United Artists Television

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United Artists Television was an American television production/distribution studio of United Artists Corporation that was formed in 1956. The company is remembered for producing series such as This Man Dawson, World of Giants, The Outer Limits, Gilligan's Island, My Mother the Car, The Fugitive, Rat Patrol, The New Phil Silvers Show, thirtysomething, and The Patty Duke Show. In 2014 United Artists Television returned to full time production under the new management of United Artists Media Group, led in part by husband/wife producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.


In 1958, United Artists purchased Associated Artists Productions, giving access to the pre-1950[1][2] Warner Bros. library and the Popeye cartoon shorts made by Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios for Paramount Pictures between 1933 and 1957.

In 1960, United Artists purchased Ziv Television Programs, including the 20% share still held by board chairman Frederick Ziv and president John L. Sinn, for $20 million. The newly merged production company was renamed Ziv-United Artists.

United Artists had never been very successful in television, having placed only two series in prime time, The Troubleshooters and The Dennis O'Keefe Show, both of 1959-1960. This negative pattern continued after the merger. Ziv-UA produced 12 pilots during the first year of operation, but failed to sell any of them, although Aubrey Schenck's Miami Undercover lasted only one season in 1961.

In 1962, the company phased out Ziv Television Programs and changed its name back to United Artists Television. In that same year, the American Broadcasting Company premiered a successful prime time television show called The ABC Sunday Night Movie in competition to NBC's successful Saturday Night at the Movies. The first season featured the release of many United Artists films with some episodes containing featurettes promoting upcoming UA cinema releases.

United Artists Television had several shows such as Stoney Burke (TV series) (1962), The Patty Duke Show (1963), The Outer Limits (1963), Hollywood and the Stars (1963), The Fugitive (1963), The Hollywood Palace (1964), and Gilligan's Island (1964).

After The Mothers-in-Law was cancelled in 1969, the studio decided to focus presenting their movie library on television and rerunning their classics after years of still being unsuccessful in television production.

In 1981, MGM merged with UA to create MGM/UA Entertainment Co. As a result, their respective television units combined as well, becoming MGM/UA Entertainment Co. Television (or just simply MGM/UA Television) in 1982. The United Artists Television name was eventually phased out around 1983 in favor of the MGM/UA Television banner, although United Artists Television continued itself producing television shows until 1995.

Return to television[edit]

In September 2014, MGM acquired a 55% controlling interest in One Three Media and Lightworkers Media, both operated by husband/wife Hollywood producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The two companies were consolidated into a new film and television company, United Artists Media Group. Burnett is UA's CEO and Downey is president of Lightworkers Media.[3] Hearst Entertainment (an investor in Burnett and Downey's entertainment assets) has also acquired a minority stake in UA through this deal.[4] Through this acquisition, UA now holds the rights to Burnett's reality show franchises The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice, and Shark Tank.[5]


United Artists Television[edit]

Title Years Network Notes
World of Giants 1959 Syndication produced by Ziv Television Programs
Tales of the Vikings 1959-1960
The Troubleshooters 1959–1960 NBC produced by Ziv Television Programs
The Dennis O'Keefe Show 1959–1960 CBS
Men into Space 1959–1960 CBS produced by Ziv Television Programs
The Aquanauts 1960 CBS
Miami Undercover 1961 Syndication produced by Ziv Television Programs
The Outer Limits 1963–1965 ABC
The Fugitive 1963–1967 ABC overall rights to show now owned by CBS Television Distribution due to buyout of original syndicator/owner Worldvision
The Patty Duke Show 1963–1966 ABC
East Side/West Side 1963–1964 CBS
The New Phil Silvers Show 1963–1964 CBS
Hollywood and the Stars 1963 NBC
Lawbreakers 1964
Gilligan's Island 1964–1967 CBS UA's stake in the show now owned by WB/Turner
My Mother the Car 1965–1966 NBC
Mona McCluskey 1965–1966 NBC
O.K. Crackerby! 1965–1966 ABC
The Milton Berle Show 1966–1967 ABC
The Rat Patrol 1966–1968 ABC
Hey, Landlord 1966–1967 NBC
It's About Time 1966-1967 CBS
The Mothers-In-Law 1967–1969 NBC
The Pink Panther Show 1969–1979 NBC/ABC

United Artists Media Group[edit]

Title Years Network Notes
Survivor 2000-present CBS
The Apprentice 2004-present NBC
Shark Tank 2009-present ABC co-production with Sony Pictures Television
The Voice 2011-present NBC co-production with Warner Horizon Television
On the Menu 2014-present TNT co-production with One Three Media

Television specials[edit]


  1. ^ You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story (2008), p. 255.
  2. ^ WB retained a pair of features from 1949 that they merely distributed, and all short subjects released on or after September 1, 1948; in addition to all cartoons released on or after August 1, 1948.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Bond, Paul (September 22, 2014). "MGM Acquires Majority Stake in Mark Burnett's Companies". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ [2]