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Lorimar was a TV production house, founded in 1969 by producer Lee Rich and Vegas entrepreneur (and Mafia front man) Merv Adelson (the name comes from a combination of Adelson's ex-wife Lori and Palomar Airport). Its first big hit was The Waltons in 1972, but it is probably better remembered now for producing Dallas and its spin-off Knots Landing. Lorimar also produced the occasional Made-for-TV Movie, owned a record label, published magazines, and after buying Allied Artists in 1980 they also dabbled in theatrical releases. These films were released through Paramount and Universal in theatres, while on home video their releases (as well as Allied Artists' backlog material) were released through multiple companies (primarily CBS/Fox Video and its sublabels); 1984 saw the company acquire Karl Home Video, a small independent video company which had seen huge success with workout tapes featuring Jane Fonda. It was renamed Karl-Lorimar Home Video in 1986, though by that point the relationship between Stuart Karl and Lorimar had become sour, leading to his departure in 1987 and the company being renamed to simply Lorimar Home Video (though CBS/Fox continued to release pre-1984 Lorimar titles until 1989).

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Lorimar merged with television syndicator Telepictures Corporation in 1986 (and along with it, Rankin/Bass, albeit without most of its' famous specials, which have bounced around and currently rest with Dreamworks Animation). By then, the studio was looking forward to competing with the majors. The combined Lorimar-Telepictures then acquired from Ted Turner the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot, in which many of its shows were shot. After making a deal with sitcom producers Miller/Boyett, Lorimar ventured into that genre after the merger, with shows like Full House becoming the bulk of their output. They also pushed hard into feature films, which unlike TV, was not their forte (aside from hits such as Being There, S.O.B. and An Officer and a Gentleman); this led to a falling out between Adelson and Rich, with the latter leaving Lorimar in 1986 to become chairman/CEO of MGM. Lorimar ended up bleeding money, not helped by a disastrous move into self-distribution of their movies. Finally, in January 1989note , Warner Bros. bought L-T; this gave Lorimar the funding to keep its (more important) network and syndication divisions alive, while giving Warners a route into the lucrative first-run syndication market, something they had ignored until then. WB essentially renamed Lorimar Syndication (previously just Telepictures) "Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution" (merging the old WBTV distribution firm into that), and its first new release under that banner was a little something they had been working on with Steven SpielbergTiny Toon Adventures. (It was a big enough deal to get a two-page spread in the trades, even though the show's premiere was a year and a half away.)

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The end came for Lorimar itself in 1993, when its network division was combined with Warner Bros. Television. Telepictures, which Lorimar had been trying to de-emphasize since the merger in 1986 (and which was discontinued entirely after the WB merger) was brought back as a Talk Show and daytime-TV production division circa 1990, and is still in business to this day.note  As for the MGM lot, Warners sold that to Sony, since Columbia Pictures had been without a studio lot since 1972 and had been renting half of the Warner lot for all those years; hence, it was renamed as Columbia Studios and eventually, Sony Pictures Studios.

Productions from Lorimar and Lorimar-Telepictures include:

Dramas

Sitcoms

Game Shows

  • The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime (1986-87; first game show produced under L-T name)
  • Catch-Phrase (the original, short-lived U.S. version; distributed by Telepictures, pre-Lorimar)
  • Dream House (1983-84 revival on NBC w/ Bob Eubanks; only solo Lorimar game show, taking over Group W's role midway through)
  • The All-New Let's Make a Deal (1984–86 revival, also Telepictures pre-Lorimar)
  • Love Connection (1983-94, also had brief revival in 1998)
  • Fun House (1988-91; later passed on to Telepictures solo after WB buyout)
    • College Mad House (short-lived spinoff featuring college students in 1990-91)
  • Trump Card (game show based out of what's now the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City; 1990-91, based off the UK game show Bob's Full House)

Animated

Feature Films


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