The company was founded by Frederick Ziv in 1948 and was a subsidiary of his successful radio syndication business, which had begun in 1937. The company produced pre-recorded programs and sold them directly to local television stations. The television syndication service proved lucrative during the late 1940s and early 1950s, as local television stations wanted to fill their schedules during hours outside of "prime time". By 1955, Ziv was producing more than 250 half-hour TV episodes a year.
As the Big Three television networks began offering programs outside of prime time, Ziv's popularity began to decline. The market for first-run syndicated programming began to dwindle, and the company began to produce programs which aired over the networks in 1956. In 1960 the company was purchased by United Artists and merged with UA's own television company to become Ziv-United Artists. In 1962, the name reverted to United Artists Television after UA phased out the name Ziv Productions.
Today, most of the rights to Ziv's TV shows are distributed by MGM Television. Some have fallen into the public domain.
ZIV International was an unrelated producer and distributor of Americanised anime in the 1970s and 1980s.
Shows produced or distributed by Ziv
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