ELP Communications

ELP Communications (formerly known as T.A.T. Communications Company, Embassy Television, Embassy Telecommunications, and Embassy Communications) was an American television production company that originally began in 1974. It's currently an in-name-only unit of Sony Pictures Television.

ELP Communications
FormerlyT.A.T. Communications Company (1975-1982)
Embassy Television (1982-1986)
Embassy Telecommunications (1982-1986)
Embassy Communications (1986-1988)
TypeJoint venture of LEP Holdings, Inc. and PEP Communications. Active In-name-only unit of Sony Pictures Television
IndustryTelevision Production
Broadcast syndication
FounderNorman Lear
Jerry Perenchio
Headquarters10202 West Washington Boulevard, ,
United States
ParentEmbassy Communications, Inc. (1982–1985)
The Coca-Cola Company (1985–1987)
Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (1987–1991)
Sony Pictures Entertainment (1991–present)
SubsidiariesTandem Productions



ELP Communications was first known as T.A.T. Communications Company when it was formed in 1974[1] when Norman Lear joined up with former talent agent Jerry Perenchio, a year before Yorkin ended his partnership with Lear. "T.A.T." stood for a Yiddish phrase pronounced "Tuches Ahfen Tisch", which meant "Putting one's butt on the line" (ass on the table).[citation needed]

The first sitcom to be produced by T.A.T. Communications was The Jeffersons, that was spun off from the sitcom All in the Family in 1975.

Acquisition of Avco Embassy and renameEdit

Television producer Norman Lear and his business partner Jerry Perenchio bought Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation in January 1982 and decided to drop the name "Avco" from the name to bring back the name Embassy Pictures and T.A.T. Communications Co. was renamed as Embassy Communications, Inc.

The television division was renamed as Embassy Television, a division name for his shows by the former T.A.T. Communications such as The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and The Facts of Life. More shows were produced by Embassy Television such as the first two under the name: Square Pegs and Silver Spoons. The latter show ran five seasons, while the former ran one but developed a cult following. Who's the Boss? was piloted later in 1983 until airing in 1984. Embassy Television also produced Diff'rent Strokes's final season from Tandem Productions, which was eventually operated by Embassy.

Embassy also held the TV rights to a majority of the Embassy theatrical library (see Embassy Pictures for more information), syndicated under the umbrella title Embassy Night at the Movies. Embassy Telecommunications, was the television distribution arm of Embassy Television. They distributed off-net syndicated shows by Embassy Television and those by Tandem Productions and T.A.T. Communications. Tandem's PITS Films was folded into Embassy Telecommunications.

Coca-Cola eraEdit

Lear and Perenchio sold Embassy Communications (included Tandem Productions) to The Coca-Cola Company (then-current owners of Columbia Pictures) for $485 million on June 18, 1985.[2][3][4][5] After the sale, Lear, Perenchio, nor Bud Yorkin were no longer involved with Embassy or Tandem. A month later in July 1985, CBS canceled The Jeffersons and Diff'rent Strokes was already canceled by NBC. The latter was later moved to ABC. During the fall, a new sitcom called 227, debuted on NBC.

A year later, Embassy Communications became the only television banner as Embassy's television divisions (Embassy Television, Embassy Telecommunications, and Tandem Productions) were consolidated into the holding company. When ABC canceled Diff'rent Strokes, the brand name Tandem Productions became dormant but renamed active as an in-name-only division. On November 24, 1986, Coca-Cola fused Embassy's television operations including the movie packages (Embassy Night at the Movies, Embassy II and Embassy III) with Columbia Pictures Television; the combined company became Columbia/Embassy Television, though Columbia and Embassy continued to produce and distribute programs under their separate names. During that formation, Coca-Cola took Columbia and Embassy out of the first-run syndication business and focused them on first-run network and off-net syndication programming. This was also the formation of Coca-Cola Television when Coke regrouped Columbia Pictures Television, Embassy Communications, and Merv Griffin Enterprises.[6] Married... with Children was the next—and as it would transpire, last—successful sitcom by Embassy Communications, debuting as part of the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Company's first primetime lineup in 1987.

Columbia Pictures Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment erasEdit

On December 21, 1987, Coca-Cola sold its Columbia Pictures entertainment businesses to TriStar Pictures, Inc. and renamed the Tri-Star holding company as "Columbia Pictures Entertainment" for $3.1 billion.[7] Columbia/Embassy Television then merged with TriStar Television to form a new version of Columbia Pictures Television. Embassy Communications then became ELP (Embassy Lear Pictures) Communications. Still-running and newer Embassy shows would begin to use the Columbia Pictures Television logo in January 1988 but would use the ELP copyright in the credits in February 1988. Embassy Night at the Movies was renamed as Columbia Night at the Movies. On November 8, 1989, Columbia Pictures Entertainment was sold to Sony and renamed as Sony Pictures Entertainment on August 7, 1991.[8]

The final long running show to be produced by Embassy Television, as ELP Communications, was Beakman's World in 1992. In February 1994, SPE merged Columbia Pictures Television and the newly relaunched TriStar Television to become Columbia TriStar Television.[9] All series by CPT, TriStar, ELP, and Merv Griffin were brought under the banner (though most shows would not begin to use CTT's logo until around 1997). Beakman's World was cancelled in 1998 and ELP Communications became an in-name only unit of Columbia TriStar Television.

Today, television distribution rights to both Embassy's television and theatrical libraries are now owned by Sony Pictures Television. Also, all shows from T.A.T. Communications Company to ELP Communications are all copyrighted by ELP Communications.

Studios and tapings by ELP CommunicationsEdit

Theatrical releaseEdit

Executives for Embassy TelevisionEdit

  • Alan Horn (1981-1985) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer[10][11]
  • Al Burton (1982–1983) production supervisor
  • Glenn Padnick (1983–1986) production supervisor
  • Frances McConnell (1986–1989) production supervisor
  • Ken Stump (1983–1988) former associate producer for Tandem Productions and T.A.T. Communications from 1978 to 1980. In charge of production from 1983 to 1988 (Tandem Productions/Embassy Television-ELP Communications) (died in 1990)
  • Barry Thurston (1983–2000) president of Embassy Telecommunications (1983-1986), Columbia/Embassy Television (1986-1988), Columbia Pictures Television Distribution (1988–1994), and Columbia TriStar Television Distribution (1994-2000)[12]
  • Ed Lammi (1988–1998) for ELP Communications (now the Executive Vice President for SPT's Production)


  1. ^ "Norman Lear" Norman Lear: Act I and II Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine normanlear.com, Retrieved on January 25, 2012
  2. ^ "Norman Lear" Coke Buys Embassy & Tandem normanlear.com Michael Schrage The Washington Post, Retrieved on January 25, 2013
  3. ^ "Norman Lear" Lear, Perenchio Sell Embassy Properties normanlear.com AL DELUGACH and KATHRYN HARRIS, The Los Angeles Times, Retrieved on January 25, 2013
  4. ^ "Norman Lear" Coke buys Embassy: 485 million. normanlear.com CHRISTOPHER VAUGHN and BILL DESOWITZ The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved on January 25, 2013
  5. ^ Fizz, Movies and Whoop-De-Doo, "Time", May 12, 1986
  6. ^ KATHRYN HARRIS "Los Angeles Times" November 25, 1986 Nation articles.latimes.com, Retrieved on May 31, 2013
  7. ^ KATHRYN HARRIS (September 2, 1987) Coke, Tri-Star Confirm Plans for $3.1-Billion Deal Los Angeles Times, Retrieved on August 8, 2013
  8. ^ She Holds Torch for Sony Pictures Entertainment, latimes.com
  9. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-11/business/fi-21622_1_vice-president "Los Angeles Times". February 11, 1994, Retrieved on June 28, 2012
  10. ^ Disney’s Alan Horn Uses Low-Key Approach, Keen Creative Vision to Find Hits of the Future 11 April 2016, Retrieved on 17 February 2021
  11. ^ Alan Bergman Elevates To Disney Studios Content Chairman; Alan Horn Staying On As Chief Creative Officer 21 December 2020, Retrieved on 17 February 2021
  12. ^ Sony TV brain drain goes on as vet exits 11 May 2000, Retrieved on 18 July 2020

External linksEdit