Blair Entertainment (formerly Rhodes Productions) was a television production/distribution company founded by Jack E. Rhodes, operated from 1975 until 1992.

Blair Entertainment
FormerlyRhodes Productions (1970-1982)
Blair Video Enterprises (1982-1983)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryTelevision syndication
Founded1970 (original)
May 1975 (1975-05) (relaunch)
FounderJack E. Rhodes
Defunct1992; 32 years ago (1992)
FateAcquired by All American Communications/LBS
Successor
Headquarters,
Owner
Parent

History

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Rhodes Productions

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Rhodes Productions was originally formed in 1970 by Jack E. Rhodes as a subsidiary of Taft Broadcasting Company in New York City, to distribute Hanna-Barbera cartoons.[1] In 1971, Rhodes expanded by distributing the syndicated version of the game show Hollywood Squares.[2] Also at the same time, the company's headquarters was moved from New York City to Los Angeles.[3] In 1972, the company had hired Jack Pearson International as the company's international supplier of its products.[4]

In 1975, the original Rhodes Productions was renamed by Taft to Taft H-B Program Sales, and Jack E. Rhodes moved to Filmways to relaunch Rhodes Productions as Filmways' domestic distribution arm. Rhodes took the nighttime Hollywood Squares with them, and also launched the nighttime version of the game show High Rollers.[5] Under the Filmways regime, Rhodes Productions also launched a soap opera spoof for late night timeslots, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, produced by Norman Lear and his T.A.T. Communications Company beginning in 1976.[6] In 1977, Rhodes Productions debuted its breakout property Second City Television (SCTV), which originated in Canada.[7]

In 1978, Rhodes Productions split off from Filmways (which formed Filmways Enterprises to fill the void left by Rhodes), and began operating as an independent production company and syndicator.[8][9] Rhodes opted to keep the distribution rights to Second City Television and Disco Break.[10] In 1980, Rhodes purchased the syndication rights to a short-lived, Canadian-originated revival of Let's Make a Deal.[11] This was followed up in 1981 with another Canadian game show, Pitfall.[12] Both Pitfall and the 1980 Let's Make a Deal were produced by Catalena Productions, which would fold amid financial and legal problems in 1981.

Blair Entertainment

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John Blair & Company, through Blair Television, acquired Rhodes Productions in 1982, and initially placed into the Blair Video Enterprises unit,[13] and a year later, renamed it to Blair Entertainment.[14] Blair retained distribution rights to several shows, including The Cisco Kid and SCTV, as well as a revival of Divorce Court.[15] In 1985, Blair Entertainment introduced the new game show Break the Bank in partnership with broadcasting groups Storer Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting.[16][17] This was followed in 1986 by another game show property, Strike It Rich.[18] Kline and Friends, the producers of both shows, also piloted a third series titled Sweethearts for Blair; this show never made it to air.[19]

Divorce Court was highly profitable, among other hit syndicated series in Blair's lineup. In 1990, Blair Entertainment, in collaboration with RHI Entertainment (now known as Halcyon Studios) and advertising sales agent Action Media Group launched a new drama, Dracula, as their entry into the syndicated action/adventure market; it only lasted one season. In 1991, Blair Entertainment debuted a new program in collaboration with GRB Entertainment and All American Television, Stuntmasters, which would ultimately be their final new series.[20] In 1992, Blair Entertainment shuttered their operations (which had generally been a sideline to Blair Television's primary market of representing television stations for advertising sales), in part because of the company being unable to find additional investors into their operation,[21] and their program library was acquired shortly thereafter by All American.[22]

List of Syndicated Programs

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This is a list of television programs that were syndicated by Blair Entertainment:

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "New syndication firm goes under Taft banner" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1970-03-02. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  2. ^ ""Squares" in syndication" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1971-11-22. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  3. ^ "Rhodes to L.A." (PDF). Broadcasting. 1971-11-08. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  4. ^ "Program notes" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 10, 1972. p. 94. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  5. ^ "Rhodes under Filmways flag" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1975-05-26. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  6. ^ "Proud Mary" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1975-10-20. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  7. ^ "NATPE: where they talk about fourth networks but they still buy the games" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1977-02-14. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  8. ^ "Kellner at new Filmways unit". The Hollywood Reporter. December 1, 1978. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Filmways On Own with Syndie Wing; Viacom Execs Hired". Variety. December 6, 1978. p. 59.
  10. ^ "From whence it came" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1978-12-11. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  11. ^ "NATPE" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1980-02-11. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  12. ^ "That agile NATPE marketplace" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1981-03-23. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  13. ^ "Blair Video partner in rock TV offering" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. May 31, 1982. p. 50. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  14. ^ "Telecastings" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 17, 1983. p. 72. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  15. ^ "MIP programmers bask in Cannes sun" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1984-04-30. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  16. ^ "Closed Circuit" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1985-04-22. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  17. ^ "Three to make ready" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1985-05-27. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  18. ^ "In Brief" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1985-11-04. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  19. ^ "Blair Entertainment increases production" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1986-10-13. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  20. ^ "Blair extends its programming bill of fare" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1990-11-05. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  21. ^ "Blair "re-evaluates" first-run business" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1992-03-09. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  22. ^ "Magazines, Talk Shows Among First-Run Ideas in Works by Syndicators" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1992-07-13. Retrieved 2023-03-14.
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