Columbia Pictures Television
|Former type||Subsidiary of Sony Pictures|
|Fate||Folded into Columbia TriStar Television|
|Successor(s)||Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
|Founded||May 6, 1974|
|Defunct||January 1, 2001|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California, USA|
|Parent||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
As the successor in interest to Screen Gems, it assumed productions of the daytime soap operas Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless. On June 27, 1977, CPT acquired domestic distribution rights to four series made by Spelling-Goldberg Productions including S.W.A.T., Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and Family. The same year, they acquired worldwide distribution rights to Barney Miller from Danny Arnold and domestic rights to Soap from Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions. From 1978-1986, CPT co-produced series with Spelling-Goldberg including Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, and T.J. Hooker. On February 19, 1979, CPT acquired TOY Productions, whose output included What's Happening!! and Carter Country.
 The Coca-Cola years and Columbia Pictures Entertainment
The 1980s brought significant changes to CPT. On June 22, 1982, The Coca-Cola Company bought Columbia Pictures. On January 30, 1984, CPT joined forces with Lexington Broadcast Services Company by creating a joint venture between the two companies called Colex Enterprises to distribute library shows such as Father Knows Best and The Monkees, while throughout the 1980s and 1990s other shows such as Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Partridge Family were licensed to The Program Exchange. The same year, CPT acquired distribution rights to Benson.
On June 18, 1985, Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio sold their company, Embassy Pictures including Embassy Television and Tandem Productions to Coca-Cola. The company gained the rights to such shows as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Maude, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, One Day At A Time, Who's The Boss?, and Silver Spoons, among others. Coke also made plans to spin-off Embassy Pictures and Embassy Home Entertainment. Under Coca-Cola's ownership, Embassy saw success with 227 and Married with Children. The same year, Columbia and LBS Communications launched What's Happening Now!! in first-run syndication. The show was a sequel to the 1970s ABC sitcom What's Happening!!.
Major changes took place in 1986. On May 5, Coke acquired Merv Griffin Enterprises, producer of the popular game shows, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune; (the nighttime versions were distributed by King World, which is now handled by successor CBS Television Distribution. However, Sony Pictures Television handles off-net syndication reruns by broadcasting them on GSN, while sister company Sony Pictures Home Entertainment owns DVD rights, though, as game shows, are unlikely to get a proper release). Also in 1986, the former Lear units (Embassy Television, Embassy Telecommunications, and Tandem Productions) were merged to become Embassy Communications; the Tandem unit ceased production to be used after the cancellation of Diff'rent Strokes but remained in-name-only, while the Columbia and Embassy units continued to exist separately until 1988. Also on the same year on August 28, CPT acquired Danny Arnold's Four D Productions, Inc. for $50 million. In November, the studio formed a new first-run syndication unit; Coca-Cola Telecommunications due to Coca-Cola merging the distribution unit of Columbia Pictures Television and The Television Program Source (a syndicator that was a joint venture between Alan Bennett, former King World president Robert King, and CPT that was created on October 15, 1984, which Coca-Cola had a small investment in originally, and notably distributed the 1985-1986 nighttime syndicated version of The Price is Right and was slated to distribute a new version of The Match Game for syndication in 1987). Coca-Cola Telecommunications also took some programs that were or slated to be distributed under the Columbia Pictures Television banner including What's Happening Now, The Real Ghostbusters, Dinosaucers, and Punky Brewster as well as taking the US distribution rights of Hardcastle and McCormick from Colex. Punky Brewster, a former NBC in-house production, Columbia acquired the rights to Punky from NBC because fin-syn regulations prevented the network from producing more episodes for syndication after they cancelled it. During the fall of 1986, the sitcom Designing Women began a successful seven-year run on CBS. The same year, Tri-Star Pictures formed Tri-Star Television and produced the short-lived series Downtown. Tri-Star produced more series in 1987, Take Five, Nothing in Common, My Two Dads, Werewolf, and Buck James.
On December 17, 1987, Coca-Cola spun-off their entertainment holdings to a separate company (which they partially owned) called Columbia Pictures Entertainment after a film Ishtar turned out to be a notorious failure. In January 1988, Columbia/Embassy Television and Tri-Star Television were formed to create the new Columbia Pictures Television and Embassy Communications was renamed to ELP Communications. Meanwhile, Colex Enterprises, Coca-Cola Telecommunications, and Embassy Communications (the distributor arm) were merged into the new Columbia Pictures Television Distribution. All shows in the era ended with the Columbia logo between 1988 and 1991.
 The Sony years to the end
On November 8, 1989, Sony Corporation bought Columbia Pictures Entertainment for $3.4 billion and the next day, Sony acquired the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company (formerly game show production company Barris Industries with the library of game shows including The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, and The Gong Show) for $200 million after hiring film producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters to run the company. On November 5, 1990, CPE folded its first-run syndication unit Guber-Peters Television into Columbia Pictures Television Distribution. On August 7, 1991, CPE changed its name to Sony Pictures Entertainment and TriStar Television was relaunched on October 10. Throughout the 1990s the studio launched such successful shows as Beakman's World on TLC and CBS in 1992, Mad About You on NBC in 1992, Ricki Lake, The Nanny on CBS in 1993, Party of Five, NewsRadio, Malcolm & Eddie on UPN in 1996, and the short-lived cult animated series The Critic on ABC and FOX in 1994. One of the most successful by far was Seinfeld, a Castle Rock Entertainment production which Columbia distributed in syndication. On December 7, 1992, Sony Pictures acquired the Barry & Enright Productions game show library.
During this time company acquired a vast back catalog of independently produced game shows with the acquisition of Stewart Tele Enterprises. Along with the Merv Griffin, Chuck Barris, Barry & Enright, and CPT game shows they already owned, these were part of the basis of the Game Show Network, launched on December 1, 1994. On February 21, 1994 as a merger between Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television under the leadership of Jon Feltheimer, CPT merged with TriStar Television by forming Columbia TriStar Television. After the merger, Columbia Pictures Television Distribution was renamed to Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. In 1998, ELP Communications became an in-name unit of Columbia TriStar Television. On January 1, 2001, Columbia Pictures Television was retired for good and was folded into Columbia TriStar Television. On September 16, 2002, Sony Pictures changed the name of its TV subsidiary to Sony Pictures Television.
 See also
 CPT Holdings, Inc.
CPT Holdings, Inc. was introduced in 1984 as a copyrighting name and the holder for classic shows for Columbia Pictures Television from recent buyouts. It is currently a service mark of Sony Pictures Television. Other than its own series Designing Women and its daytime drama The Young and the Restless, the company holds What's Happening!!, The Joker's Wild, incarnations from Pyramid, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and 3's a Crowd.
During the years of Columbia Pictures Television, the company identified itself in the credits as Columbia Pictures Television, CPT Holdings, Inc., Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. and Columbia Pictures Television Distribution. Many series such as the remastered version of Bewitched uses the CPT Holdings, Inc. copyright replacing the original Screen Gems copyright.
 Colex Enterprises
Colex Enterprises was created in 1984 as a partnership between CPT and Lexington Broadcast Services Co. Colex was most popularly known for distributing classic shows from the libraries of Screen Gems, CPT, and the later films of Bob Hope (The Seven Little Foys, The Lemon Drop Kid, etc.). The venture ended in 1988 and was succeeded by CPTD and LBS Communications, which the former was succeeded in 1995 by CTTD, then in 2001 by CTDT which is now known as SPT since 2002.
- "Remodeling at Screen Gems". Broadcasting: p. 39. 1974-05-06.
- "New TOY". Broadcasting: p. 39. 1979-02-19.
- "Coke Completes Columbia Merger". New York Times. June 23, 1982. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- "Sale in the works for 'Eden' mini-series". Broadcasting: p. 45. 1984-01-30.
- Coke buys Embassy: 485 million., normanlear.com
- "Structuring and restructuring". Broadcasting: p. 66. 1986-05-12.
- "Columbia Pictures Television Group acquires Four D Productions Inc.". PR Newswire. August 28, 1986. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- "COMPANY NEWS; Coke Suit Pact". New York Times. August 30, 1986. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- "In Brief". Broadcasting: p. 96. 1984-10-15.
- "Swallowed Up?". Broadcasting: p. 10. 1990-11-05.
- She Holds Torch for Sony Pictures Entertainment, latimes.com
- "Los Angeles Times" http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-11/business/fi-21622_1_vice-president latimes.com February 11, 1994, Retrieved on June 28, 2012
- "EBSCO Host Connection" Feltheimer heads new Columbia TriStar TV connection.ebscohost.com, Retrieved on December 18, 2012
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Renames Television Operations; Domestic and International Divisions Take Sony Name, prnewswire.com