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MTM Enterprises

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MTM Enterprises, Inc.
IndustryTelevision and film production
Founded1969; 54 years ago (1969)
FoundersMary Tyler Moore
Grant Tinker
DefunctMay 19, 1998; 25 years ago (May 19, 1998)
FateMerged with 20th Television
ParentIndependent (1969–1988)
 TVS Entertainment (Television South plc) (1988–1993)
International Family Entertainment (1993–1997)
News Corporation (1997–1998)
DivisionsMTM Television Distribution
MTM International
MTM Home Video
MTM Records

MTM Enterprises (also known as MTM Productions) was an American independent production company established in 1969 by Mary Tyler Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker to produce The Mary Tyler Moore Show for CBS. The name for the production company was drawn from Moore's initials.[1]

MTM produced a number of successful television programs during the 1970s and 1980s. The company's mascot was an orange Tabby cat named Mimsie who appeared in their logo (who was borrowed from a local shelter and then owned by one of the MTM staff, not by Moore and Tinker, who named the cat), inside a circle surrounded by gold ribbons, parodying how Leo the Lion is presented in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo.

All of MTM's shows are now owned by The Walt Disney Company through its subsidiary, 20th Television.


For many years, MTM and CBS co-owned the CBS Studio Center in Studio City California, where a majority of their programs were filmed and videotaped. Most of MTM's programs aired on CBS. In 1971, co-founder Grant Tinker was forced to quit 20th Century-Fox Television due to conflicts with how to run MTM, in order to maintain a full-time job at the company.[2] In 1976, MTM teamed up with Metromedia Producers Corporation to start a variety show, a first for first-run syndication.[3]

Tinker oversaw MTM's operation until leaving the company in 1981 and becoming chairman of NBC. Lawyers backing NBC's then-owner RCA convinced Tinker to sell his remaining shares of MTM. Moore and Arthur Price, her business manager and company vice president, bought Tinker's shares;[4] Price subsequently was elevated to president. Tinker later regretted leaving MTM, believing that the company started to decline without him.[5]

In 1986, MTM launched its own syndicated arm MTM Television Distribution, to handle off-net syndication of the MTM shows, and subsequently courted to continue its relations with syndicator Jim Victory to sell off-network rights to MTM's shows like Hill Street Blues and WKRP in Cincinnati, all the way up until the late 1980s as part of a contract settlement.[6][7] In 1988, MTM was sold to UK broadcaster and independent station for the South and South East of England TVS Entertainment for $320 million.[5]

After TVS lost its franchise to broadcast on the ITV network to Meridian Broadcasting, a number of American companies (and to a lesser extent, Meridian) were interested in acquiring MTM, with Pat Robertson's International Family Entertainment making the first offer.[8] A small number of shareholders, including Julian Tregar, rejected the offer from IFE. In November, TCW Capital made a bid,[9] but withdrew it a few weeks later after reviewing the accounts of TVS.[10] IFE increased its offer to £45.3M, but continued to be opposed by Julian Tregar, who blocked the deal on technical grounds, alleging that the offer was too low.[10][11] IFE finally increased the offer to appease the remaining shareholders,[12][13] and on January 23, 1993, their offer of £56.5M was finally accepted.[14] The deal went into effect on February 1, 1993 (the month after Meridian began its first broadcast).

In 1995, Michael Ogiens, formerly running CBS, as well as his production company Ogiens/Kane Company, joined MTM to serve as president of the company in hopes that MTM would be restored to its independent production glory.[15] The following year, Josh Kane, fellow partner of the Ogiens/Kane Company joined MTM as vice president for the East Coast offices.[16] In 1997, MTM hit layoffs at the syndication unit after the cancellation of the show The Cape.[17]

In 1997, International Family Entertainment was sold to News Corporation, and folded into its subsidiary Fox Kids Worldwide, eventually renamed to Fox Family Worldwide (a joint venture between Fox and Saban Entertainment).[18][19] MTM's library assets however, were transferred over to 20th Television who retained them, even after Fox Family Worldwide was sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2001.[20] The Pretender and Good News were both the last surviving shows to be produced by MTM. While Good News was cancelled in 1998 (when MTM ceased operations), The Pretender continued its run until 2000, as 20th Television inherited the show in 1997 (when News Corporation purchased MTM). MTM's library became property of Disney following its acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019.

MTM Enterprises also included a record label, MTM Records — distributed by Capitol Records — which was in existence from 1984 to 1988.[21]


MTM series
Title Genre First air date Last air date Number of Seasons Network Co-production company(s) Note(s)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Sitcom September 19, 1970 (1970-09-19) March 19, 1977 (1977-03-19) 7 CBS
The Bob Newhart Show September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16) April 1, 1978 (1978-04-01) 6
Rhoda September 9, 1974 (1974-09-09) December 9, 1978 (1978-12-09) 5 First spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Texas Wheelers September 12, 1974 (1974-09-12) July 7, 1975 (1975-1975-07T24) 1 ABC
Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers September 14, 1974 (1974-09-14) December 7, 1974 (1974-12-07) CBS
The Bob Crane Show March 6, 1975 (1975-03-06) June 12, 1975 (1975-06-12) NBC
Doc August 16, 1975 (1975-08-16) October 30, 1976 (1976-10-30) 2 CBS
Phyllis September 8, 1975 (1975-09-08) March 13, 1977 (1977-03-13) Second spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Three for the Road Adventure September 14, 1975 (1975-09-14) November 30, 1975 (1975-11-30) 1
The Lorenzo & Henrietta Music Show Musical-variety September 13, 1976 (1976-09-13) October 11, 1976 (1976-10-11) Syndicated
The Tony Randall Show Sitcom September 23, 1976 (1976-09-23) March 25, 1978 (1978-03-25) 2 ABC (Season 1)
CBS (Season 2)
The Betty White Show September 12, 1977 (1977-09-12) January 2, 1978 (1978-01-02) 1 CBS
Lou Grant Journalism drama September 20, 1977 (1977-09-20) September 13, 1982 (1982-09-13) 5 Third spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
We've Got Each Other Sitcom October 1, 1977 (1977-10-01) January 14, 1978 (1978-01-14) 1
WKRP in Cincinnati September 18, 1978 (1978-09-18) April 21, 1982 (1982-04-21) 4
Mary Variety September 24, 1978 (1978-09-24) October 8, 1978 (1978-10-08) 1
The White Shadow Sports drama November 27, 1978 (1978-11-27) March 16, 1981 (1981-03-16) 3
The Mary Tyler Moore Hour Variety March 4, 1979 (1979-03-04) May 13, 1979 (1979-05-13) 1
The Last Resort Sitcom September 19, 1979 (1979-09-19) March 17, 1980 (1980-03-17)
Paris Police drama September 29, 1979 (1979-09-29) January 15, 1980 (1980-01-15)
Hill Street Blues January 15, 1981 (1981-01-15) May 12, 1987 (1987-05-12) 7 NBC
Remington Steele Private eye drama October 1, 1982 (1982-10-01) February 17, 1987 (1987-02-17) 5
Newhart Sitcom October 25, 1982 (1982-10-25) May 21, 1990 (1990-05-21) 8 CBS
St. Elsewhere Medical drama October 26, 1982 (1982-10-26) May 25, 1988 (1988-05-25) 6 NBC
Bay City Blues Sports drama October 25, 1983 (1983-10-25) November 15, 1983 (1983-11-15) 1
The Duck Factory Sitcom April 12, 1984 (1984-04-12) July 11, 1984 (1984-07-11)
Mary December 11, 1985 (1985-12-11) April 8, 1986 (1986-04-08) CBS
Fresno Comedy November 16, 1986 (1986-11-16) November 20, 1986 (1986-11-20) miniseries
The Popcorn Kid Sitcom March 23, 1987 (1987-03-23) April 24, 1987 (1987-04-24)
Beverly Hills Buntz November 5, 1987 (1987-11-05) April 22, 1988 (1988-04-22) NBC Spin-off of Hill Street Blues
Eisenhower and Lutz March 14, 1988 (1988-03-14) June 20, 1988 (1988-06-20) CBS
Annie McGuire October 26, 1988 (1988-10-26) December 28, 1988 (1988-12-28)
Tattingers Dramedy April 26, 1989 (1989-04-26) NBC
FM Sitcom August 17, 1989 (1989-08-17) June 28, 1990 (1990-06-28)
Rescue 911 Reality September 5, 1989 (1989-09-05) August 27, 1996 (1996-08-27) 8 CBS Arnold Shapiro Productions U.S. distribution only, produced by CBS Entertainment Productions
America's Funniest Home Videos Clip November 26, 1989 (1989-11-26) Present 32 ABC distribution for pre-2001 episodes only; currently distributed by sister company Disney–ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution
City Sitcom January 29, 1990 (1990-01-29) June 8, 1990 (1990-06-08) 1 CBS CBS Entertainment Productions [N 1]
Capital News Journalism drama April 9, 1990 (1990-04-09) April 30, 1990 (1990-04-30) ABC
The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Legal drama September 17, 1990 (1990-09-17) May 30, 1992 (1992-05-30) 2 CBS
Evening Shade Sitcom September 21, 1990 (1990-09-21) May 23, 1994 (1994-05-23) 4 CBS Entertainment Productions, Bloodworth-Thomason Mozark Productions and Burt Reynolds Productions distributed outside of U.S. television by CBS Studios International
You Take the Kids December 15, 1990 (1990-12-15) January 12, 1991 (1991-01-12) 1 CBS Entertainment Productions and Paul Haggis Productions [N 1]
The New WKRP in Cincinnati September 14, 1991 (1991-09-14) May 22, 1993 (1993-05-22) 2 Syndicated
Graham Kerr's Kitchen Cooking September 30, 1992 (1992-09-30) March 19, 1995 (1995-03-19) 3 distribution only
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Western January 1, 1993 (1993-01-01) May 16, 1998 (1998-05-16) 6 CBS The Sullivan Company U.S. TV distribution only; produced by CBS Productions
Xuxa Educational September 13, 1993 (1993-09-13) December 31, 1993 (1993-12-31) 1 Syndicated Lynch Entertainment
Christy Drama April 3, 1994 (1994-04-03) August 2, 1995 (1995-08-02) 2 CBS The Rosenzweig Company
Snowy River: The McGregor Saga Adventure September 23, 1994 (1994-09-23) May 24, 1998 (1998-05-24) 4 The Family Channel aired on Nine Network in Australia
Boogies Diner Sitcom September 17, 1994 (1994-09-17) January 1, 1995 (1995-01-01) 1 Syndicated Franklin/Waterman and King Street Entertainment [N 1]
Family Challenge Game show October 2, 1995 (1995-10-02) September 7, 1997 (1997-09-07) 2 The Family Channel Woody Fraser Enterprises and Maple Palm Productions
Sparks Sitcom August 26, 1996 (1996-08-26) March 2, 1998 (1998-03-02) 2 UPN The Weinberger Company
The Cape Adventure September 9, 1996 (1996-09-09) May 19, 1997 (1997-05-19) 1 Syndicated Zaloom-Mayfield Productions
The Pretender Science fiction September 19, 1996 (1996-09-19) May 13, 2000 (2000-05-13) 4 NBC NBC Studios season 1 only; distributed outside the U.S. by NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Bailey Kipper's P.O.V. Sitcom September 14, 1996 (1996-09-14) December 14, 1996 (1996-12-14) 1 CBS Kipper Productions and Victoria Productions
Shopping Spree Game show September 30, 1996 (1996-09-30) August 14, 1998 (1998-08-14) 2 The Family Channel Jay Wolpert Enterprises
Wait 'Til You Have Kids January 31, 1997 (1997-01-31) 1
It Takes Two March 10, 1997 (1997-03-10) May 30, 1997 (1997-05-30) Mark Phillips Philms & Telephision
Good News Sitcom August 25, 1997 (1997-08-25) May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19) UPN The Weinberger Company
  1. ^ a b c No longer distributed by 20th Television
MTM specials
Title Genre Original air date Network Co-production company(s) Note(s)
Carlton Your Doorman Animated comedy May 21, 1980 (1980-05-21) CBS Pilot for proposed spin-off of Rhoda

CBS connection

MTM programs appeared almost exclusively on CBS until the early 1980s, when Grant Tinker assumed the additional role of president of NBC. Soon, NBC picked up a number of MTM shows, and Tinker stepped down as head of MTM to avoid a conflict of interest. His intention was to leave NBC after 5 years (in 1986) and return to MTM, taking over the reins from interim MTM president Arthur Price. However, Price fired many of the key players in the company's ranks, and by 1986 they had few shows left on the schedules (Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and Remington Steele were all nearing the ends of their runs, leaving Newhart as the sole entrant on the schedule).

Mimsie the Cat

Mimsie the Cat (1968 - c. June 1988) was a live-action tabby cat seen in the MTM Enterprises logo, in a spoof of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's long-running Leo the Lion mascot.

In the standard version of the logo, as first used on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mimsie appears in a crouched position, looks up at the camera, and meows once. Mimsie would not meow for the camera crew, so they eventually used footage of her yawning, run in reverse, with the sound effect added.

By the 1980s, there were many different variants of the logo, with Mimsie often appearing in different "costumes", as well as being replaced by other cats, corresponding to the style and theme of the particular programs.

  • On The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode, "Today I am a Ma’am.", Mimsie did a higher-pitched and rather shrill meow, and on the episode "Put on a Happy Face", Moore herself was shown stating the Looney Tunes end line, "That's All Folks!", a line spoken by Mary Richards during that episode.
  • For the detective series Remington Steele, a Sherlock Holmes-esque stalking cap and pipe (that fell out of Mimsie's mouth when she meowed) were added.
  • Bay City Blues had an animated version of Mimsie wearing a baseball hat and baseball glove and catching a baseball and meowing.
  • Lou Grant, Paris, Just Between Friends and “Something for Joey” showed a still image of Mimsie.
  • For the blooper reel of Lou Grant, Mimsie chirps like a bird.
  • The White Shadow featured a different black-and-white cat bouncing an orange basketball; an extended version of The White Shadow variant can be seen on rare prints of the pilot, featuring the logo animating and the cat watching the ball fall off-screen.
  • Hill Street Blues put a police uniform hat onto Mimsie's head, stating a reference to the TV show.
  • St. Elsewhere showed her in a surgical mask and scrubs. Two episodes of the TV show feature a different meow soundtrack.
  • Graham Kerr put a chef's hat onto Mimsie's head. She would sometimes meow twice.
  • The Texas Wheelers, aka Texas Wheelers had a black-and-white kitten near a water pipe, looking around and meowing. The final episode had an animated version of a kitten staggering from behind a wagon wheel and collapsing.[22]
  • For Carlton Your Doorman, the logo is drawn animation-like and Carlton's cat Ringo is seen and says off-screen, “Come on, meow!”. When Ringo doesn't meow, Carlton mutters "Damn cat...".
  • Xuxa had Mimsie say "Tchau!”, which means "goodbye" in Portuguese. In the Pilot the logo Had children Cheering for Xuxa And Fades Out And Mimsie Meows
  • A Little Sex featured an animated gray cat (probably similar to the British shorthair,) joining an animated version of Mimsie. After Mimsie meowed, the two cats purr by rubbing their faces at themselves.
  • Newhart kept the original, unadorned footage, but replaced (except for the series pilot) the meowing sound effect with Bob Newhart's voice-over of "meow" in his trademark deadpan style, and in the series finale featured Mimsie yelling “QUIET!", uttered by Darryl & Darryl (their first and only word).
  • The Duck Factory had (right on the credits) feature an off-screen voice say “Where's the cat?”, “Here’s the cat.”, or “Take it, cat!”, and then used the original footage, replacing Mimsie's meow with a "Quack!"
  • In the series finale of St. Elsewhere, Mimsie (possibly portrayed by another cat) is shown unconscious and dying on-screen, connected to an IV, a heart monitor and medical equipment; as the credits roll the heart monitor beeps and then as the credits end the heart monitor flatlines marking the end of St. Elsewhere and Mimsie's death. Coincidentally, Mimsie died shortly after the airing of this episode at the age of 20. Syndicated copies of this episode replace this variant with the normal credits.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati featured Mimsie saying “Ooooooh!”
  • The Steve Allen Show had Mimsie wearing Allen’s sunglasses and says “Schmock!”.
  • Vampire had the MTM text all in dark red, and Mimsie is nowhere to be seen. Due to this, the "T" is in its normal size.
  • In 2013, an episode of Hot in Cleveland titled "Love is All Around", which starred Betty White and featured Georgia Engel, did an MTM reunion with Moore, Valerie Harper, and Cloris Leachman. At the end of the episode the camera pans to a similar-looking cat in the window, giving Mimsie’s final meow in a homage to the company's logo.
  • Mary Tyler Moore Show 20th anniversary had mimsie say *Bye* voiced by Mary Tyler


  1. ^ "MOORE, MARY TYLER - The Museum of Broadcast Communications". 1995-11-26. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  2. ^ "Tinker severs ties with Fox" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1971-01-18. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  3. ^ "Programming Briefs" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1976-06-14. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Tony (July 1, 1981). "Silverman Quits At NBC; Tinker to Succeed Him". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b Carter, Bill (November 27, 1989). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Tinker Looks Beyond 'USA Today on TV'". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Dempsey, John (1986-09-17). "Victory No Quitter; Hits Road Again With MTM Syndie Spoils". Variety. p. 47.
  7. ^ Daniels, Bill (1986-10-22). "MTM Distribution Raises Curtain On Sales Offices". Variety. p. 457.
  8. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Pat Robertson Buys Parent Of MTM for $68.5 Million". The New York Times. (September 23, 1992).
  9. ^ Second potential bidder for TVS. The Times. (London). November 4, 1992.
  10. ^ a b Evangelist may be sole runner for TVS. Martin Waller. The Times. November 26, 1992.
  11. ^ TVS bid opposed. The Times. December 11, 1992.
  12. ^ Evangelist to lift TVS offer. The Times. January 9, 1993.
  13. ^ TVS dissidents try for a better offer. Martin Waller, The Times. (London). Wednesday, 6 January 1993
  14. ^ Robertson wins TVS. The Times. January 23, 1993.
  15. ^ "Ogiens promises to make over MTM" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1995-12-04. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  16. ^ "Fates & Fortunes" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1996-08-05. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  17. ^ Hontz, Jenny (March 14, 1997). "Pinkslips for trio of MTM Worldwide exex". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  18. ^ Peers, Martin; Richmond, Ray; Levin, Gary (June 12, 1997). "Family affair for Fox Kids". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  19. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (July 17, 1997). "News Corp. Taps Fox Kids' Exec". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "NBC To Reboot 'Remington Steele' As Comedy With Ruben Fleischer". Deadline Hollywood. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  21. ^ Kingsbury, Paul (2004). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-1951-7608-7. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  22. ^ Weingarten, Paul. "The Kitten That Roared". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2021-02-25.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 September 2023, at 15:59
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