1952: The Columbia Broadcasting System forms an in-house television production unit, CBS Productions (a.k.a. The CBS Television Network), as well as facilities in the newly established CBS Television City in Hollywood. Also formed is CBS Television Film Sales (later known as CBS Films) as the distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local television stations in the United States and abroad.
1957:Desilu Studios is established in Hollywood and Culver City, after Arnaz/Ball purchased the RKO studio lot.
1962:Desilu Sales Inc. is formed as the company's syndication arm.
1967: Desilu Productions is acquired by Gulf+Western Industries. The company becomes the TV division of Paramount Pictures Corporation in July, retaining the Desilu name until the end of that year. Desilu Sales, in turn, merges with Paramount's syndication division to become Paramount Television Sales.
2000: In January, CBS acquires King World and forms CBS Enterprises, Inc., after which Eyemark Entertainment folds into King World.
2000: After Viacom's merger with CBS, Paramount TV acquires CBS Enterprises, which included King World at that time.
2006: September 26, As part of the corporate restructuring, King World along with CBS Paramount Domestic Television and CBS Paramount International Television forms the CBS Television Distribution group.
2004: Viacom merged CBS Productions and Paramount Network Television to form CBS Paramount Network Television. Their respective logos remain the same.
2006: When the CBS/Viacom split took effect, CBS inherited Paramount's TV program library, with the new Viacom keeping Paramount's films.
2006: On January 17, CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves announced that Paramount Television would be renamed CBS Paramount Television as of that day, after merging with CBS Productions, with both the CBS 'eyemark' and Paramount's mountain united in the new logo, and the network division becoming CBS Paramount Network Television.
2006: CBS Corp. merged its TV distribution arms—King World, CBS Paramount International Television and CBS Paramount Domestic Television—to form CBS Television Distribution (CTD).
2009: May 15, CBS quietly drops the Paramount name after a three and a half-year loan of its use from now sister company Viacom forming CBS Television Studios.
The production company today: CBS Television Studios
CBS Paramount Television was the only CBS division that used the Paramount name and logo in its own name and logo (Paramount Pictures is currently owned by the post-2006 Viacom that was spun off from CBS, which was once known as the old Viacom). All three of its original divisions had used Paramount in their name: CBS Paramount Network Television (the production arm), CBS Paramount Domestic Television (the US distribution arm), and CBS Paramount International Television (the international distribution arm). When the companies split, CBS had permission to use the Paramount name for three years. The contract expired in 2009, and thus the Paramount name is now gone from television for good, after 42 years as a production company (39 as Paramount Television), and before that, the owners of two early television stations (KTLA and WBKB), an earlier production company (Telemount Productions), and part-owners of the DuMont Television Network. The new company exempts programming from the revived CBS Productions, the in-name-only producer of 90210, Melrose Place and Three Rivers, among others.
The studio has an output deal with Australia's Channel Ten, which means that Ten usually gets first airing rights to the studio's productions.
Until recently—in the U.S.—King World distributed its product independently from CBS Paramount Domestic Television, while internationally CBS Paramount International Television handled distribution and sales. As of September 16, 2007 the CBS Television Distribution logo appears after shows that had been distributed by King World.
From 2009 until 2011, all shows produced by the company aired either on CBS or the CW. In the past, Paramount Television produced shows for all networks, but especially had a good relationship with ABC (much as Universal Television had a good relationship with now co-ownedNBC). The Cleaner, which aired on A&E until September 2009, was the most recent show from the company to air on a network other than CBS or the CW (which is ironic when NBC/ABC's ownership of A&E is taken into account). This was until Black Entertainment Television began airing new episodes of The Game in 2011. In 2012, USA Network began airing Common Law.
CTS does not directly produce any shows appearing on Showtime, a premium cable television network co-owned with the studio. Instead, sister company Showtime Entertainment handles in-house productions for the network. However, CTD and its international arm do handle syndication distribution for these shows if they ever appear in syndication.
Some of Paramount's silent films from 1923–28, and most sound films from 1950 onward
Many of the silent films (especially those before 1923) are in the public domain, and may be distributed by companies which distribute public domain features on TV. Yet another portion of the silent films are lost. Some silents are currently aired on TCM.
Most of Paramount's animated productions and live-action short subjects released prior to October 1, 1950 (except for the Popeye and Superman cartoons, owned by Time Warner; while the Jerry Fairbanks library is now owned by Shields Pictures)
In addition, some other TV series which are distributed by CBS on TV are actually under the ownership of other entities, which control distribution rights for other media. For example, Get Smart is only owned by CBS for US TV rights, all other rights are owned by HBO and Warner Bros. Television.
After DreamWorks became independent again, their live-action studio announced a distribution pact with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Thus, TV rights to their live-action library will move to Disney-ABC Domestic Television (except films released prior to 9-17-2005; Trifecta now also holds the TV rights to those and all animated productions, as Paramount continues to distribute animated films).