HBO - Other Ventures

Other Ventures

HBO has expanded considerably with its HBO and Cinemax family of networks as well as influencing television- and film-production.

In 1990, HBO launched HBO Independent Productions, a production company that produced mainly sitcoms for broadcast and basic cable television, including Martin, Roc and Everybody Loves Raymond (distributed by CBS Television Distribution). HBO Downtown Productions launched a year later, producing comedy specials for the network as well as content for Comedy Central (which HBO formerly co-owned).

HBO also operates HBO Films, established in 1999 as a reconfiguration and consolidation of its former movie divisions, HBO NYC Productions and HBO Pictures. HBO also operated another film-division called HBO Showcase, which ceased in 1996 to become HBO NYC Productions.

HBO has participated in a number of joint ventures:

  • TriStar Pictures: In 1982, HBO joint-ventured with Columbia Pictures and CBS Theatrical Films to form a motion picture studio: Tri-Star (the hyphen disappeared later). HBO, CBS and Columbia decided to pool resources to split the ever-growing costs of making movies. Their first production, The Natural, was released in 1984. CBS sold its stake in the studio in 1985. In April 1987, Tri-Star entered into the television business as Tri-Star Television. In December 1987, HBO dropped out of the Tri-Star venture and Columbia Pictures bought their venture shares and merged Columbia and Tri-Star into Columbia Pictures Entertainment. As of 2008 Sony Pictures Entertainment continues to use the name "TriStar".
  • In 2005, HBO Films and New Line Cinema launched Picturehouse, a worldwide theatrical distribution company for high-quality independent films. The company shut down in 2008 as part of the consolidation of New Line with its sister studio Warner Bros.

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