|Carolyn Cassidy (President)|
Disney Television Studios|
(Walt Disney Television)
|Divisions||Twentieth Television Animation|
Twentieth Television (previously stylized as 20th Television, formerly 20th Century Fox Television) is an American television production company owned by Disney Television Studios, a division of the Walt Disney Television subsidiary of Disney's General Entertainment Content unit. The original 20th Television was the syndication and distribution arm of 20th Century Fox Television.
20th Century Fox Television (1949-2020)[edit source]
20th Century Fox Television was originally formed in 1949 by 20th Century Fox as other studios were branching out into television production as well. At that time, the company was known as TCF Television Productions, Inc. until 1958. Decades later, TCFTV folded the operations of TV production companies it has acquired: Metromedia Producers Corporation in 1986, New World Entertainment in 1997, and MTM Enterprises in 1998, and is the current distributor (via its distribution division, the original 20th Television) for most of the shows originally produced by these companies.
From 1986-2019, 20th Century Fox Television served as the Fox television network's official production arm (with Fox Television Studios being viewed as the network's unofficial television production division), producing the bulk of television series airing on the television network. TCFTV produced the first two series that aired on Fox's sister network, MyNetworkTV: the telenovelas Desire and Fashion House.
In 1989, 20th Century Fox Television's functions were taken over by Twentieth Television Corporation, a separate entity from 20th Century Fox. Both companies were subsidiaries of News Corporation unit Fox Inc.; the move was made to separate the television productions from the movie studio in order to increase the latter's output. Following a 1994 restructuring of Fox's television production companies, 20th Television was refocused on syndication and "non-traditional programs", while network television programming once more came under the 20th Century Fox Television banner and returned to being a division of the movie studio. In 1997, MTM Enterprises became part of 20th Century Fox Television, and thus remains an in-name only division of TCFTV. In 2012, 20th Century Fox Television was reorganized as a separate unit of News Corporation; 20th Century Fox Television chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman now report to Chase Carey, COO of 21st Century Fox.
In July 2014, it was announced that the operations of the Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television would merge into a new unit, the Fox Television Group, which was overseen by Walden and Newman. In early 2015, Mythology Entertainment signed a first look deal with the company and fellow company Fox 21 Television Studios while announcing its TV division head.
20th Television distribution arm (1989-2020)[edit source]
The original incarnation of 20th Television was the television distribution arm of 20th Century Fox Television and the 20th Century Fox movie studio. It was formed in 1989 in order to separate television production from the 20th Century Fox division which oversaw film production. During this time, 20th Television and 20th Century Fox served as two of Fox's four main units, along with the Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Television Stations. Following a 1994 restructuring of Fox's television production companies, 20th Television was refocused on syndication and "non-traditional programs"; its network television division was moved back to 20th Century Fox and retook the 20th Century Fox Television name.
20th Television distributes almost all programming and documentaries from the television production unit including Foxstar Productions and its subsidiaries and the motion picture studio's output (and their own subdivisions). It owns programming from other production companies and studios they have acquired, including MTM Enterprises, most by Metromedia Producers Corporation, and most by New World Entertainment (including those by Four Star Television and Genesis Entertainment).
The company also syndicates and/or co-syndicates product from partners such as Regency Television and Debmar-Mercury (until April 2019). The Lincolnwood Drive subsidiary of 20th Television has been used to produce the syndicated court series Divorce Court since the 2014-15 season, mainly for tax reasons.
In 1992, Greg Meidel became president of 20th Television, serving until 1995. Meidel was president of MyNetworkTV when he add 20th Television's same position to his responsibility in 2009.
As part of the restructuring that stemmed from News Corporation spinning off its entertainment assets into 21st Century Fox, it was announced on July 8, 2013, that 20th Television will operate under the management of 20th Century Fox Television; it was previously under Fox Television Stations. As a result, the former company's president reported to the latter's chairmen.
Under Disney Television Studios (2019-present)[edit source]
In March 2019, both 20th Century Fox Television and 20th Television were acquired by the Walt Disney Company and integrated into Walt Disney Television as part of Disney Television Studios. As a result, Newman departed and Walden was made head of Disney programming. Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman, who previously held high ranking positions with the Fox Television Group, became the co-heads of 20th Century Fox Television. In July 2019, Disney promoted Davis to the position of President of ABC Studios. Carolyn Cassidy succeeded Davis as President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox Television, running the studio jointly with Kurtzman. In January 2020, Kurtzman announced that he would retire by June 2020. CBS Television Studios executive Dan Kupetz has been named the new executive vice president of business affairs and operations and will be joining 20th TV in March 2020. He is reporting to Cassidy, who assumes solo leadership and work closely with Kurtzman until he departs.
On August 10, 2020, 20th Century Fox Television was rebranded as 20th Television (the former name of its syndication arm, which in turn was absorbed into Disney Media Distribution and Disney-ABC Domestic Television), as part of Disney Television Studios reorganization, as well as part of a merger requirement to drop the word "Fox" from the acquired assets to avoid brand confusion.
Notable shows produced by 20th Television include Batman, M*A*S*H, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Bob's Burgers, Empire, Family Guy, 24, Modern Family, This Is Us, American Dad!, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, New Girl, American Horror Story, The X-Files, Reba, In Living Color, The Bernie Mac Show, King of the Hill, Futurama, Malcolm in the Middle, Bless the Harts, Duncanville, The Cleveland Show, Ally McBeal, Last Man Standing, and The Simpsons.
See also[edit source]
- Walt Disney Television
- Disney Television Studios
- Disney-ABC Domestic Television
- Touchstone Television
- ABC Signature
- FX Productions