|Fate||Folded into 20th Century Fox Television|
|Key people||Mary Tyler Moore
MTM Enterprises (later known as MTM Enterprises, Inc.) was an American independent production company established in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker to produce The Mary Tyler Moore Show for CBS. The name for the production company was drawn from Moore's initials.
MTM produced a number of successful television programs during the 1970s and 1980s. Its recognizable logo, shown briefly at the end of their programs, was a meowing Mimsie the Cat in a pose reminiscent of the MGM Lion.
MTM Enterprises acquired Jim Victory Television from Viacom Enterprises in 1980 taking the MTM library with it. Victory was later reincorporated as MTM Television Distribution, which in turn was folded into 20th Television after News Corporation bought MTM.
Tinker oversaw MTM's operation until leaving the company in 1981 and becoming chairman of NBC. Lawyers backing NBC's then-owner RCA convinced Tinker to sell his remaining shares of MTM. Tinker later regretted leaving MTM, believing that the company started to decline without him.
After being an independent production company for many years, MTM was sold in 1988 to ITV franchise holder TVS Entertainment for $320 million. After the Independent Television Commission (which licensed and regulated commercial television services in the United Kingdom (except S4C in Wales) between 1 January 1991 and 28 December 2003), awarded the licence to Meridian, in which TVS lost the license, TVS was in turn acquired by Pat Robertson's International Family Entertainment in late 1992. IFE along with MTM was sold to Fox Family Worldwide in 1997. MTM ceased operations in 1998 and its library assets were folded into 20th Century Fox Television.
MTM's productions included:
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
- The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
- Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers (1974–1975)
- The Texas Wheelers (1974-1975)
- Rhoda (1974-1978)
- The Bob Crane Show (1975)
- Doc (1975-1976)
- The Lorenzo & Henrietta Music Show (1976)
- Three for the Road (1975)
- Phyllis (1975-1977)
- The Tony Randall Show (1976-1978)
- Lou Grant (1977-1982)
- The Betty White Show (1977-1978)
- We've Got Each Other (1977-1978)
- The White Shadow (1978-1981)
- WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982)
- Mary (1978)
- The Last Resort (1979-1980)
- The Mary Tyler Moore Hour (1979)
- Paris (1979-1980)
- Hill Street Blues (1981-1987)
- Remington Steele (1982-1987)
- St. Elsewhere (1982-1988)
- Newhart (1982-1990)
- Bay City Blues (1983)
- The Duck Factory (1984)
- Mary (1985-1986)
- Fresno (1986)
- The Popcorn Kid (1987)
- Beverly Hills Buntz (1987-1988)
- Eisenhower and Lutz (1987-1988)
- Annie McGuire (1988)
- Tattingers (1988-1989)
- FM (1989-1990)
- City (1990)
- Capital News (1990)
- The Trials of Rosie O'Neill (1990-1992)
- You Take the Kids (1990-1991)
- The New WKRP in Cincinnati (1991-1993)
- Boogies Diner (1994-1995)
- The Pretender (1996-2000) (note: Only the first season was produced by MTM, with 20th Century Fox Television assuming the series thereafter) (in association with NBC Studios)
- Family Challenge (1995-1997)
- Sparks (1996-1998)
- Good News (1997-1998)
- Goode Behavior (1997-1998)
In addition to the above shows, MTM has distributed programs such as:
- The Steve Allen Show
- Graham Kerr
- America's Funniest Home Videos (now owned by Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
- Evening Shade (with CBS Productions)
- Rescue 911 (with CBS Productions)
- Peter Gunn
- Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (with CBS Productions)
- Shopping Spree
- It Takes Two (1997)
- Something for Joey (1977, TV movie)
- The Boy Who Drank Too Much (1980, TV movie)
- A Little Sex (1982)
- Just Between Friends (1986)
- Clara's Heart (1988)
- Night of the Twisters (1996, TV movie)
- Christmas Every Day (1996, TV movie)
MTM programs appeared almost exclusively on CBS until the early 1980s, when Grant Tinker assumed the additional role of president of NBC. Soon, NBC picked up a number of MTM shows, and Tinker stepped down as head of MTM to avoid a conflict of interest. His intention was to leave NBC after 5 years (in 1986) and return to MTM, taking over the reins from interim MTM president Arthur Price. However, Price fired many of the key players in the company's ranks, and by 1986 they had few shows left on the schedules (Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and Remington Steele were all nearing the ends of their runs, leaving Newhart as the sole entrant on the schedule). There was also a record label in the 1980s featuring the logo on the label. No major mainstream artists recorded for this label; however, Judy Rodman and country girl group, The Girls Next Door, did have a few minor hits on the country charts in the mid-1980s.
Mimsie the Cat
In the standard version of the logo, as first used on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mimsie appears in a crouched position, looks up at the camera, and meows once. Mimsie would not meow for the camera crew, so they eventually used footage of her yawning, run in reverse, with the sound effect added. By the 1980s, there were many different variants of the logo, with Mimsie often appearing in different painted "costumes" corresponding to the style and theme of the particular programs. For the detective series Remington Steele, a Sherlock Holmes-esque stalking cap and pipe were added; The White Shadow featured a different cat bouncing a basketball; Hill Street Blues painted a police uniform hat onto Mimsie's head; St. Elsewhere used a surgical mask; in contrast, Newhart kept the original, unadorned footage, but replaced the sound effect with Bob Newhart's voice-over of "meow" in his trademark deadpan style. In the series finale of St. Elsewhere, Mimsie is shown unconscious and dying on-screen; Mimsie had died in real life during that season.
- "MOORE, MARY TYLER - The Museum of Broadcast Communications". Museum.tv. 1995-11-26. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Carter, Bill. "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Tinker Looks Beyond 'USA Today on TV'". The New York Times (November 27, 1989)
- COMPANY NEWS; Pat Robertson Buys Parent Of MTM for $68.5 Million. The New York Times (September 23, 1992).
- Kingsbury, Paul (2004). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 359. ISBN 9780195176087. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- MTM Enterprises at the Internet Movie Database
- MTM Enterprises Records at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research