CBS Productions

CBS Productions was a production arm of the CBS television network (an initialism of Columbia Broadcasting System, along with its parent company CBS Television Studios; the radio network was founded in 1927), now a part of ViacomCBS, formed in 1952 to produce shows in-house, instead of relying solely on outside productions. One of its first productions was Studio One, a drama anthology series.

CBS Productions
IndustryTelevision production
Founded1952 (the Columbia Broadcasting System television network's in-house production arm
(gained the alternate/secondary name CBS Entertainment Productions in 1978)
2008 (in-name-only unit of CBS Television Studios)
2015 (second revived company)
2016 (third revived company)
DefunctNovember 28, 2019; 22 months ago (November 28, 2019)
FateFolded into Paramount Network Television
SuccessorParamount Network Television (2004-06)
CBS Paramount Television (2006–09)
CBS Television Studios (2009–20)
CBS Studios (2020–present)
HeadquartersCBS Studio Center, ,
ParentCBS Television Studios (CBS Entertainment Group) (2008–2012, 2015–2016, 2017–2020)
Silent (2004–2008, 2012–2015, 2016–2017)

Later productions of note included the original Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, The Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-O, Rescue 911, Touched by an Angel, Walker, Texas Ranger and 1998–2006 episodes of The King of Queens, the CSI franchise and season 1 of 90210.

Prior to 1978, CBS Productions was credited in its entertainment programs in the ending scroll merely as CBS Television Network. From 1978 to 1995, the company was alternately known as CBS Entertainment Productions. In 1979, CBS struck a deal with Trident Television Associates to bring the telemovies for off-net syndication.[1]

Distribution rights to most CBS-produced entertainment programming, especially those that debuted prior to 1971, was acquired that year by Viacom Enterprises, the syndication unit of Viacom, which was created to corporate spin-off CBS's domestic syndication and cable television operations due to Financial Interest and Syndication Rules being upheld in 1971 (later repealed in 1993). CBS retained ownership of these programs (including the rights to release them for other media forms, such as VHS videotapes and later in DVD discs) with at least one exception—the Terrytoons library, which was acquired by Viacom with the split, as CBS saw no value in the cartoons.

From 1991 though 1996, Andy Hill was the president of CBS Productions, leading the development and production of programming owned by the network. He oversaw some of the most successful prime time shows of the decade, including Touched by an Angel; Caroline in the City; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Walker, Texas Ranger; Dave's World; and Rescue 911.[2] With other romantic comedy options in the works, CBS' programming department passed on Caroline in the City.[2][3] However, Hill was convinced it was a hit program, and found a buyer for the show in NBC.[4] It was the first series that NBC had bought from a rival network, as well as the first one that CBS had sold to a competitor.[5] Hill called NBC's decision "the most important statement CBS Productions has ever made about our legitimacy in this business."[4] In 1996, Hill asked to be released from his CBS contract to join MCA Inc., but his boss—CBS Entertainment President Les Moonves—refused. However, Hill left CBS the following year.[6]

In 1995, veteran producer Steven Bochco signed a deal with CBS in order to maintain the programming for five years, until 2000.[7] In 1999, Maria Crenna joined the company as executive vice president of the studio.[8] In 1998, although CBS retained production on the Ann-Margaret drama, Columbia TriStar Television sold off its interest to Rysher Entertainment.[9]

Viacom and CBS rejoined in 1999 with Viacom's acquisition of CBS itself. In 2004, CBS Productions merged with Paramount Network Television to become a new incarnation of Paramount Network Television.[10] CBS Productions ceased to exist in September 2004 by merging it completely into Paramount Network Television, though converting CBS Productions into an in-name only unit of the studio.[11]

In January 2006, as a result of the splitting of CBS and Viacom back into separate companies, Paramount Television would later be renamed to CBS Paramount Television to reflect the split, whose main production division, CBS Paramount Network Television, continued to produce the former CBS Productions shows that are still running. Later on September 26, 2006, CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Television, CBS Home Entertainment, and King World (established 1964, acquired by CBS in 2000) were combined to form CBS Television Distribution.

On September 2, 2008, after becoming defunct in 2004, the CBS Productions name was re-activated to continue producing new episodes of the television series 90210 on The CW television network. 90210 was the first series produced by the resurrected CBS Productions name. Its name was also used on Hawaii Five-0, The Good Wife, 90210 and Blue Bloods for a brief period of time.

On March 4, 2015, the CBS Productions name was activated for a third time to produce CSI: Cyber globally but was deactivated when the show was canceled in March 2016.

In November 2016, after eight months of the cancellation of CSI: Cyber, CBS Productions was reactivated once again to produce post-2016 specials of The Thanksgiving Parade on CBS.

Subsequently, CBS Productions became part of ViacomCBS when CBS Corporation remerged with Viacom on December 4, 2019.

On November 28, 2019, CBS Productions was deactivated for the fourth time, and it was replaced by CBS Television Studios (later CBS Studios).


  1. ^ "Monitor" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1979-07-30. Retrieved 2021-09-05.
  2. ^ a b "Remembering Coach John Wooden". California State University, Long Beach. Archived from the original on April 21, 2015.
  3. ^ Tomashoff, Greg (May 28, 1995). "The Birth of a Sitcom: How a hopeful TV series called 'Caroline in the City' grew from dream to reality". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Carter, Bill (May 15, 1995). "The Media Business: Television; A castoff show may come back to haunt CBS from its lofty new perch on NBC's schedule". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "It's Alphabet for an Eye as web-prod'n line blurs". Variety. May 15, 1995. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (March 22, 1996). "Comcast Enters a Whole New Arena". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Bochco signs deal with CBS" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1995-03-06. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  8. ^ "Maria Crenna - LinkedIn".
  9. ^ Hontz, Jenny (1998-01-16). "Eye web drama in transit". Variety. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
  10. ^ Executive shake-up unveiled at CBS, Paramount TV . The Indian Express (2004-09-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-18.
  11. ^ Adalian, Josef; Schneider, Michael (2004-09-07). "Moonves' TV makeovers". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-23.

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