|Key people||Jim Packer President
Gerald Ament (executive vice president)
|Owner(s)||MGM Holdings Inc.|
|Website||MGM Television website|
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television (commonly known as MGM Television and later MGM/UA Television among other names) is an American television production/distribution launched in 1955 and a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
From 2005–2006, MGM Television programs were distributed by Sony Pictures Television (as a result from a Sony-led consortium buying MGM). Since May 31, 2006, MGM Television has resumed sole production and distribution of its programs on television. MGM Television has rejoined the first-run syndication market for the first time in many years with Right This Minute, a daily newsmagazine show co-produced with a broadcast consortium led by KTVU in San Francisco as of early September 2013 (the series began airing two years prior in some markets). The first run efforts have also continued with Paternity Court, which premiered on September 23, 2013 (under the Orion Television banner). The talk/court show hybrid has been designed to be a major competitor in the daytime television market.
In 1955, MGM launched Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television, and the division's first program was The MGM Parade. In 1973, MGM closed down its distribution offices and sold the television syndication rights to its library to United Artists. MGM TV started its own Television network, MGM Family Network (MFN), on September 9, 1973 on 145 stations.
In 1982, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television was renamed MGM/UA Television after the merger with United Artists in 1981.
In 1986, Ted Turner bought MGM/UA from Kirk Kerkorian, including all of the movies and television shows by MGM/UA. Due to a crushing debt, however, Turner was forced to return Kerkorian all of United Artists and the MGM trademark 74 days later on June 8. Though, Turner did keep the pre-May 1986 MGM television shows (the holdings of Associated Artists Productions): Gilligan's Island and its two animated spin-offs, The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet. Thus, when Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System in October 1996, the pre-May 1986 MGM/UA TV shows became part of Warner Bros. (via its Turner Entertainment unit). After Turner's sale, the television division was renamed MGM/UA Television Productions.
In 1987, the TV distribution arm MGM/UA Telecommunications was launched under the new company MGM/UA Communications Co. MGM/UA Television still kept producing the television series Fame until 1987, the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone until 1989, and Kids Incorporated until 1993.
In 1992, MGM/UA Television was reverted to MGM Television. The television company was reformed as MGM Worldwide Television Group and its distributor MGM/UA Telecommunications Group.
In 1996, the company was reformed for the television brand labels MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Domestic Television Distribution, and MGM Worldwide Television when Kerkorian returned to MGM; however, MGM uses other names in the credits of their television shows such as MGM Global Television, Inc., MGM Global Holdings, Inc., and MGM Television Entertainment, Inc.
In 1997, MGM bought Orion Pictures Corporation, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and Motion Picture Corporation of America from Metromedia (who are best known as the former owners of several TV stations that are now Fox O&O's and for the taping of television programs at Metromedia Square, now Fox Television Center) As of the present time, MGM Television owns the movies/shows originally handled by Filmways, Inc., Orion Television, American International Television, Heatter-Quigley Productions and Samuel Goldwyn Television, with the main exceptions of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction--these were distributed by Viacom Enterprises, and are currently owned by CBS Television Distribution.
In 1997, MGM Television Entertainment was formed by MGM as its network television arm.
In 2005, MGM was purchased by a consortium which includes the Sony Corporation and Providence Equity Partners. As a result, Sony Pictures Television assumed worldwide distribution and certain domestic distribution of the television library from MGM Television. After Sony bought MGM, the company was referred to as MGM Worldwide Television Distribution.
On May 31, 2006, MGM announced that it would drop Sony as its TV and home entertainment distributor by shifting its home video output to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and relaunching its TV production/distribution arm. In October, MGM announced that they will distribute the film and television library from New Line Cinema. In 2008, rights reverted to Warner Bros. after consolidating New Line into WB.
MGM Television operates three television networks: ThisTV (co-owned and operated by Weigel Broadcasting), Epix (co-owned and operated by Viacom and Lions Gate Entertainment), and MGM HD. MGM Television is currently headed by Jim Packer, Gary Marenzi, and Gerald Ament.
In December 2012, MGM Television announced they'd be launching a tabloid talk/nontraditional court show, Paternity Court (produced as Orion Television). The series premiered on September 23, 2013. The series is presided over by Lauren Lake: a family lawyer, who rose to fame through her vehement, compelling, and ornate self-expression and fierce outspokenness, captured in guest appearances on various talk shows, such as Dr. Phil, The O'Reilly Factor, The Bill Cunningham Show, The Today Show, The View, etc. Lake talks to the show's guests about their situations. In addition, she reveals the results of their DNA tests. While the show's title is Paternity Court, it also looks into other situations that use DNA confirmation, such as disputes over wills. According to John Bryan, president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution, inspiration for the show came from Maury, which is a talk show well known for paternity cases. Added Bryan:
- "We also looked at what the most popular genre is in daytime and that's court. This show hits a sweet spot in daytime. Court has obviously proved itself and shows about paternity have proved themselves."
- "Introducing The Fourth Network". Broadcasting: p. 11. 1973-08-27.
- "'Yearling' slated for MGM Network". Broadcasting: p. 29. 1973-09-03.
- "One by one". Broadcasting: p. 30. 1973-10-22.
- "Exclusive: MGM to Launch 'Paternity Court' This Fall - 2012-12-12 22:52:29 | Broadcasting & Cable". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16.