Defying an Industry Trend, Warner Is Easily the Top Producer of TV Shows

Three years ago, J. J. Abrams had to decide whether to keep making television shows for the Walt Disney Company or move to a new home base. A bidding war had broken out for him.

Another is “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” a comedy series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Mr. Abrams, credited with “Alias” and “Lost,” signed a rich television deal with Warner Brothers: up to $6 million a year in fees and overhead, and a big percentage of revenue from DVD and syndication sales. “It was the overwhelming enthusiasm and sense of support that intoxicated me,” Mr. Abrams said in an interview.

The wooing of Mr. Abrams epitomizes one reason Warner’s television unit is heading into the fall season with an astonishing 45 shows in production, easily making the company the No. 1 television supplier. As networks more blatantly favor internal suppliers, Warner, which is not aligned with a major network, has kept its batting average high by maintaining a deep bench of all-star producers.

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Film Business, TV


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