Pearson Television

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Pearson Television
IndustryTelevision production
Television syndication
PredecessorAll American Television
Founded1996; 26 years ago (1996)
DefunctAugust 20 2001; 21 years ago (August 20 2001)
FateMerged with CLT-UFA and re-branded as Fremantle
United Kingdom
ParentPearson PLC (1994-2000)
RTL Group (2000-2001)
  • Pearson Television North America
  • Pearson Television International

Pearson Television was the British-based television production and distribution arm of a British company Pearson PLC.


In 1994[1] after a bidding war, Pearson PLC bought the former British ITV franchisee Thames Television. Then in 1995 it acquired Australian production company Grundy Television.[2][3][4] Allied Communications Inc. (ACI), a U.S.-based distributor of made-for-television films, was purchased later that year for $40 million.[5][6] In 1996, Pearson Television bought the British production company SelecTV PLC, and merged into it.[7]

On October 1, 1997, Pearson Television announced that it would launch a $373 million cash tender offer for publicly traded U.S. television company All American Communications Inc.[8] On 5 November, Pearson completed its tender offer, and All American was merged into Pearson Television the following year, while All American Music Group was sold to Zomba Records subsidiary Volcano Entertainment. This acquisition gave Pearson worldwide rights to various game show formats such as Family Feud and The Price Is Right as well as drama series in the U.S. such as Baywatch.

Pearson Television acquired Italian drama production company Mastrofilm on 3 November 1998,[9] and European animation financer and distributor EVA Entertainment on 2 February 1999.[10]

In April 2000, Pearson TV announced that it would acquire Smith & Jones' UK production company Talkback Productions.[11] Pearson Television ended in 2001 when they merged its television interests with those of Bertelsmann's CLT-UFA, forming the RTL Group. Subsequently, the RTL Group became wholly owned by Bertelsmann as it bought out Pearson's interests and those of CLT.

In the following year, Pearson Television was re-branded as FremantleMedia, which subsequently rebranded as simply Fremantle in 2018.


  1. ^ Last, Richard (9 February 1994). "Media: How Thames turned the tide: From failed franchisee to thriving 'indie' producer: there can be life after broadcasting death, as Richard Last witnessed". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  2. ^ Dawdtrey, Adam (April 3, 1995). "Pearson goes global via Grundy purchase". Variety. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  3. ^ de Logu, Simona (March 29, 1995). "Pearson buys Aussie TV production firm". UPI. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  4. ^ "International Briefs; Pearson to Expand in TV". The New York Times. March 30, 1995. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  5. ^ Benson, Jim (November 19, 1995). "ACI Falls To U.K.'s Pearson". Variety. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "Britain's Pearson Buys US TV Movie Distributor for $40 MIllion". AP. November 15, 1995. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  7. ^ "INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS;Pearson Buys TV Assets". The New York Times. January 31, 1996. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  8. ^ "ACQUISITION OF ALL AMERICAN BY PEARSON TO CREATE THE WORLD'S LARGEST INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION PRODUCER" (Press release). Pearson Television. 1 October 1997. Archived from the original on 2 September 2000.
  9. ^ "PEARSON TELEVISION ACQUIRES ITALIAN PRODUCTION COMPANY" (Press release). Pearson Television. 3 November 1998. Archived from the original on 2 September 2000.
  10. ^ "PEARSON TELEVISION ACCELERATES ANIMATION BUSINESS" (Press release). Pearson Television. 2 February 1999. Archived from the original on 28 May 2000.
  11. ^ "Pearson close to Talkback acquisition". Screen International. 14 April 2000. Retrieved 29 May 2022.

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