MGM Television

MGM Television and Digital Group[1]
MGM Television
Key people
Mark Burnett (CEO)[2]
Production output
TV series
Services Broadcast network
Owner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
(MGM Holdings, Inc.)
Divisions Lightworkers Media

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television (alternatively Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television and Digital Group[1] (commonly known as MGM Television and then-known as MGM/UA Television) is an American television production/distribution studio launched in 1955 and a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

From 2005–2006, MGM television programs were distributed by Sony Pictures Television (as a result from a Sony-led consortium buying MGM). Since May 31, 2006, MGM Television has resumed sole production and distribution of its programs on television. MGM Television has rejoined the first-run syndication market for the first time in many years with Paternity Court.[3]


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer first used TV for promotional purposes having a tie in with The Ed Sullivan Show (on CBS) in the early 1950s. The Sullivan Show switch to Fox thus MGM attempt to have a promotional agreement with NBC, but could not come to terms on the specifics. The 30 minute The MGM Parade, one of MGM's first TV programs, was produced by MGM's trailer department as one of the compilation and promotional shows that imitated Disneyland[4] which was also on ABC. Parade was canceled by ABC in the 2nd quarter of 1956.[5]


MGM took bids for its movie library in 1956 from Lou Chesler, PRM, Inc. owner (the WB pre-1948 library purchaser), and others, but decided on entering the TV market itself. Chesler had offered $50 million for the film library.[5]

MGM-TV was started with the hiring of Bud Barry to head up the operation in June 1956. MGM-TV was to distribute its films to TV (starting with the networks), TV production and purchasing TV stations. TV production was expect to start with the 1957–58 season and was to include half-hour remakes of or series based on its pictures. Initial feature film sales focused on selling to the networks.[5] MGM-TV began producing commercials by April 1957 creating ads for Kickerbocker and Standard Oil of Indiana.[6]

By April 1957, MGM-TV was sued by the United States Department of Justice for Block booking to TV stations for selling its movie library as a whole. MGM-TV denied the charges as the stations have the options of 3; 100 film groups licensed for 2 years with three runs, 2 different 350 packages with rights for 3 to 4 years and unlimited runs, the full library for seven years with unlimited runs. Substitute of a film in another package for an equal value movie were allowed, as each film is also individual prices based on several factors including its age and its stars. Then a discount is applied, 50% for the full library, 37.5% on the 350 packages and 25% on the 100 groups.[7]

In December 1957, the division had 10 TV series deal under consideration with plans for 8 to be in production with two outright owned and produced by MGM and the other six co-productions with independent producers. MGM-TV was also in negotiation with California National Productions, NBC's syndicated distribution subsidiary, for a deal to place two series into syndication.[8]

MGM TV started its own Television network, MGM Family Network (MFN), or MGM Television Network, on September 9, 1973 on 145 stations.[9][10][11][12][13]

Due to mounting financial difficulties and decreased output, MGM closed its distribution offices in October 1973 and outsourced distribution for its film library for a ten year period along with selling its music publishing arm to United Artists.[14]


In 1982, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television was renamed MGM/UA Television Distribution after the merger with United Artists the previous year. In 1984, MGM/UA TV again launched an ad hoc TV network, MGM/UA Premiere Network, with movies.[15]

In 1986, Ted Turner bought MGM/UA from Kirk Kerkorian, including all of the movies and television shows by MGM/UA. Due to a crushing debt, however, Turner was forced to return Kerkorian all of United Artists and the MGM trademark 74 days later on June 8. Though, Turner did keep the pre-May 1986 MGM television shows (the holdings of Associated Artists Productions): Gilligan's Island and its two animated spin-offs, The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet. Thus, when Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System in October 1996, the pre-May 1986 MGM/UA TV shows became part of Warner Bros. (via its Turner Entertainment unit). After Turner's sale, the television division was renamed MGM/UA Television Productions.

In 1987, the TV distribution arm MGM/UA Telecommunications Group was launched under the new company MGM/UA Communications Co. MGM/UA Television still kept producing the television series Fame until 1987, the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone until 1989, and Kids Incorporated until 1993.

In 1992, MGM/UA Television Productions was reverted back to MGM Television. The television company was reformed as MGM Worldwide Television Group and its distributor MGM Telecommunications Group.

With Credit Lyonnais' taking control of MGM Studios in Mid-1993 and bring in new chief executive Frank Mancuso, Mancuso soon started up a TV production division.[16]

In 1996, the company was reformed for the television brand labels MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Domestic Television Distribution and MGM International Television Distribution when Kerkorian returned to MGM; however, MGM uses other names in the credits of their television shows such as MGM Global Television, Inc., MGM Global Holdings, Inc. and MGM Television Entertainment, Inc.

In 1997, MGM bought Orion Pictures Corporation, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and Motion Picture Corporation of America from Metromedia (who are best known as the former owners of several TV stations that are now Fox O&O's and for the taping of television programs at Metromedia Square, now Fox Television Center) As of the present time, MGM Television owns the movies/shows originally handled by Filmways, Inc., Orion Television, American International Television, Heatter-Quigley Productions and Samuel Goldwyn Television, with the main exceptions of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction—these were distributed by Viacom Enterprises, and are currently owned by CBS Television Distribution.

In 1997, MGM Television Entertainment was formed by MGM as its network television arm.


In 2005, MGM was purchased by a consortium which includes the Sony Corporation, Comcast and private equity investors.[17] As a result, Sony Pictures Television assumed worldwide distribution and certain domestic distribution of the television library from MGM Television. After Sony bought MGM, the company was referred to as MGM Worldwide Television Distribution.

On May 31, 2006, MGM announced that it would drop Sony as its TV and home entertainment distributor by shifting its home video output to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and relaunching its TV production/distribution arm. In October, MGM announced that they will distribute the film and television library from New Line Cinema. In 2008, rights reverted to Warner Bros. after consolidating New Line into WB.

MGM stars entering the TV network and cable channel field in the mid-2000. MGM started with This TV, a joint venture network with Weigel Broadcasting, launched on November 1, 2006.[18] MGM HD cable channel was launched in 2007.[19] MGM and Comcast launched the Impact video on demand channel in Mid-August 2008.[17] The national Me-TV network launched on December 15, 2010 with MGM domestic television sales division handling the distribution of the network for Weigel Broadcasting.[20] MGM launched The Works in April 2014.[21]

In 2009, MGM TV place eight series into development while signing Emma Roberts' and manager/producing partner David Sweeney's production company, Bossy Boots Production, to a first look deal to produce for MTV.[22] MGM formed a TV finance and distribution entity, Orion TV Production.[23] In December 2012, MGM Television announced they'd be launching a tabloid talk/nontraditional court show, Paternity Court,[3] through its Orion TV Productions.[23]

On September 22, 2014, MGM acquired a 55% stake in Lightworkers Media and One Three Media, which were formed by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey with a partial stake held by Hearst Corporation, and consolidated the two companies into MGM's new TV production division, United Artists Media Group, with Burnett as CEO.[24] On December 14, 2015, MGM announced that it had acquired the remaining stake in UAMG in a stock and cash deal, and that Burnett would become the new CEO of MGM Television replacing the outgoing president Roma Khanna.[2] As a result, Burnett's reality show franchises (Survivor, The Voice, The Celebrity Apprentice, and Shark Tank) are now being co-produced by MGM Television with their other respective original producers.

With Sinclair Television Group on October 31, 2015, Comet was launched as a sci-fi broadcast subchannel network with MGM operating the network similarly to a shared services agreement.[25] While continuing its first look deal with Content Media Corporation, Caryn Mandabach Productions, Inc. signed a multi-year scipted production deal with MGM TV in October 2015.[26]


MGM channels

MGM Television owns four television channels: Epix multiplex cable channels (co-owned and operated by Viacom and Lions Gate Entertainment), Impact video on demand channel owned with Comcast,[28] MGM HD cable channel and two subchannel broadcasting network, ThisTV (co-owned and operated by Tribune Broadcasting) and The Works.

MGM previous attempted a TV network starting in 1973 MGM Family Network (MFN), or MGM Television Network, using its movies on Sundays before Big Three network programming[10] and again starting in 1984 with MGM/UA Premiere Network.[15]


Launched August 13, 2008 (2008-08-13)
Owned by Comcast
MGM On Demand Inc. (MGM Television)
Sister channel(s) MGM HD

Impact is an action video on demand channel from Comcast and MGM Television.

Impact history

The Impact video on demand channel was announced by Comcast and MGM in August 2008 to feature action movies and TV shows to be rolled out market by market starting that week.[28] At the time of channel's launch mid-August, Comcast owned 20% of MGM.[17] MGM was seeking other cable providers to carry the channel.[28] Impact is the third channel by MGM into TV broadcasting field as MGM formed a partnership with Weigel Broadcasting for the digital subchannel network, This TV, in July[29] and MGM HD, its year old cable channel. With Impact expecting to be streaming via its website in 2009.[19]


The channel is programmed from the MGM library with 20 to 30 films (some in HD) available per month out of 1,000 action movies and shows in the library. With in the channel, the movies and shows are categorized into thrillers, crime, war films, martial arts, westerns and espionage groups. Most selections will be free but supported by advertising and come from the post-DVD film window of pay-TV providers. The James Bond, Rocky and Robocop franchises are amongst the available films for the channel.[28]The Terminator”, “Enter the Ninja” and “Windtalkers” were amongst the first 25 movies available on the channel.[19] The Magnificent Seven, American Ninja 2, Bulletproof Monk, Into the Blue and Roadhouse are also expected to be available in time through the channel.[30][31]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Corporate: Roma Khanna". Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
  2. 1 2 3 "Mark Burnett Named President of MGM Television". Variety. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Exclusive: MGM to Launch 'Paternity Court' This Fall - 2012-12-12 22:52:29 | Broadcasting & Cable". Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  4. Segrave, Kerry (January 1, 1999). Movies at Home: How Hollywood Came to Television. McFarland. pp. 33, 34. ISBN 0786406542.
  5. 1 2 3 "M-G-M Makes Triple Move into TV Field". Billboard. June 30, 1956. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  6. "Commercial Cues: ID's...". Billboard. April 20, 1957. p. 16. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  7. "M-G-M Trade Busy Despite Justice Suit (sic)". Billboard. April 20, 1957. p. 16. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  8. "MGM Plan Eight for Next Year". Billboard. December 16, 1957. p. 6. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  9. "Introducing The Fourth Network (ad)" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. August 27, 1973. p. 11. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  10. 1 2 "'Yearling' slated for MGM Network" (PDF). Broadcasting: 29. September 3, 1973. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  11. "One by One" (PDF). Broadcasting: 30. October 22, 1973. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  12. "Why we created the MGM Television Network (ad)" (PDF). Broadcasting Magazine. March 26, 1973. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  13. Kleiner, Dick (July 14, 1973). "He's Making the Lion Roar Again". The Morning Record. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  14. "Big 3 Sold to UA; Plus 1/2 Can. Co.". Billboard Magazine. billboard Publications, Inc. October 27, 1973. p. 3. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  15. 1 2 Farber, Stephen (October 23, 1984). "Film Studio's New Approach to TV". New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  16. Fabrikant, Geraldine (March 18, 1995). "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; Sale of MGM May Not Be Top Priority". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  17. 1 2 3 Pandey, Swati (August 13, 2008). "Comcast and MGM launch action channel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  18. Littleton, Cynthia (July 28, 2008). "MGM takes digital leap". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  19. 1 2 3 Dempsey, John (August 12, 2008). "MGM VOD plan makes Impact". Variety. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  20. Andreeva, Nellie (January 4, 2011). "MGM Partners For Classic TV Digital Net". Deadline. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  21. Michael Malone (May 2, 2014). "Exclusive: MGM Launches Digi-Net The Works". Retrieved January 3, 2015. The channel reaches 31% of U.S. households, according to the insider.
  22. Weisman, Jon (June 23, 2009). "MTV greenlights eight projects". Variety. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  23. 1 2 Saval, Malina (April 4, 2014). "MGM TV Rides High With 'Vikings' and 'Fargo'". Variety (April 1, 2014). Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  24. Highfill, Samantha (January 17, 2015). "MGM is launching the United Artists Media Group (again)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  25. Mirabella, Lorraine (August 5, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast exceeds second-quarter profit forecasts". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  26. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (October 15, 2015). "MGM Television Inks Multi-Year Deal with Caryn Mandabach Productions". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  27. "Bankruptcy Court Voluntary Petition of MGM Holdings" (PDF). Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  28. 1 2 3 4 Yao, Deborah (August 12, 2008). "Comcast, MGM to launch action movie VOD channel". USA Today. Gannett Co. Inc. AP. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  29. "Comcast, MGM Hope New VOD Channel Has Impact". Broadcasting & Cable. Comcast, MGM Hope New VOD Channel Has Impact. August 12, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  30. Gruenwedel, Erik (August 13, 2008). "Comcast, MGM Bow Cable VOD Channel". Home Media Magazine. Questex. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  31. Gibbons, Kent (August 16, 2008). "MGM Hopes To 'Impact' VOD Space". Multichannel. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

External links

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