In 1952 the Columbia Broadcasting System formed an in-house television production unit, CBS Productions (commonly referred to as The CBS Television Network), as well as facilities in the newly established CBS Television City in the Fairfax District in West Los Angeles. 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.
In 1963, CBS Studio Center is established in Studio City district of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. Later in 1971, CBS Films is spun off as Viacom International, Inc. The company is re-established as CBS, Inc., in 1974. In 1978, the production unit gained the secondary/alternate name CBS Entertainment Productions.
In 1994, Westinghouse Electric acquired CBS. Viacom merged with its creator CBS, in 1999.
1966-1967, Gulf+Western acquired Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television Enterprises released 60 titles from their post-1949 feature film library to television broadcasters under the Paramount Portfolio I umbrella package. In 1968 Paramount Television, formerly Desilu, established as the studio's television production unit. In 1977, Paramount Television Service was formed. In 1982 Paramount Television Group and Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming was established. In September 1989, Gulf+Western was reincorporated as Paramount Communications, Inc. March 11, 1994 Viacom acquired Paramount Communications, resulting in the formation of Paramount/Viacom as a byline for several of Viacom's subsidiaries. In 1995, Viacom launched the United Paramount Network (UPN) with Chris-Craft Industries.
In 1971 Viacom Enterprises established for domestic and overseas syndication of off-network and first-run television programs from various independent producers. A few years to follow, Viacom Productions was formed as the company's television production unit. In 1986, Viacom switched from a syndicate to a media conglomerate. Later in 1995, Viacom Enterprises was folded into Paramount Domestic Television. The name Paramount Network Television (PNT) was also used for the first time ever (Viacom Productions would also become a division of PNT). Then in 2004, Viacom Productions was folded into Paramount Network Television by ceasing its television operations.
CBS Paramount Television
On August 10, 2004, Viacom merged the international television banners of CBS Broadcast International and Paramount International Television to form CBS Paramount International Television. On January 17, 2006, 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. On June 1, 2009, 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.
CBS TV 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.
National Amusements retains majority control of both CBS and the new Viacom. For a short time, many of Paramount's theatrical films were distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution (the new name for the distribution arm as of 2007). Paramount Home Media Distribution continues to distribute home video sales of CBS shows through the CBS DVD brand.
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-owned NBC). 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.