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|Founded||August 4, 1986|
|Parent||Turner Broadcasting System|
Turner Home Entertainment|
Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. (commonly known as Turner Entertainment Co.) is a media company founded by Ted Turner. Purchased by Time Warner, along with Turner Broadcasting System, the company was largely responsible for overseeing its library for worldwide distribution. In recent years, this role has largely been limited to being the copyright holder, as the library has since been incorporated into that of Turner Broadcasting's sibling company Warner Bros.
On March 25, 1986, Ted Turner and his Turner Broadcasting System purchased MGM from Kirk Kerkorian for $600 million, and renamed it MGM Entertainment Company, Inc. However, due to concerns in the financial community over the debt-load of his companies, on August 26, 1986, he was forced to sell MGM back to Kerkorian for approximately $300 million. However, Turner kept MGM's film, television and cartoon library as well as a proportion of United Artists library, forming Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. The library also included the pre-1950 Warner Bros. titles, the Fleischer Studios/Famous Studios Popeye cartoons originally released by Paramount Pictures, the US/Canadian/Latin American/Australian distribution rights to the RKO Radio Pictures library, and Gilligan's Island and its animated spin-offs. In December 1987, Turner acquired the worldwide rights through license, to 800 RKO films from its then-parent company Wesray Capital Corporation.
On October 3, 1988, Turner Broadcasting launched the TNT network, and later Turner Classic Movies to use their former MGM/UA library. In doing so, Turner has played a major part in film preservation and restoration. By broadcasting such classic films as The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain, Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, King Kong, Easter Parade and the original The Jazz Singer, on numerous Turner affiliated cable channels, as well as in showing them in revival movie houses and home video around the world, Turner introduces a new generation to these films and makes sure these films are not forgotten.
On November 29, 1989, Turner made another attempt to buy MGM/UA, but the deal failed, and Turner formed Turner Pictures and Turner Pictures Worldwide instead.
In 1991, Turner purchased Hanna-Barbera Productions, most of the pre-1991 Ruby-Spears Productions library, and Man from Atlantis from Great American Broadcasting. Shortly after Turner Broadcasting launched Cartoon Network, and later Boomerang, to use its vast animation library.
Turner Entertainment self-distributed much of its library for the first decade of its existence, but on 10 October 1996, Turner Broadcasting was purchased by Time Warner and its distribution functions were largely absorbed into Warner Bros. and as a result, Turner now largely serves merely as a copyright holder for a portion of the Warner Bros. library. Hanna-Barbera's current purpose as the in-name only unit of Warner Bros. Animation is to serve as the copyright holder for its creations such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and Yogi Bear while Time Warner's divisions handle sales and merchandising.
Turner Entertainment, as a production company, also creates original in-house programming, such as documentaries about the films it owns, new animated material based on Tom & Jerry and other related cartoon properties, and once produced made-for-TV movies, miniseries, and theatrical films such as Gettysburg, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Fallen, The Pagemaster and Cats Don't Dance under the Turner Pictures banner. Turner also had an international distribution sales unit, Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution. Turner Pictures folded into Warner Bros. after the Turner-Time Warner merger, and currently holds the distribution rights to the films made by the production division.
The Pagemaster and Cats Don't Dance were produced under Turner Feature Animation, Turner's animation unit headed by David Kirschner and Paul Gertz. Spun off from the feature division of Hanna-Barbera Productions, Turner Feature Animation was folded into Warner Bros. Feature Animation, which was then merged into Warner Bros. Animation.
Turner also had a television unit called Turner Program Services which had run until 1996 when it was rebranded as Telepictures Distribution which distributed Mama's Family and all TPS shows after 1996. In 2003 Telepictures Distribution was folded into Warner Bros. Television Distribution which meant Telepictures took over all series that were first run and distributed by TD.
Turner Entertainment's current library includes:
- Nearly all of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's film, television and cartoon library released prior to May 23, 1986 ending with the film Killer Party released on May 9, 1986. This includes The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Singin' in the Rain, Ben-Hur, Doctor Zhivago, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Christmas Story, and Tom and Jerry, amongst others.
- Some material from United Artists.
- The US and Canadian distribution rights to the RKO Radio Pictures library; including King Kong, Bringing Up Baby and Citizen Kane.
- The former Associated Artists Productions catalogue.
- Warner Bros. library released prior to January 1, 1950.
- Nearly all of the pre-1950 Warner Bros. feature films such as Seven Sinners, The Jazz Singer, Mystery of the Wax Museum, Black Legion, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Now, Voyager and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- Pre-September 1948 Warner Bros. live-action short subjects.
- Pre-August 1948 color Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies.
- Harman and Ising Merrie Melodies (except Lady, Play Your Mandolin!).
- The Fleischer Studios/Famous Studios Popeye cartoons, originally released by Paramount Pictures.
- Warner Bros. library released prior to January 1, 1950.
- Gilligan's Island and its animated spin-offs (The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet).
- Almost all the Hanna-Barbera Productions library, including Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and The Smurfs.
- The distribution rights to Castle Rock Entertainment's post-1993 library.
- Warner Archive Collection podcast (April 8, 2014). Warner Bros. Entertainment.
- "Chicago Tribune: Turner May Sell Equity In Company". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1986-05-07. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- Gendel, Morgan (1986-06-07). "Turner Sells The Studio, Holds On To The Dream – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- "Turner Plans New Channels." Associated Press (June 5, 1993).
- "Turner Buys Rights to 800 RKO Movies", Los Angeles Times (Reuters), December 10, 1987 (available online).
- "Turner Buying MGM/UA". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). November 29, 1989. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
- "Turner Buying Hanna-Barbera". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). October 30, 1991. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "Chicago Tribune" Done deal: Turner Broadcasting System Inc. said it closed... articles.chicagotribune.com, Retrieved on December 27, 2012
- Citron, Alan (August 18, 1993). "Turner gets nod to buy New Line and Castle Rock".
- Delugach, Al (March 16, 1987). "Investors Will Pay $48 Million for RKO : Confidential Memo Details Management Group's Purchase Deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
- "Turner Buys Rights to 800 RKO Movies". Los Angeles Times. December 10, 1987. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
- You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story (2008)
- Tom Kenny, Jerry Beck, Frank Caruso, Glenn Mitchell, et al. (2007). Popeye the Sailor: 1933–1938, Volume 1. Special Features: I Yam What I Yam: The Story of Popeye the Sailor (DVD). Warner Home Video.