Filmways has co-produced "Eye Guess", "This Face is Familiar", and "Personality" with Bob Stewart Productions. Those three game shows are currently owned by Sony Pictures Television (SPT). SPT co-distributed the MGM library for a short time.

References


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