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ABC Studios, a DBA of Touchstone Television Productions, LLC,[1][2] is a television production studio under the Disney Television Studios unit of Walt Disney Television (both ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company). ABC Studios was established as the Touchstone Television banner in 1985 and given its current name on May 28, 2007.

ABC Studios
ABC Studios
Formerly
Touchstone Television (1985-2007)
Subsidiary
Limited liability company
IndustryTelevision production
FoundedMarch 21, 1985; 34 years ago (1985-03-21)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Patrick Moran (President)
  • Keli Lee (Managing director, ABC Studios International)
  • Howard M. Davine (EVP, Business Operations)
ParentDisney Television Studios
(Walt Disney Television)
Websiteabcstudios.go.com

Contents

HistoryEdit

Touchstone TelevisionEdit

The Touchstone Films banner was used for TV by then-new Disney CEO Michael Eisner in the 1984–85 television season with the short lived western, Wildside.[3] Touchstone was a banner of Disney Pictures which included at the time television production. In the next season, Disney's TV production unit produced a hit in The Golden Girls using the Touchstone Films brand.[4]

On April 18, 1989, Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television were grouped together under Garth Ancier, president of network television for Walt Disney Studios.[5] With difficulty selling in the off-network syndicated market, Disney television executives decided in late September 1990 that Hull High, then on NBC, or a potential NBC mid-season replacement, Disney Action-Adventure Hour, would be its last hour long drama. High's pilot did cost the company $4.5 million which was considered very costly.[6] In 1992, Touchstone moved into producing longer forms for TV, focusing on more adult fare with its first telefilm for CBS about Edna Buchanan, a Miami Herald crime reporter who would win a Pulitzer Prize.[7]

On August 24, 1994, with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, Richard Frank became head of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications, a new group taking Touchstone and other TV units out of the Disney studios.[8]

In April 1996, due to ongoing post-Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and the retirement of its president, Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications' divisions were reassigned to other groups, with Touchstone Television transferred to The Walt Disney Studios.[9] By March 1998, David Neuman assumed the presidency of Touchstone TV. In March 1998, Touchstone was placed under Buena Vista Television Productions, a newly formed group under chairman Lloyd Braun, along with Walt Disney Network Television.[10]

In 2000, Touchstone created two departments for comedy in September, and a department for drama in December.[11] While two of their pilots were in consideration to be picked up by ABC in April 2003, Tollin/Robbins Productions agreed to a two-year development deal with Touchstone Television, which included a two-year option, shares in profits and outside sales.[12]

ABC Television StudioEdit

In February 2007, Touchstone Television was renamed ABC Television Studios as part of Disney's push to drop secondary brands like Buena Vista for Disney, ABC and ESPN.[3][1]

In June 2009, ABC Entertainment announced a new organization, effective immediately as ABC Entertainment Group, consolidating back office functions like business affairs, distribution and scheduling of ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment while retaining separate creative units.[13][14] In January 2010, Disney-ABC Television Group announced it was cutting 5% of its workforce.[15] In October 2012, ABC Studios formed its Signature unit to sell to outside networks.[16]

In early 2016, ABC Studios International (also referred to as ABC International Studios) was started up with the appointment of Keli Lee as managing director, international content and talent and her move to London. The unit, announced at MIPCOM in October 2016, would allow more overseas local productions, leveraging fellow Disney Media Network expertise in distribution and production expertise for local co-production, international co-productions, IP library re-version and original formats acquisition and production. This would add to Disney-ABC's international productions in Latin America, where the company has 16 years of producing local content.[17] In April 2017, the international unit greenlit its first co-production Harrow Australia series.[18] Lee signed Hoodlum Entertainment, Harrow co-production company, to a first look deal by February 2018.[19] With ABC picking up the international unit's Reef Break in August 2018, ABC Studios was added as a co-producer.[20]

In August 2017, Ryan Seacrest Productions left CBS at the end of their deal to move over to ABC Studios.[21] Following up its cable/streaming unit expansion, ABC Studios launched a new Alternative Division for the full range of unscripted work from documentary to game show to social experiment shows. The former executive vice president of development and production at Ryan Seacrest Productions and Universal TV Alternative Studios' former head, Fernando Hernandez was hired by the studio to head the division around January 2018. The division was announced in October 2018 with a small slate, a production executive Gareth Provan and an in-house development group, The Originals Group. The division is tapping existing production companies with deals at ABC Studios, Ryan Seacrest Productions, Larry Wilmore's Wilmore Films and Bob Sertner Productions, plus partnerships Hernandez has developed including with Mission Control Media, Parker Paige Media, INE Entertainment, Party Pit Productions.[22] With the acquisition of 21st Century Fox closed on March 20, 2019, ABC Studios became a subsidiary of Disney Television Studios.[23]

List of programs produced by Touchstone Television/ABC StudiosEdit

Currently producedEdit

Title Year Network Co-production Notes
The Amazing Race 2001–present CBS Jerry Bruckheimer Television and CBS Television Studios as Touchstone Television until 2007
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2003–present ABC Jackhole Productions Touchstone Television until 2007
Grey's Anatomy 2005–present ABC The Mark Gordon Company and Shondaland Productions (2005–present) (season 2–present) as Touchstone Television until 2007
Criminal Minds 2005–present CBS The Mark Gordon Company and CBS TV Studios as Touchstone Television until 2007
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2013–present ABC Mutant Enemy Productions and Marvel Television
Black-ish 2014–present ABC Khalabo Ink Society, Principato-Young Entertainment, Cinema Gypsy Productions and Artists First
How to Get Away with Murder 2014–present ABC Nowalk Entertainment and Shondaland
Marvel's Jessica Jones 2015–present Netflix Tall Girls Productions and Marvel TV
Speechless 2016–present ABC Silver & Gold Productions, The Detective Agency and 20th Century Fox Television
American Housewife 2016–present ABC Eight Sisters, Inc., Wiener & Schwartz Productions and Kapital Entertainment
The Good Doctor 2017–present ABC 3AD Productions, EnterMedia Content, Shore Z Productions and Sony Pictures Television
The Alec Baldwin Show 2018–present ABC Greengrass Productions and El Dorado Pictures
For the People 2018–present ABC Davies Heavy Industries and Shondaland
Station 19 2018–present ABC Shondaland
Single Parents 2018–present ABC Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures, JJ Philbin Productions and 20th Century Fox TV
A Million Little Things 2018–present ABC Next Thing You Know Productions, Fee-Fi-Fo Films and Kapital Entertainment
The Kids Are Alright 2018–present ABC Mr. Bigshot Fancy-Pants Productions Inc.
The Rookie 2018–present ABC Perfectman Pictures and Entertainment One Television
Schooled 2019–present ABC Sony Pictures TV and Happy Madison Productions
The Fix 2019–present ABC Happier in Hollywood and Mandeville Television

Future productionsEdit

Title Year Network Co-production Notes
Grand Hotel 2019 ABC UnbeliEVAble Entertainment
Bless This Mess 2019 ABC 20th Century Fox TV

Former productionsEdit

Alternative DivisionEdit

FutureEdit

Title Year Network Co-production company Notes
Best Bite Ever TBA ABC [22]
Ink & Paint Disney+ Sertner Productions[22]

ABC Studios InternationalEdit

Title Year(s) Service(s) Co-production company(ies) Notes
Harrow 2018—present ABC (AU), Alibi (UK), Hulu (US)[24] Hoodlum Entertainment, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Queensland [18]
Reef Break 2019— ABC (US), M6 (FR) ABC Studios [20]
The Gloaming 2019— Stan Sweet Potato Films, 2 Jons, Mushroom Pictures [25]

ABC SignatureEdit

ABC Signature Studios, Inc.[26]
ABC Signature
Subsidiary
IndustryFilmed entertainment
FoundedOctober 2012 (2012-10)[16]
Key people
Tracy Underwood[16]
Production output
Cable show programs[16]
ParentABC Studios
(Disney Television Studios)
Websiteabcstudios.go.com  

ABC Signature Studios, Inc. (alternatively Signature, or ABC Signature) is the boutique cable and streaming production subsidiary of ABC Studios.

Signature historyEdit

ABC Studios was moving to sell to outside networks. As the studios had placed the former ABC comedy Cougar Town at TBS, and Devious Maids at Lifetime, Signature was started in October 2012 to continue the trend.[16]

Signature developed Mistresses, which was included in ABC's summer schedule and renewed for another season.[16] Signature was incorporated on September 23, 2013.[26] In October 2013, the division placed its first outside project, Benched, for USA with a pilot order which finished shooting by December. Other projects were in the works with A&E, WE tv and TBS. In the works with ABC, Signature has a possible straight-to-series Stephen King story adaptation, Grand Central based on The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates.[16] Corporate sibling Freeform picked up Rated P For Parenthood for development as its first program from Signature in June 2014.[27]

In April 2015, Signature and ABC Studios agreed to a two-year, first-look with Black Label Media, started by Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill three years ago as a financing and producing company.[28] McG's Wonderland Sound & Vision signed a two-year overall production agreement with Signature, Freeform and ABC Studios in October 2015. This follows two productions from McG on Freeform/ABC Family.[29] Signature signed SMILF producer Frankie Shaw to a two-year overall deal in July 2018.[30] In March 2019, the deal was suspended.[31]

In April 2016, Freeform greenlit Marvel's Cloak & Dagger with a straight-to-series order as Marvel Television's first co-production with Signature.[32] Another co-production with Marvel Television was greenlit in August 2016, with Marvel's Runaways confirmed for the Hulu streaming service.[33] Signature put in development a live action Mighty Ducks series in January 2018 that is likely to end up being a show on BAMTech's Disney brand streaming service.[34]

Signature is teaming with John Grisham, Hulu and Michael Seitzman's Maniac Production to create Grisham Universe set of TV series. The franchise would begin with two series, The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer, based on Grisham's books with potential to grow to additional series.[35]

Signature productionsEdit

CurrentEdit

Title Year Network Notes
Marvel's Runaways 2017–present Hulu co-production with Fake Empire Productions and Marvel Television[33]
Grown-ish 2018–present[36] Freeform co-production with Khalabo Ink Society, Principato-Young Entertainment and Cinema Gypsy Productions
Marvel's Cloak & Dagger 2018–present co-production with Wandering Rocks Productions and Marvel Television[32]

FutureEdit

Title Year Network co-production with Notes
Godfather of Harlem 2019 Epix Significant Productions [37]
Marvel's New Warriors TBA TBA Marvel Television originally set to air on Freeform[38][39]
Grand Central ABC Upstart Entertainment [16]
Strega A&E Gotham Group [16]
Borne to be Wilde Coquette Productions [16]
Suburban Shootout WE tv Kapital Entertainment and Feelgood Fiction [16]
Corridors TBA [16]
Rated P For Parenthood Freeform Milojo Productions [27]
Little Fires Everywhere Hulu Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street [40]
Unrelated Freeform [41]
The Mighty Ducks Disney+ Brillstein Entertainment [42]
High Fidelity Hulu Midnight Radio 10-episode order originally to stream on Disney+[43][44]
The Rainmaker Hulu and Maniac Productions development stage; based on John Grisham's books[35]
Rogue Lawyer

FormerEdit

Title Year Network co-production with Notes
Mistresses 2013–16 ABC Good Talk Productions, Bob Sertner Productions, Ecosse Films and Tsiporah Productions [16]
Benched 2014 USA The Mark Gordon Company [16]
Blood & Oil 2015 ABC Flame Ventures [45]
Confirmation 2016 HBO Groundswell Productions and HBO Films television film[46]
Dead of Summer 2016 Freeform Kitsis-Horowitz Productions [47]
Guerrilla 2017 Sky Atlantic/Showtime Green Door Pictures, Fifty Fathoms and Stearns Castle Entertainment miniseries[48]
SMILF 2017-19 Showtime Showtime Networks, Supahsmart Productions, Quantity Entertainment and Groundswell Productions
All About the Washingtons 2018 Netflix Simmons Lehman Productions and Amblin Television [49][50]

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "Annual Report 2018 Exhibit 21: List of Subsidiaries" (PDF). investis.com. The Walt Disney Company. p. 113. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
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  9. ^ "Roth, Iger Assume Expanded Responsibilities at the Walt Disney Company". PR Newswire. April 16, 1996. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
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  50. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 18, 2017). "Netflix Orders Comedy Series Starring Rev Run From Amblin TV & ABC Signature". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2018.

External linksEdit