|Fate||Shut down, programs split and transferred to Debmar-Mercury and Trifecta Entertainment & Media|
Tribune Entertainment was a television production and syndication company that was owned by the Tribune Broadcasting division of the Tribune Company. Many programs offered from Tribune Entertainment have been broadcast on the company's television stations.
Tribune returned to television production in 2013 with the launch of a new, though unrelated, production division Tribune Studios that would produce original programming for Tribune-owned cable channel WGN America, in addition to developing programs for national distribution on broadcast television stations.
- 1 Background
- 2 Programs by Tribune Entertainment
- 3 References
Tribune Entertainment was founded in 1980. The first programs that Tribune distributed for syndication were the agricultural news program U.S. Farm Report, which debuted in 1975; and Independent Network News, a syndicated news program designed for Independent stations that was produced by Tribune's New York City station WPIX and debuted in 1980. Throughout the company's existence, Tribune Entertainment mainly produced first-run syndicated programs (including Geraldo, At the Movies and Earth: Final Conflict), along with some specials (such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade and Soul Train Music Awards).
On December 18, 2007 (two days before the parent Tribune Company was taken private during Sam Zell's taking control of Tribune through a leveraged buyout), the Tribune Company announced it would exit the program distribution business, effectively shutting down Tribune Entertainment. Two of the programs on its roster, American Idol Rewind and Soul Train, were transferred to Trifecta Entertainment & Media; rights to Rewind were later moved to TV Guide Network, while Soul Train suspended distribution to local stations (cable channel Centric now carries the program, through new rightsholder MadVision Entertainment).
The Comedy Central series South Park, which Tribune distributed for syndication in conjunction with Debmar-Mercury, is now co-distributed by Twentieth Television. Another program, the revival of Family Feud, was sold to Debmar-Mercury in 2007. Some producers of Tribune-distributed programs, such as Telco Productions (producer of Animal Rescue, Missing and Dog Tales), opted to distribute the programs themselves.
The only other program that was affected was U.S. Farm Report, which as it involves personalities from Tribune's Chicago radio station WGN Radio and still had a loyal audience, moved to the cable channel RFD-TV. Tribune Entertainment syndicated and produced shows from/with DiC, Village Roadshow and other producers. Tribune continues to internally syndicate some programming among its owned-and-operated stations, most commonly parades and holiday specials.
In 2010, Tribune announced that it was considering a re-entry into the syndication market with two new talk shows: one a tabloid-style show hosted by Bubba the Love Sponge, and another, "Big Willie" (since renamed The Bill Cunningham Show), hosted by radio host Bill Cunningham. Both programs filmed pilot episodes which have aired in late night time periods on several Tribune stations. Only Cunningham's show received a pick-up by Tribune. Initially, The Bill Cunningham Show aired exclusively on Tribune's stations as well as select stations owned by Local TV and Raycom Media during the 2011-12 season, then moved to The CW the following year, when ITV Studios America took full control of production for that series.
On November 17, 2006 Tribune Entertainment registered a U.S. federal trademark for Tribune Studios. In 2008, it sold this division for $125 million to Hudson Capital, LLC, who renamed it Sunset Bronson Studios. The Tribune Studios trademark and Tribune Entertainment are not to be confused with the new production company Tribune Studios created in 2013 by Tribune Broadcasting.
Programs by Tribune Entertainment
This is a listing of programs which were either produced and/or distributed by Tribune Entertainment:
- inDay (mid 1980s), co-produced with Columbia Pictures Television
- Geraldo/The Geraldo Rivera Show (1987–1998), co-distributed by Paramount Television (1987–1989) and King World (1995–1998)
- The Joan Rivers Show (1989–1994)
- The Charles Perez Show (1994–1996)
- Beyond with James van Praagh (2002–2003)
- The Bill Cunningham Show (2011–2012; now produced and distributed by ITV Studios America)
- The Arsenio Hall Show (2013–2014), co-distributed by CBS Television Distribution
First-run syndicated shows
- Adventure Inc. (2002–2003; co-produced with Fireworks Entertainment)
- Animal Rescue (2006–present; produced by Tribune Entertainment and distributed by Telco Productions)
- American Idol Rewind (distributor, 2006–2007; co-produced by 19 Entertainment and produced by FremantleMedia North America)
- The Apollo Comedy Hour (1992–1995; distributed by Tribune Entertainment and produced by Apollo Theatre Productions)
- At the Movies (1982–1990; no relation to the later At the Movies series although both series shared original hosts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert)
- BeastMaster (1999–2002)
- Bzzz! (1996–1997)
- Comedy Break (1985-1987; co-distributed by Viacom)
- Dempsey and Makepeace (1985-1986; co-produced by London Weekend Television)
- Dog Tales (2007–present; produced by Tribune Entertainment and distributed by Telco Productions)
- Earth: Final Conflict (1997–2002)
- Family Feud (distributor, 2001–2007; produced by Pearson Television; now FremantleMedia North America)
- Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda (2000–2005; co-produced with Fireworks Entertainment)
- Missing (2003–present; produced by Tribune Entertainment and distributed by Telco Productions)
- Monsters (distributor, 1988–1991; produced by Laurel Entertainment)
- Mutant X (2001–2004)
- Night Man (1997–1999)
- Soul Train (distributor, 1985–2008; produced by Don Cornelius Productions and distributed by Tribune Entertainment)
- Tales from the Darkside (distributor, 1983–1988; produced by Laurel Entertainment)
- T. and T. (1988–1990)
Late night talk/variety shows
- The Dennis Miller Show (1992)
- Emma: Queen of the South Seas, starring Barbara Carrera (1988; )
- Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story, starring Nell Carter and George Kennedy (1992; )
- The Vernon Johns Story, starring James Earl Jones (1994, produced by Laurel Entertainment; )
- Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair, starring Burt Lancaster (1990; )
- Independent Network News/USA Tonight (1980–1990)
- Now it Can Be Told (1991–1992; )
- U.S. Farm Report (1975–2008, produced by Farm Journal Media in later years)
- Hollywood Christmas Parade (1985–1998)
- The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults (1986)
- Soul Train Christmas Starfest (1998–2006)
- Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards (1995–2006)
- Soul Train Music Awards (1987–2007)
- Tribune Re-Launching Studio With Matt Cherniss at Helm, Broadcasting & Cable, March 19, 2013.
- Pursell, Chris (July 8, 2010). "Tribune Entertainment Ends Distribution Operation". TV Week. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Pursell, Chris (July 8, 2010). "Trifecta Picks Up 'Idol Rewind' for Distribution". TV Week. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Paen, Alex (December 20, 2007). "Telco Tribune release" (PDF). Telco Productions. Retrieved 9 July 2010.[dead link]
- "Tribune looking to get back into syndication". TPR. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Hudson Capital LLC Acquires Hollywood's Tribune Studios and Real Estate for $125...". Reuters. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- Tribune Broadcasting Forms New Studio; Hires New Head Of WGN America, March 19, 2013.