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Spelling Television (1969)

"Spell your entertainment"

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Spelling Television Inc. was a television production company that produced popular shows such as Charmed, Beverly Hills, 90210, 7th Heaven, Dynasty and Melrose Place. The company was founded by television producer Aaron Spelling in 1969. The company is currently an in-name-only unit of CBS Television Studios.


Aaron Spelling Productions went public in 1986 after raising $80 million. In 1988, Aaron Spelling Productions acquired Laurel Entertainment and most of the Taft Entertainment Company, including Worldvision Enterprises, Inc. All three companies became part of Spelling, Inc. - though Worldvision was the only Taft division to continue operating. The sale was completed on March 1, 1989. A share in the company was acquired by Blockbuster Entertainment in 1994. In 1993, Spelling Entertainment acquired Republic Pictures. On September 29, 1994, Blockbuster merged with Viacom. Blockbuster by then owned 67% of Spelling Entertainment. The remainder of Spelling Entertainment was then acquired by Paramount/Viacom in 1999, but the deal closed in 2000.

Before the merger with Viacom, most of Spelling's shows were distributed by Worldvision, with older Spelling shows distributed by several others including Warner Bros. Television, 20th Television and Sony Pictures Television.

After the merger, Spelling Entertainment integrated Worldvision into their Republic Pictures unit, thus dismantling Worldvision as a production company. Worldvision distribution functions continued for a short time until Paramount Television assumed distribution functions .

The company can be credited with helping several networks with successful shows.

In the 1970s/early 1980s at one point at ABC, Spelling-produced shows outweighed other production companies by a large margin. Aaron Spelling had so many shows on ABC, industry insiders dubbed ABC "Aaron's Broadcasting Company." Spelling himself was never amused with this name.

In the early 1990s Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place helped propel Fox even higher and reach a new generation of young teen viewers.

In the 1990s the WB was launched and their longest running, highest rated and most successful show during their time in operation was 7th Heaven for ten seasons. By 2006, another new network, the CW, used 7th Heaven in their first season in operation as the newest network.

Spelling's ABC, Fox, and WB shows were enormously successful for the company and they wasted no time entering into the world of merchandise in the 80's and 90's.

The company also was one of the first production companies to actively run a website for a show they produced when the internet was just taking off in the 1990s. The website was for Melrose Place.

The company's first home was a suite of offices on the old Warners lot in Hollywood. A newer base followed when the company was an original anchor tenant of the Wilshire Courtyard buildings in LA's revitalized Miracle Mile district. Aaron Spelling was said to have loved his old office's 1970s shag carpet so much that he had it removed piece by piece and installed in the new office. The company grew so large with so many different entities that at one point it leased all three top floors of the 5700 building and held additional office space across the street. Aaron Spelling had one of the largest offices in Hollywood for a single executive. Upon the company's exit, media companies from all over Los Angeles vied for the desirable office suites; the newly formed CW Network briefly looked at the offices when considering a location for the new start-up network. Spelling Television briefly moved to smaller offices in Santa Monica in 2006.

By 2000, Aaron Spelling remained active and involved as CEO until his death in 2006. Company president Jonathan Levin handled day to day operations and longtime Spelling producing partner, E. Duke Vincent helped guide the successful production company.

Spelling Television was eventually downsized even further & became a small "production shingle" under CBS Paramount Television , a division of CBS Corporation, with a small staff. The company became an in-name-only unit of CBS Television Studios after Aaron Spelling's death in 2006.

7th Heaven was the last series produced by Spelling Television broadcast on network television.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Spelling Television", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.