CBS Studios, Inc. is an American television production company which is a subsidiary of the CBS Entertainment Group unit of Paramount Global. It was formed on January 17, 2006, by CBS Corporation as CBS Paramount (Network) Television, as a renaming of the original incarnation of the Paramount Television studio.

CBS Studios, Inc.
  • CBS Paramount Television
  • CBS Television Studios
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryTelevision production
FoundedJanuary 17, 2006; 18 years ago (2006-01-17)
HeadquartersCBS Studio Center, ,
United States
Key people
David Stapf (president)
ProductsTelevision programs
ParentCBS Entertainment Group
DivisionsCBS Eye Animation Productions

It is the television production arm of the CBS network (CBS Productions previously assumed such functions until 2004, when it was merged into Paramount Television), and, along with Warner Bros. Television Studios (a part of Warner Bros. Discovery), it is also the television production arm of The CW (in which Paramount has a 12.5% ownership stake; along with Warner Bros. Discovery).



CBS's original production and distribution units

In 1952, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) formed an in-house television production unit, CBS Productions, as well as facilities in the newly established Television City in the Fairfax District, Los Angeles in Westside. Also formed was CBS Television Film Sales (later known as CBS Films) as the distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local television stations in the United States and abroad.

In 1963, CBS Studio Center is established in the Studio City district of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. In 1970, CBS Films became Viacom Enterprises and was spun off the following year. In 1978, CBS' production unit gained the secondary/alternate name CBS Entertainment Productions.

In 1994, Westinghouse Electric acquired CBS. Viacom merged with its creator CBS, in 2000.

Paramount Pictures' early television ventures

In 1939, experimental television stations were established in Los Angeles (W6XYZ) as Television Productions Inc. and Chicago (W9XBK) with Balaban and Katz. Commercial broadcasting began in 1943 over WBKB in Chicago (now WBBM-TV). Commercial broadcasting began in 1947 over KTLA in Los Angeles. In 1949, Paramount Pictures became the first major studio to establish program syndication with the Paramount Television Network (much of which originated from KTLA). Paramount branched out of broadcasting in 1964 with the sale of KTLA to Gene Autry.

Desilu Productions, later Paramount Network Television

Desilu Productions was formed in 1950 by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.[1][2] Desilu Studios was established in Hollywood and Culver City in 1957, after Arnaz/Ball purchased the RKO Pictures studio lot. Desilu Sales Inc. was formed in 1962 as the company's syndication arm. In 1967, Desilu Productions was acquired by Gulf and Western Industries. The company became the television division of Paramount Pictures Corporation in July, retaining the Desilu name until the end of that year.[3] Desilu Sales, in turn, merged with Paramount's syndication division to become Paramount Television Sales.

From 1966 to 1967, Gulf+Western acquired Paramount Pictures. In 1968, Paramount Television, formerly Desilu, was established as the studio's television production unit.[4] In 1977, Paramount Television Service was formed. In 1982, Paramount Television Group and Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming was established. In September 1989, Gulf+Western was reincorporated as Paramount Communications, Inc.. On March 11, 1994, Viacom acquired Paramount Communications. In 1995, Viacom launched the United Paramount Network (UPN) with Chris-Craft Industries.

On August 10, 2004, Viacom merged the international television banners of CBS Broadcast International and Paramount International Television to form CBS Studios International. On September 7, 2004, Viacom merged CBS Productions and Paramount Network Television to form a new entity of Paramount Network Television, also known as CBS Paramount Television Entertainment Group, with CBS Productions becoming an in-name-only unit.[5]

On December 31, 2005, as the CBS/Viacom split took effect, CBS inherited Paramount's television program library, with the second incarnation of Viacom keeping Paramount's films, the MTV Networks and the BET Networks.


CBS Paramount Television logo, used from 2006 to 2009.
CBS Television Studios logo, used from 2009 to 2020.

On January 17, 2006, CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves announced that Paramount Television would be renamed CBS Paramount Television as of that day, and the network division becoming CBS Paramount Network Television, and the domestic distribution arm becoming CBS Paramount Domestic Television.[6]

On September 26, 2006, CBS Corporation merged its television distribution arms—King World, CBS Paramount International Television and CBS Paramount Domestic Television—to form CBS Television Distribution (CBSTVD). CBS Home Entertainment was then established as a subsidiary of the latter.[7]

On May 17, 2009, the Paramount name was dropped after a 3+12-year loan of its use from sister company Viacom, forming CBS Television Studios.[8]

National Amusements retained majority control of both CBS and the second Viacom. For a short time, many of Paramount's theatrical films were distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution (the new name for the distribution arm as of 2007).[9] Paramount Home Entertainment continues to distribute home video sales of CBS shows through the CBS DVD brand.

From 2009 until 2011, all shows produced by the company aired on either CBS or The CW. In the past, Paramount Television produced shows for all networks, but especially had a good relationship with ABC (much as Universal Television had a good relationship with eventually sister network NBC). The Cleaner, which aired on A&E until September 2009, was the most recent show from the company to air on a network other than CBS or the CW (which is ironic when NBC/ABC's ownership of A&E is taken into account). This was until BET began airing new episodes of The Game in 2011. In 2012, USA Network began airing Common Law.

CTS does not directly produce any shows appearing on Showtime, a premium cable television network co-owned with the studio. Instead, sister company Showtime Entertainment handles in-house productions for the network. However, CTD and its international arm handle syndication distribution for these shows if they ever appear in syndication.

On October 25, 2018, CBS Television Studios announced the opening of a new animation division, CBS Eye Animation Productions. A new Star Trek series entitled Star Trek: Lower Decks was announced simultaneously.[10]

ViacomCBS re-merger; rebranding to CBS Studios

It was announced on August 13, 2019, that parent company CBS Corporation would reunite with Viacom to form a combined media company and be renamed ViacomCBS (now known as Paramount Global).[11] The merger closed on December 4.[12] For the first time in nearly fourteen years, Paramount Global encompasses the Paramount Pictures film studio, the current incarnation of its television division, and CBS's production studio under one umbrella.

On October 8, 2020, it was announced that CBS Television Studios had been renamed CBS Studios as part of a unification of branding elements between CBS divisions, citing that use of the word "Television" in the name was antiquated due to its position of producing programming for multiple platforms.[13]

Productions (2009–present)

See also


  1. ^ "Desilu, Famous Players to G&W". Broadcasting: 71. February 20, 1967.
  2. ^ "Week's Profile: Lucille Ball". Broadcasting: 117. July 31, 1967.
  3. ^ Patrick J. White, The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier p. 117, 141. New York: Avon Books, 1991. ISBN 0-380-75877-6
  4. ^ Patrick J. White, The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier p. 141. New York: Avon Books, 1991. ISBN 0-380-75877-6
  5. ^ Adalian, Josef; Schneider, Michael (September 7, 2004). "Moonves' TV makeovers". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Eggerton, John (January 17, 2006). "CBS Has Its Eye on Paramount". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Garrett, Diane; Adalian, Josef (January 16, 2007). "CBS makes split decision". Variety. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "If It's Monday, It Must Be CBS TV Studios". TV MoJoe. TVWeek. May 17, 2009. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  9. ^ CBS Television Distribution Syndication Bible Archived September 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine TV Movies. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 25, 2018). "'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Animated Series From 'Rick and Morty' EP & Secret Hideout Ordered By CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Ivanova, Irina (August 15, 2019). "CBS and Viacom agree to $30 billion media merger". CBS News. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 4, 2019). "CBS and Viacom Complete Merger: 'It's Been a Long and Winding Road to Get Here'". Variety. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  13. ^ Steinberg, Brian (October 8, 2020). "CBS Casts New Eye on Audiences Who Don't Watch Its Programs on Regular TV". Variety. Retrieved October 8, 2020.