Big Ticket Television, Inc. (a.k.a. Big Ticket Entertainment and Big Ticket Pictures) is a production company that is a unit of CBS Television Studios (formerly CBS Paramount Television), a division of CBS Corporation since the split of Viacom at the end of 2005.
The company was launched on October 21, 1994 under the Spelling Entertainment Group, who named Lawrence A. Lyttle to run the division. Lyttle wanted to name the company as Blockbuster Television, named after its parent company Blockbuster, Inc., but Viacom opposed the idea because of the chain's fate was unclear. Viacom by that time owned Blockbuster Inc. and its 67% stake in Spelling Entertainment Group since September 29. Lyttle chose the name Big Ticket by driving by a Blockbuster store and noted Blockbuster's "big ticket" logo. Big Ticket was created primarily as an outlet for non-drama TV series from Spelling, which was largely known for hit dramas at that time. All of its programming was distributed by Spelling's syndication arm, Worldvision Enterprises.
In 1999, Spelling Entertainment was bought out by Viacom, resulting in Paramount Domestic Television (which Viacom had owned since its 1994 acquisition of Paramount Pictures) becoming Big Ticket's distributor in 2000. On June 29, 2003, Paramount Television combined Big Ticket Television's production operations with its network and syndication outputs after Lyttle left before his final year was over. In 2006, PDT became CBS Paramount Domestic Television and later CBS Television Distribution.
Big Ticket's most widely viewed productions are the courtroom series Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown (ended in 2013), with the former debuting in 1996 and the latter in 1998. As of today Big Ticket's only program Judge Judy is the only produced series left for syndication, although most of the production is done by CBS as the company has been largely a figurehead organization since the CBS takeover of Viacom's television unit.
Big Ticket also produced the sitcoms Moesha and its spin-off The Parkers both for UPN and the talk show parody Night Stand with Dick Dietrick for syndication. For the second season of the court series Swift Justice, Big Ticket became the production company after the series moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles.