The Disney-ABC Television Group will rename its in-house production company, Touchstone Television, as the ABC Television Studio, it was announced today at the 2007 Disney Investor Conference by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. The announcement was made as part of a company-wide strategy to focus on three core brands, Disney, ABC and ESPN.
The new name reflects the studio’s critical role in building a brand that viewers identify with quality television on any platform. The newly named ABC Television Studio will continue to develop and produce premiere programming for network, cable, web, VOD, mobile and broadband platforms for The Walt Disney Company, as well as other outlets.
In a related announcement also made at the conference, the business unit formerly known as Buena Vista Games will now be known as Disney Interactive Studios.
“Over the past few years, the studio has delivered some of the highest quality, most successful programming on television, including international franchise hits ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives,’ as well as this year’s Golden Globe winners, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Ugly Betty,'” said Sweeney. “The new name ties this success more closely with the ABC brand that viewers have come to value and trust.”
The formerly-named Touchstone Television has emerged as a leader in television development and production. The studio currently has 18 series on broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, ABC Family, Lifetime and FX. The studio’s current slate includes the top three scripted shows on television in the key A18-49 demographic – “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost” – a feat no other studio has achieved in the history of Nielsen People Meter rating system. In addition to its contributions to ABC’s schedule, the studio’s programming also includes the Emmy-nominated comedy “Scrubs” on NBC and hits “Ghost Whisperer” and “Criminal Minds” for CBS. For cable television, the studio produces ABC Family’s best-performing original series of all time, “Kyle XY,” as well as “Dirt,” the new FX series starring Courteney Cox. Another series, “Army Wives,” will launch on Lifetime in June. The studio also produces ABC’s late-night talker “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and is a distributor for “The Amazing Race” on CBS.
“It is incredibly rewarding that the company recognizes the strength of the studio as an asset to build overall brand perception,” said Mark Pedowitz, president, ABC Television Studio. “Under the ABC Television Studio banner, we will continue our strategy to create quality programming that makes a connection with consumers through a multitude of platforms.”