Barris Industries

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Barris Industries, Inc. was an American game show production company that was founded by Chuck Barris.


Barris founded his company on June 14, 1965 as Chuck Barris Productions.[1] The company's first series was an unsold pilot called People Pickers. Its first successful program was The Dating Game; it was known for producing other hit game shows such as The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show. The latter title eventually became a movie released by Universal Pictures in 1980. Chuck Barris Productions was incorporated on October 2, 1968.[2] It had its first game show in syndication in 1969, the short-lived The Game Game (credited to Chuck Barris Games Shows, Inc. [sic]). In 1981, Barris renamed Chuck Barris Productions, Inc. to Barris Industries, Inc.

After spending some time in Europe, Chuck Barris returned to the United States in 1984 and formed a syndication arm called Bel-Air Program Sales in October[3] along with Bob Cohen and Brian Firestone, which began syndicating The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, The $1.98 Beauty Show and the Barris versions of Treasure Hunt. In 1985, Barris Industries formed an ad-sales barter called Clarion Communications. Later in 1986, Bel-Air Program Sales was renamed to Barris Program Sales, Clarion Communications was renamed to Barris Advertising Sales (a.k.a. Barris National Advertisers), and the production arm Chuck Barris Productions was changed to Barris Productions. In 1986, Barris Industries filed a $5 million copyright lawsuit against Lorimar-Telepictures, claiming that the game show Perfect Match was too similar to The New Newlywed Game.[4] On March 25, 1987, Barris resigned, left the company, and in the process, sold his shares to Burt Sugarman.[5]

Barris Industries, under the leadership of Burt Sugarman and his company Giant Group Ltd., originally owned a 5.27% stake in Reeves Communications Corp.[6] In January 1988, Barris Industries merged with the Guber-Peters Company to form Barris/Guber-Peters. On March 31, 1989, Burt Sugarman sold his shares of Barris Industries to Westfield Capital Corporation and Northern Star Holdings Ltd., the owners of Network Ten of Australia owned by Frank Lowy for $34.5 million.[7][8][9] On September 7, 1989, Barris Industries was renamed as the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company, Barris Program Sales was renamed to Guber-Peters Program Sales, and Barris Advertising Sales was renamed Guber-Peters Advertising Sales.[10] On September 29, 1989, a day after Sony Corporation of Japan acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Sony acquired Guber-Peters Entertainment Company for $200 million.[11] The sale was completed on November 9, 1989 after Sony's acquisition of Columbia Pictures Entertainment a day earlier. On November 5, 1990, CPE folded its first-run syndication unit Guber-Peters Television into Columbia Pictures Television Distribution.[12]

As of today, all of the Barris game shows are owned and distributed by Sony Pictures Television, while the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company is still an active in-name-only unit of SPT and Columbia Pictures, known as GPEC, Inc.[2]

List of notable programs[edit]

As Barris Industries:

As Guber-Peters Television:

Known employees[edit]

The longtime announcer for Chuck Barris Productions was Johnny Jacobs, who served from 1965 until his death in 1982. Jacobs announced for such Barris game shows as The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Treasure Hunt, and The Gong Show.

Another announcer was Wheel of Fortune's Charlie O'Donnell, who from 1986–1989 announced for The New Newlywed Game, The All New Dating Game, and the 1988 version of The Gong Show, until those incarnations ended in 1989 and he went back to Wheel of Fortune in March. O'Donnell also served as an announcer for Barry & Enright Productions.

Perhaps the best-known employee was The New Newlywed Game host Bob Eubanks, who served from 1966–1974, 1977–1980, and 1985–1988, when he stepped down and was replaced by Paul Rodriguez. Eubanks returned to host The Newlywed Game from 1997 to 1999.

Another prominent employee was comedian Chris Bearde, who co-created and co-produced The Gong Show in both '70s and '80s versions.

Mark Huffnail was in charge of production for Barris from 1987–1989.

Other companies include[edit]

  • Chuck Barris Projects
  • Chuck Barris Enterprises
  • Barris Program Sales
  • Barris Advertising Sales

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Fates & Fortunes". Broadcasting: 98. June 14, 1965. 
  2. ^ a b GPEC INC. Archived February 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved on February 3, 2014
  3. ^ "Barris back in the game". Broadcasting: 80. December 17, 1984. 
  4. ^ "`Perfect Match': too similar to `New Newlywed Game'?". Broadcasting: 149. April 7, 1986. 
  5. ^ "New York Times" Barris Industries, Retrieved on December 5, 2012
  6. ^ "Los Angeles Times" Barris said it may raise its stake in Reeves., Retrieved on December 5, 2012
  7. ^ "New York Times" COMPANY NEWS; Sugarman Sells Barris Stake, Retrieved on December 5, 2012
  8. ^ WILLIAM K. KNOEDELSEDER Jr. "Los Angeles Times" April 1, 1989 Australian Group Buys 24.4% Stake in Barris From Sugarman, Retrieved on February 3, 2013
  9. ^ GEORGE GARTIES "AP News Archive" March 31, 1989 INVESTOR SELLS STAKE IN TV PRODUCTION COMPANY TO AUSTRALIAN NETWORK apnewsarchive, Retrieved on February 3, 2013
  10. ^ Barris Industries Has New Name.
  11. ^ Sony Buys Guber-Peters
  12. ^ "Swallowed Up?". Broadcasting: 10. November 5, 1990.