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, The Outer Limits, Gilligan's Island, My Mother the Car, The Fugitive, The New Phil Silvers Show, thirtysomething, and The Patty Duke Show. In 2014 UATV returned to full time production under the new management of United Artists Media Group, led in part by husband-and-wife producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.


UA purchased Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.) in 1958, giving UA access to the pre-1950[1][2] Warner Bros. library and the Popeye cartoons made by Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios between 1933 and 1957.

In 1960, United Artists purchased Ziv Television Programs, including the 20% share still held by chair of the board, 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 (1959—1960) and The Dennis O'Keefe Show (1959—1960). This pattern continued after the merger. Ziv-UA produced 12 pilots during the first year and failed to sell any of them. though Aubrey Schenck's Miami Undercover lasted one season in 1961.

In 1962, the company phased out Ziv Television operations and changed its name back to United Artists Television. In the 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 (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 UA itself continued to produce 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 Hollywood producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The two companies will be consolidated into a new film and television company, United Artists Media Group. Burnett will be UA's CEO and Downey will become president of Lightworkers Media.[3] Hearst Entertainment (an investor in Burnett and Downey's entertainment assets) will also acquire 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]

Notable United Artists shows[edit]

World of Giants1959Syndicationproduced by Ziv Television Programs
Tales of the Vikings1959-1960
The Troubleshooters1959–1960NBCproduced by Ziv Television Programs
The Dennis O'Keefe Show1959–1960CBS
Men into Space1959–1960CBSproduced by Ziv Television Programs
The Aquanauts1960CBS
Miami Undercover1961Syndicationproduced by Ziv Television Programs
The Outer Limits1963–1965ABC
The Fugitive1963–1967ABCoverall rights to show now owned by CBS Television Distribution due to buyout of original syndicator/owner Worldvision
The Patty Duke Show1963–1966ABC
East Side/West Side1963–1964CBS
The New Phil Silvers Show1963–1964CBS
Hollywood and the Stars1963NBC
Gilligan's Island1964–1967CBSUA's stake in the show now owned by WB/Turner
My Mother the Car1965–1966NBC
Mona McCluskey1965–1966NBC
O.K. Crackerby!1965–1966ABC
The Milton Berle Show1966–1967ABC
Rat Patrol1966–1968ABC
Hey, Landlord1966–1967NBC
It's About Time1966-1967CBS
The Mothers-In-Law1967–1969NBC
The Pink Panther Show1969–1979NBC/ABC

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]