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Witt/Thomas Productions is an American television and movie production company run by TV producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas. The company was consistently productive between its founding in 1975 and 1999, but is still active, producing the occasional film and TV series project. It has produced more than 25 American primetime television series, mostly half-hour sitcoms. Witt/Thomas is perhaps best known for producing the popular sitcoms Soap, Benson, It's a Living, The Golden Girls (along with its sequel, The Golden Palace), Empty Nest, Blossom and Brotherly Love. Witt and Thomas have also produced many cinematic works, including the 1989 box office success Dead Poets Society.
|Fate||Still producing telefilms on occasional basis|
|Paul Junger Witt|
Gary S. Levine
Numerous Witt/Thomas television series were created and co-executive produced by Susan Harris, the wife of Paul Junger Witt. The shows that had involvement from Harris were produced under the modified Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions nameplate.
Beginnings and work with Susan HarrisEdit
The partnership between Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas began in 1971, when the two were paired together as producers on the now-classic and influential ABC made-for-TV-movie Brian's Song. Following this, Witt and Thomas elected to continue working together on additional TV movies for all the major American broadcast networks. After having each built an extensive resume separately as TV producers, aside from their partnership (Witt had producing experience on TV series, including The Partridge Family and The Rookies, and Thomas was by now tenured in telefilms), the two formed Witt/Thomas Productions in 1975 upon selling their first TV pilot, the NBC comedy Fay. The sitcom, which premiered in the fall of 1975, was created by Susan Harris, who instantly became a key partner in the production company (and later entered into a relationship with Witt, which culminated in their 1983 marriage). Fay failed to find an audience, and was cancelled after a single, heavily interrupted season.
However, shortly after picking up Fay for the fall 1975 schedule, NBC had bought a second pilot from Witt and Thomas, which was granted a midseason replacement slot for early the following year. Premiering in January 1976 was The Practice, a comedy set in a family-run doctor's office, the first series to be strictly a Witt/Thomas Production (sans Harris). The series was created for Witt/Thomas by Steve Gordon, who later became known for writing and directing the blockbuster film Arthur (1981). This was also the first of three TV series the company produced in which Thomas' father, Danny Thomas, was cast in the starring role. The Practice performed well enough to be awarded a second season, but the early ratings success was not sustained. NBC cancelled the series in January 1977, after exactly 12 months on the air. In the spring of 1977, CBS broadcast another of the company's efforts, the romantic comedy Loves Me, Loves Me Not, created by Harris and starring Susan Dey, but it lasted only six episodes. The series reunited Witt with Dey, who whom he had worked with on The Partridge Family; the show additionally featured two actors who would again work for Witt/Thomas, Kenneth Gilman (who later starred on Nurses) and Art Metrano (of the short-lived Tough Cookies).
Witt, Thomas and Harris would soon find success with their next pilot, a sitcom parody of daytime soap operas entitled Soap. ABC picked up the series, which drew controversy over its tawdry and taboo storylines from the day it was announced on the network's schedule. Soap premiered in September 1977 to further controversy (several ABC affiliates chose to preempt the show during the 1977–78 season), but blockbuster ratings, and cemented Witt, Thomas and Harris as producers of breakthrough, socially relevant television. In the midst of Soap's success, the company would produce the spin-off series Benson, for Soap regular Robert Guillaume, which debuted in September 1979. By this time, Witt/Thomas (and Harris) were experiencing increased demand, primarily by ABC. In 1980, the producers sold the series I'm a Big Girl Now to ABC, which paired Danny Thomas with Soap star Diana Canova in the lead roles. Both Soap and I'm a Big Girl Now were cancelled in 1981, with Benson continuing until 1986, lasting longer than its parent show.
Subsequent shows with a Witt/Thomas/Harris collaboration include It Takes Two (ABC, 1982–83), a single-season comedy starring Patty Duke Astin and Richard Crenna as a modern, dual-career couple; Hail to the Chief (ABC, 1985), another starring vehicle for Ms. Astin, in which she played the first female president of the United States; and The Golden Girls (NBC, 1985–1992), a comedy inspired by a segment of NBC's 1984 fall preview special, which featured comedic interplay between NBC stars Selma Diamond and Doris Roberts, who hosted the segment. Diamond spoke of a new series they were about to preview, about elderly women living in a Miami home, entitled "Miami Nice". Roberts corrected Diamond, stating that they were about to take a sneak peek at Miami Vice. The Golden Girls, which centered on four older women rooming together and enjoying their golden years, went on to become, arguably, the biggest success for Witt/Thomas/Harris, garnering several Emmy nominations (and wins for each of the show's four principal stars) and strong ratings. The series produced an equally successful spin-off in 1988, Empty Nest, which starred Richard Mulligan as eligible older bachelor Dr. Harry Weston, who lived and held medical practice in the same neighborhood as The Golden Girls.
In 1987, Witt/Thomas/Harris had the new sitcom project Mama's Boy in development for NBC. It served as a starring vehicle for Bruce Weitz and Nancy Walker, in which the former played a successful journalist whose loving mother (Walker) moves into his New York apartment and interrupts his bachelor lifestyle. Susan Blakely and Dan Hedaya also starred. Mama's Boy was picked up by the network, but only retained the status of being a "special" throughout the 1987–88 season, due to its irregular scheduling. After a preview broadcast on September 19, 1987, it only aired five more times, over several months, between October 31 of that year and August 6, 1988. The seventh episode was never aired.
In the 1990s, Harris created four more series for the company, beginning with the Empty Nest spin-off Nurses, which aired alongside its parent series and The Golden Girls on NBC's Saturday night lineup. With all three of the latter series taking place in the same section of Miami (with Nurses focusing on the nurses' station and upper levels of the same hospital that employed Dr. Harry Weston), Witt/Thomas/Harris was thus able to create the rarity of a single, unified storyline carrying through all three programs in the same night. This practice continued between Empty Nest and Nurses alone after The Golden Girls ended its run in 1992. When it was announced that The Golden Girls would conclude in its seventh season, in the wake of star Bea Arthur's decision to leave, Harris immediately transported the remaining three "girls" (Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty) into the sequel series The Golden Palace. NBC originally committed to airing the sequel, but CBS offered Witt, Thomas and Harris a better deal (24 episodes, versus NBC's agreement to 13). The Golden Palace premiered on CBS in September 1992, and nearly replicated the success of The Golden Girls in terms of ratings. However, at the end of its inaugural season, CBS decided to drop certain series with older demographics, and The Golden Palace fell victim to this plan. Estelle Getty would bring her long-running role of Sophia Petrillo back to NBC in the fall of 1993, when Witt/Thomas/Harris decided to move the character to Empty Nest. Getty continued on Empty Nest until the end of its run in 1995. Nurses, meanwhile, was cancelled by NBC at the end of its third season in 1994.
Harris' other 1990s creations were short-lived: Good & Evil (ABC, 1991), a variation of her successful Soap formula, in which the struggle of two sisters, one evil and conniving (played by Teri Garr) and the other sweet and pure (played by Margaret Whitton) was chronicled. Good & Evil, which was placed in the unusual-for-a-sitcom 10:30/9:30c slot on Wednesdays, was poorly rated, and in addition, a blind psychologist character (played by Mark Blankfield) brought the series under fire by the National Federation of the Blind for negatively portraying blind people as clumsy and clueless. As a result, ABC cancelled the series after only six episodes. After this experience, Harris vowed in the press that she would never work with ABC ever again, feeling that the network had sabotaged Good & Evil from the beginning. Witt and Thomas were apparently in agreement with Harris; it would be five years before Witt and Thomas alone would enter into a new development deal with ABC (for Common Law).
In 1998, Harris rekindled her relationship with ABC, and created what has been her last TV series to date, The Secret Lives of Men. A comedy centering on the camaraderie of three middle-aged bachelors, it received heavy promotion, but was another short-lived venture. The series was dropped by ABC in November 1998, after only two months on the air, hardly lasting longer than Good & Evil, the series that caused Harris to cut ties with the network in the first place.
Work with other creators and producersEdit
During the 1980s and 1990s, Witt/Thomas continued their producing streak, with many of their shows still having involvement from Harris, and several in between that were serviced by other creators. From 1979 until 1983, John Rich (later known for co-producing MacGyver with Henry Winkler) was a top-tier producer with Witt and Thomas on Benson, and later on the company's short-lived Condo. In 1991, Rich briefly returned to the company as an executive producer on the short-lived NBC sitcom Walter & Emily.
Witt/Thomas brought It's a Living to ABC's fall schedule in 1980, a comedy centered on four buxom waitresses who worked for a posh restaurant atop a Los Angeles hotel, and the fraternizing that went on between them. The series, created by Stu Silver, Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, ran on ABC for two seasons, with the second season airing under the modified title Making a Living. Syndication reruns which aired a year after the series' cancellation (see below) brought the show a whole new audience; the series was revived under its original title for first-run syndication, and ran four additional seasons (1985–1989). Witt/Thomas also produced the short-lived 1983 ABC sitcom Condo, from creator Sheldon Bull. Although it had no involvement from Susan Harris, Condo featured elements of Soap, in which two families, related by marriage, were the focus, along with the in-fighting that went on between both sides. Other Witt/Thomas series during the mid-1980s that were created by people other than Susan Harris included the short-lived CBS sitcom Tough Cookies (1986), which starred Robby Benson as a young maverick detective, and One Big Family (1986–1987), a first-run syndication series which was the third (and final) Witt/Thomas comedy vehicle for Danny Thomas. The latter was the only series from the company in which one of the partners (Witt) had co-creation credit, in this case with David Pollock and Elias Davis.
In 1990, Golden Girls writers/producers Tracy Gamble and Richard Vaczy were hired by Witt/Thomas to create a sitcom pilot, which was ultimately not picked up for series status. In June of that year, their summer pilot We'll Take Manhattan aired, in which Jackée and Corinne Bohrer starred as polar opposites—a sassy city girl and a naive Southern belle, respectively—who both attempt to make it in New York City together. The cast also featured Joel Brooks, Fred Applegate and Edan Gross (who had recently starred with Bohrer on the ABC sitcom Free Spirit). We'll Take Manhattan was NBC's second attempt to place Jackée in her own headlined series after her departure from the network's 227, on which she found massive fame. Her first starring vehicle, the 227 spinoff Jackée, had not been picked up the previous year. Gamble and Vaczy had previously worked on 227 before their hiring by Witt/Thomas.
In 1991, Witt/Thomas struck a development deal with the young Fox network, for a pilot created and written by Andy Guerdat and Steve Kreinberg, a pair who had first worked for Witt/Thomas as writers on It's a Living from 1985 to 1987, among their numerous other credits. The pilot was Herman's Head, an irreverent sitcom starring William Ragsdale as a young publishing company fact checker whose thought processes were explored through a "Greek chorus" of human emotions that lived in his head. The series developed a cult following on Fox upon its September 1991 premiere, and lasted three seasons.
Paul Perlove, who had served as an executive producer during the first season of the Witt/Thomas series Blossom (see below), created his own series for the company, Walter & Emily, which had a brief run on NBC from November 1991 until February 1992. It starred Cloris Leachman and Brian Keith in the title roles, and focused on the generation gap they faced between their adult son and grandson.
Witt/Thomas launched their second series for Fox in the fall of 1992, which perhaps had the most unusual premise of all of their shows: Woops!, a comedy taking place in a post-Apocalyptic US, in which six adult survivors of the mysterious nuclear blast found themselves congregating in an abandoned farm house and living together, depending on each other for survival. The series was created and co-executive produced by Gary Jacobs, following his producing work on the successful Empty Nest, and featured Evan Handler, Fred Applegate and Lane Davies (who had worked on Good & Evil in 1991) in the cast. The wild premise for Woops! was perceived as being somewhat limited in its development, due to the small Earth population in the storyline, but the series only had a few months to prove itself before getting axed in December 1992.
In 1994, David Landsberg (a former producer of Blossom and Herman's Head), and Brenda Hampton (another Blossom producer), had a Witt/Thomas pilot of theirs, Daddy's Girls, be picked up by CBS. Dudley Moore headlined this comedy, in which his character, Dudley Walker, a flamboyant Englishman whose deceased wife leaves him a clothing empire, tries to balance his empire along with fussing over his three attractive young daughters (played by Stacy Galina, Meredith Scott Lynn and Keri Russell). Playing opposite Moore was Harvey Fierstein in a rare TV series role, as Dudley's prissy, overtly gay business partner. Critics lambasted Daddy's Girls even before its September 1994 debut, predicting it would not last until Christmas; CBS indeed only aired three episodes, before placing it on a hiatus it ended up never returning from.
Later in the 1994–95 season, CBS picked up another Witt/Thomas pilot, The Office, created by veteran producer Susan Beavers (who had previously produced Nurses for Witt/Thomas) and Barbara Corday, co-creator of former CBS feminist-slanted police drama Cagney & Lacey. The comedy centered on the camaraderie of numerous executives and their secretaries at a packaging company, with the cast headed by Valerie Harper and Dakin Matthews. The series had a brief spring run during March and April 1995. It has no relation to the later British series The Office, or its American NBC counterpart (2005–2013).
In 1996, the last Witt/Thomas development deal with Fox resulted in the short-lived sitcom Local Heroes. Created by Frank Mula, a writer and producer of The Simpsons, the comedy was described as a "blue-collar version of Friends", as it depicted the close-knit friendship of several young men and women who were just getting by in a small town. Local Heroes notably starred Jay Mohr, along with three actors from previous Witt/Thomas series—Jason Kristofer, from the short-lived Heartland (1989), Ken Hudson Campbell of Herman's Head and Kristin Dattilo of the previous year's The Office.
Keeping with the tradition of elevating producers within the company to creators, Witt/Thomas gave Mitchell Hurwitz, who had numerous producing roles on many Witt/Thomas series throughout the 1990s, the chance to create his own project, Everything's Relative, which turned up as a spring replacement series on NBC in 1999. A family comedy about an eccentric, slightly immature couple (Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh) and their adult, upscale-professional but equally immature sons (Kevin Rahm and Eric Schaeffer), it received positive reviews that likened the diverse, interlocking stories to that of Seinfeld. Nonetheless, NBC only aired the series four times in April 1999 before cancelling it. Hurwitz would later team up with Ron Howard and 20th Century Fox to create and produce the Fox sitcom Arrested Development, in which he would again cast Jeffrey Tambor as an eccentric patriarch of an equally quirky family.
Although it was not immediately realized, the quick demise of Everything's Relative would soon mark the end of Witt/Thomas Productions' 24-year television series producing streak. The company, however, remained intact, producing the occasional made-for-TV movie thereafter. Witt and Thomas would come out of their TV series retirement in 2012, with the revival of their dramatic series Beauty & the Beast.
In 1987, screenwriter Don Reo began his involvement with Witt/Thomas, writing for their NBC project Mama's Boy. Reo soon went on to create several series for the company, in conjunction with his nameplate, Impact Zone Productions. His first creation was the CBS sitcom Heartland, which starred Brian Keith as a cantankerous Nebraska farmer who moves in with his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. The series had a brief run in the spring of 1989, but Reo had other projects for Witt/Thomas which would soon hit the air. During the 1990–91 season, two more Reo series from Witt/Thomas premiered: Lenny, a sitcom vehicle for comedian Lenny Clarke, which debuted on CBS in September 1990; and Blossom, an NBC series starring Mayim Bialik whose pilot was previewed on July 5, 1990, and whose series premiere occurred on January 3, 1991. Lenny was a ratings failure, and was cancelled by CBS in March 1991; Blossom was more successful, enjoying a strong following among teenage viewers on NBC's youth-oriented Monday night comedy block (alongside freshman hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), and ultimately ran until 1995, lasting five seasons.
Following up his Blossom success for NBC, Reo acquired John Larroquette for a project soon after the conclusion of his long-running sitcom Night Court. This resulted in The John Larroquette Show on NBC's fall 1993 schedule. Specializing in dark, seedy humor, The John Larroquette Show was often found to be more controversial of a Witt/Thomas series than any of the ones that Susan Harris had created. Despite critical acclaim, the series was nearly cancelled by NBC at the end of its first season. The network ended up renewing the show on the agreement that Reo and Witt/Thomas would lighten the show's tone, and introduce more upbeat stories. Larroquette went through two more renewal periods on NBC, until getting cancelled in October 1996, just five weeks into its fourth season. Reo would create one more series for Witt/Thomas, the Rhea Perlman vehicle Pearl, which ran on CBS during the 1996–97 season, in which Perlman herself joined Reo, Witt, Thomas and Gary S. Levine as an executive producer.
Gary S. LevineEdit
Witt and Thomas would again take on a third partner in their production team, when they inducted Gary S. Levine as a top-tier producer in the company in 1994. Levine worked with Witt/Thomas for the next three years on five of their new shows, and was listed along with them on each show's top "executive producers" credit. His surname, however, was never added to the Witt/Thomas Productions names (similar to how former partner John Rich was never incorporated into the company name; Susan Harris, as Witt's wife, remains the only third partner to have her name included in the production marquee).
Witt/Thomas and Levine's first project together provided yet another Blossom producer, Rob LaZebnik, the chance to create his own pilot. The project was greenlighted by the upstart WB Television Network in 1994. For The WB's launch in January 1995, the company produced the LaZebnik creation Muscle, yet another soap-opera spoof, this time taking on the youth-oriented dramas of the 1990s, primarily Melrose Place. The series, like Susan Harris creations Soap and Good & Evil before it, was critically acclaimed; The WB, however, cancelled it at the end of its first season (it was, in fact, the first series to be cancelled on the new network).
A year later, Witt/Thomas and Levine produced a new LaZebnik series, Common Law, that premiered on ABC in September 1996. The series was lauded for featuring a lead character of Latino heritage (played by Greg Giraldo) in a prestigious profession, that of partner in his own law firm. Despite the praise, Common Law suffered from low ratings, airing Saturdays at 9:30/8:30c. ABC cancelled the series after only a month on the air (just a week before NBC abruptly dropped its Witt/Thomas sister series, The John Larroquette Show).
In the fall of 1995, Witt/Thomas and Levine had two new youth-oriented comedies of theirs premiere on NBC's Sunday schedule, Brotherly Love and Minor Adjustments. When Blossom was concluding its run the previous spring, two of its producers, Jonathan Schmock and Jim Vallely, received a development deal with NBC and Witt/Thomas that would give Blossom star Joey Lawrence his own starring vehicle. The result was Brotherly Love, in which Lawrence played an entirely new character alongside real-life brothers Matthew and Andrew Lawrence. Following the series was Minor Adjustments, a comedy about a child psychologist and his relationships with his family and patients, starring stand-up comic Rondell Sheridan. The series was created by Sheridan, Ken Estin and Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, and certain episodes were directed by Soap and Empty Nest star Dinah Manoff. Minor Adjustments was cancelled by NBC in December 1995, but in a rather unusual move, the fledgling UPN network bought the show's rights, and returned it to the air only one month later, thus allowing the series to continue its freshman season. By the spring of 1996, UPN had cancelled Minor Adjustments as well, and Brotherly Love was dropped by NBC, only to get a second (and final) season on The WB.
Levine also partnered with Witt and Thomas during the 1996–97 season to co-executive produce the company's CBS sitcom, Pearl.
Beauty and the BeastEdit
Witt/Thomas, while primarily known for comedies, ventured into the production of a dramatic series in 1987, with the CBS fantasy drama Beauty and the Beast. Creator Ron Koslow and parent studio Tri-Star Television hired Witt and Thomas as executive producers on the series when the two wished to diversify their TV series producing resume (Koslow had first worked with Witt/Thomas on their 1984 theatrical film Firstborn). The early success of Beauty and the Beast made Witt and Thomas one of the most prolific showrunners on American network TV in the late 1980s, between their working for two different studios simultaneously (Touchstone and Tri-Star) and the ratings success of their series. Witt and Thomas served as executive producers for all three seasons of Beauty and the Beast, and for the majority of their career, it remained the only hour-long dramatic series produced by Witt/Thomas Productions.
In 2012, it was announced that Koslow, Witt and Thomas had pitched a new version of Beauty & the Beast to The CW network. In May of that year, the series was picked up for The CW's 2012–13 fall schedule, and had its premiere on October 11, 2012. An entirely new cast is featured in the revival, in many of the same roles that appeared in the CBS version. Although Koslow is involved in the new series as an executive producer, the format for the revival was created by Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin. Witt and Thomas will again serve as executive producers as well, marking the first time in thirteen years that the two have produced a weekly primetime series together. The series concluded in 2016.
Lean years and return to TV series producingEdit
In 2014, after having been back into TV series producing for two years with The CW's Beauty & the Beast, Witt/Thomas announced that they had screened a sitcom pilot written by Sally Robinson (best known for penning Lifetime's 2012 remake of Steel Magnolias) under the working title Feed Me. Witt and Thomas agreed to produce it, and soon shopped it to NBC, which put it in the running for fall 2014 comedy pilots. While the network had it under consideration, Witt and Thomas were lauded by the press for making a much heralded-return to sitcom producing, the last of which had been 15 years prior, and for resuming a relationship with NBC, which had been home to their classic hits The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, and many other Witt/Thomas shows. Feed Me was described as centering on "..a dysfunctional family bound by love and the restaurant they run together." The series was slated to star Mary-Louise Parker (a headlining role in response to her success on Showtime's Weeds), along with Andrea Parker, Ed Quinn and Toks Olagundoye. In May 2014, however, NBC passed on greenlighting the pilot.
Distribution and parent studiosEdit
Throughout its history, Witt/Thomas Productions has housed its shows at a number of different parent studios. With their first two series in the 1975–1976 season, Fay and The Practice, Witt/Thomas worked in association with Universal and MGM respectively. Their 1977 CBS sitcom, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, remains to date the only series from the company to be produced at 20th Century Fox Television. Beginning with Soap, and encompassing all of their ABC series that aired between 1977 and 1986, Witt/Thomas started the practice of completely financing their shows themselves, without the presence of a parent studio. On most of the shows from this era, "A Witt/Thomas/Harris Production" would be featured at the end of their closing credit sequences, with copyright notice going to Witt/Thomas/Harris in lieu of a major studio. However, during the 1982–83 season, the short-lived It Takes Two and Condo had their copyright notices go to a dummy company that would be named after the respective program (i.e. "It Takes Two Productions" and "Condo Productions", respectively). With the latter shows, the Witt/Thomas/Harris or Witt/Thomas bylines would still appear before the "dummy" copyright.
When Soap and Benson both went into off-network reruns during the early 1980s, their syndication rights were sold to Columbia Pictures Television. For the 1983–84 season, Witt/Thomas also chose to off-network syndicate reruns of their recent short-lived series, namely It's a Living and It Takes Two. Distribution of these shows were handled by Golden West Television, who provided the production facilities for most Witt/Thomas shows. It's a Living and It Takes Two were the rare instances of series going into rerun syndication when they each lasted far shorter than four seasons, or 100 episodes, the normal minimum for syndication. However, Living would later surpass the syndication minimum, with its original 1985–1989 episodes in first-run syndication being added several years later.
With the launch of The Golden Girls in 1985, Witt/Thomas would move their series to Touchstone Television, who would go on to produce several more of their shows afterward. During the 1985–86 season, Benson remained independent of a major studio during what turned out to be its final season, while the first season of the It's a Living first-run syndication revival had Golden West as its parent studio. Golden West was acquired by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986, with certain Witt/Thomas series being divested to Buena Vista Television for syndication distribution at that time. However, both the reruns and current original episodes of It's a Living, as well as the first-run syndicated One Big Family, had distribution handled by Lorimar-Telepictures from September 1986 onward. Witt/Thomas also worked with Republic Pictures from 1987 until 1990, for CBS' Beauty and the Beast.
In 1993, while continuing to work with Touchstone, Witt/Thomas began to house several of their new series at Warner Bros. Television. The John Larroquette Show was the first of these projects to be produced under Warner Bros. For the next three years, the producers continued their series at both studios, although after the premiere of Brotherly Love in 1995, all new Witt/Thomas series were exclusively launched under Warner Bros. The company's Touchstone association ended in 1996, when production of Brotherly Love was moved to Walt Disney Television for its second and last year, which also coincided with the series' move from NBC to The WB. After the 1996–97 season, Witt/Thomas was only working with Warner Bros. for the remaining two series it launched after that point, The Secret Lives of Men and Everything's Relative.
With Witt and Thomas' return to producing a primetime series, the 2012 revival of Beauty & the Beast is housed at CBS Television Studios. Their 2014 sitcom pilot Feed Me was produced in association with Universal Television.
List of shows produced by either production teamEdit
- Fay (1975–1976)
- Loves Me, Loves Me Not (1977)
- Soap (1977–1981)
- Benson (1979–1986)
- I'm a Big Girl Now (1980–1981)
- It Takes Two (1982–1983)
- Hail to the Chief (1985)
- The Golden Girls (1985–1992)
- Mama's Boy (1987–1988, six sitcom specials intended to be a series)
- Empty Nest (1988–1995)
- Nurses (1991–1994)
- Good & Evil (1991)
- The Golden Palace (1992–1993)
- The Secret Lives of Men (1998)
- The Practice (1976–1977)
- It's a Living (1980–1982, 1985–1989)
- Condo (1983)
- Tough Cookies (1986)
- One Big Family (1986–1987)
- Beauty and the Beast (1987–1990)
- Heartland (1989)
- Lenny (1990–1991)
- Blossom (1991–1995)
- Herman's Head (1991–1994)
- Walter & Emily (1991–1992)
- Woops! (1992)
- The John Larroquette Show (1993–1996)
- Daddy's Girls (1994)
- Muscle (1995)
- The Office (1995)
- Brotherly Love (1995–1997)
- Minor Adjustments (1995–1996)
- Local Heroes (1996)
- Common Law (1996)
- Pearl (1996–1997)
- Everything's Relative (1999)
- Beauty & the Beast (revival; 2012–2016)
- We'll Take Manhattan (1990 comedy pilot, aired as an NBC summer special)
- Feed Me (2014, rejected NBC sitcom pilot)
Although Witt/Thomas Productions was not formed until 1975, the first several TV movies produced by Witt and Thomas are included in this list. During the early 1970s, Witt was a general producer on these TV movies, while Thomas held an associate producer credit.
- Brian's Song (1971)
- No Place to Run (1972)
- Home for the Holidays (1972)
- A Cold Night's Death (1973)
- The Letters (1973)
- Blood Sport (1973, with Danny Thomas Productions)
- Remember When (1974, with Danny Thomas Productions)
- The Gun and the Pulpit (1974, with Danny Thomas Productions)
- Satan's Triangle (1975, with Danny Thomas Productions)
- Griffin and Phoenix (1976)
- High Risk (1976, with Danny Thomas Productions)
- Trouble in High Timber Country (1980)
- The Line (1987)
- Country Estates (1993)
- Close to Home (1994)
- Radiant City (1996)