Turner Entertainment - The Library Itself

The Library Itself

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Today, as part of Time Warner, Turner Entertainment continues to oversee its inherited library, which also includes The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, Gone with the Wind, Gilligan's Island, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, Huckleberry Hound, Jonny Quest, Space Ghost and Captain Planet.

There are very few exceptions to this library, however.

  • The Flipper TV series produced by MGM Television and later sold to The Samuel Goldwyn Company is now owned by MGM again.
  • Charlotte's Web, produced by Hanna-Barbera, is still distributed by Paramount Pictures. Hanna-Barbera continues to hold the copyright to the film alongside co-producer Sagittarius Productions.
  • While Warner Bros. and Turner hold the film elements of Hanna-Barbera's Once Upon a Forest, all theatrical, television and home entertainment rights are completely and exclusively controlled by 20th Century Fox.
  • 20th Century Fox owns Hanna-Barbera's Capitol Critters, co-produced with 20th Century Fox Television.
  • Jetsons: The Movie, The Flintstones, its sequel The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and the ride film footage of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera are owned and controlled by NBCUniversal whereas the characters, original TV series and merchandising rights rest with Warner Bros. via Turner Broadcasting's ownership of Hanna-Barbera.
  • Although WB/Turner holds the theatrical and television rights to Pink Floyd—The Wall, the video rights are owned by Sony Music.
  • Although WB/Turner holds US rights to The Wind and the Lion, international rights remain with Columbia Pictures (via Sony Pictures Entertainment).
  • In 1976, MGM and United Artists co-produced Network, with both companies sharing the copyright. In 1981, MGM purchased UA, and for five years, owned complete control of the film. MGM now owns part of the copyright (as they retained the rights to UA's releases), sharing it with Turner (as a result of the aforementioned purchase of MGM's library).
  • Turner and 20th Century Fox share ownership in The Pagemaster, with the latter owning TV broadcasting and international distribution rights to, and the latter releasing in all other platforms.
  • Although Turner co-produced The Wizard of Oz cartoon series produced by DiC Entertainment, the distribution rights to the show are owned by Cookie Jar Entertainment. Turner still owns part of the copyright.
  • Several other films have lapsed into the public domain, though in some cases WB/Turner have retained the film masters:
    • Warner: They Made Me a Criminal, Santa Fe Trail, This Is the Army, Life with Father, and The Inspector General.
    • MGM: Vengeance Valley, Cause for Alarm!, The Painted Hills, Father's Little Dividend, Till the Clouds Roll By, Royal Wedding, and The Last Time I Saw Paris.
    • RKO: Abbott and Costello's Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • Rope was an independent production from Alfred Hitchcock's Transatlantic Pictures and released through WB, though its copyright was renewed by United Artists Television. Hitchcock owned the negatives and pulled the film from circulation in the late 1960s, until it was re-released by Universal Studios in 1983.
  • Another Hitchcock film, Notorious, started out as a David O. Selznick production until the producer sold the rights to RKO before production began. RKO originally owned the copyright, but the film was sold years later to American Broadcasting Company, which owns the rights to some of Selznick's other films.
  • Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears cartoons that are based on Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Mork and Mindy are owned by CBS Television Distribution, along with The Little Rascals cartoons co-produced with King World and Harlem Globetrotters (although WB/Turner owns The Super Globetrotters, though both Globetrotters series have been less frequently seen in recent years due to intellectual property issues).
  • CBS Storybreak, produced at Hanna-Barbera's Australian division, is also owned by CBS Television Distribution, as the series was co-produced by CBS.
  • Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone is owned by Classic Media.
  • Jeannie and Partridge Family 2200 A.D. are owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
  • The Laurel and Hardy cartoon series is owned by Larry Harmon Pictures.
  • Fantastic Max is owned by Booker Group (a.k.a. Kalisto Ltd).
  • The Further Adventures of SuperTed is owned by S4C, Telin LTD. and Siriol Animation
  • Hanna-Barbera's Popeye cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as Popeye and Son and the TV special Hägar the Horrible: Hägar Knows Best, are owned by King Features Syndicate. However, KFS has licensed DVD rights for the Popeye cartoons to WB as part of the deal allowing them to release the Paramount Popeye cartoons on DVD.
  • Gravedale High, co-produced with NBC, is owned by NBCUniversal.
  • Pink Panther and Sons and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures are owned by MGM Television (MGM acquired the Bill and Ted series after it bought Orion Pictures; MGM also owns the DiC produced episodes of said show). MGM also owns the Hanna-Barbera produced episodes of Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt and the movie C.H.O.M.P.S (as both were co-produced with American International Pictures, AIP became Filmways Pictures and was acquired by Orion, and Orion was bought by MGM).
  • The Godzilla segments from The Godzilla Power Hour, produced by Hanna-Barbera, are now owned by Toho Company Ltd. with Classic Media handling U.S. distribution rights (the Godzilla segments were originally included when Turner bought Hanna-Barbera and when Time-Warner bought Turner until 2003 when WB/Turner sold the Godzilla segments to Toho, while WB/Turner still owns the Jana of the Jungle segments). Coincidentally, WB is producing a reboot of the Godzilla film series set for release in 2012.
  • Although WB owns the Super Friends cartoons and spin-offs produced by Hanna-Barbera as well as The Dukes, Turner never owned them - instead, these were always under WB control (unlike the other H-B series now part of the WB library).

Turner Entertainment self-distributed much of its library for the first decade of its existence. After the Time Warner merger, its distribution functions were largely absorbed into WB. As a result, Turner now largely serves merely as a copyright holder for a portion of the WB library (similar to how EMKA's sole purpose is to be the copyright holder for the pre-1950 Paramount sound features, with other NBCUniversal divisions handling distribution). Hanna-Barbera's current purpose as the in-name only unit of Warner Bros. Animation is to serve as the copyright holder for its creations such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat and Yogi Bear while Time Warner's divisions handle sales and merchandising.

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