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ELP Communications

ELP Communications
Fate In-name-only unit of Sony Pictures Television
Founded 1974
Founder(s) Norman Lear
Jerry Perenchio
Defunct 1998
Headquarters USA
Products Television Production
Broadcast syndication
Parent Independent (1974-1982)
Embassy Communications, Inc. (1982-1985)
The Coca-Cola Company (1985-1987)
Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (1987-1991)
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (1991-1998)
Subsidiaries Tandem Productions

(Embassy Television is not to be confused with Avco Embassy Television. AETV's successor-in-interest is NBCUniversal Television Distribution by way of Multimedia Entertainment)

ELP Communications (formerly known as T.A.T. Communications Company, Embassy Television, Embassy Telecommunications, and Embassy Communications) was an American television production company that originally began in 1974. The company remains as an in-name only unit of Sony Pictures Television.


The Beginning

ELP Communications was first known as T.A.T. Communications Company when it was formed in 1974[1] when Norman Lear joined up with comedian Jerry Perenchio, a year before Yorkin ended his partnership with Lear. "T.A.T." stood for a Yiddish phrase pronounced "Tuchus Affen Tisch", which meant "Putting one's butt on the line" (ass on the table).

The first sitcom to be produced by T.A.T. Communications was The Jeffersons, that was spun off from the groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family in 1975.

Acquisition of Avco Embassy and rename

Television producer Norman Lear and his business partner Jerry Perenchio bought Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation in January 1982 and decided to drop the name "Avco" from the name to bring back the name Embassy Pictures and T.A.T. Communications Co. was renamed to Embassy Communications, Inc.

Lear decided to launch Embassy Television, a division name for his shows by the former T.A.T. Communications such as The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and The Facts of Life. More shows were produced by Embassy Television such as the first two under the name: Square Pegs and Silver Spoons. The latter show ran five seasons, while the former ran one but developed a cult following. Who's the Boss? was piloted later in 1983 until airing in 1984. Embassy Television also produced Diff'rent Strokes 's final season from Tandem Productions, which was eventually operated by Embassy.

Embassy also held the TV rights to a majority of the Embassy theatrical library (see Embassy Pictures for more information). Embassy Telecommunications (formerly P*I*T*S Films), was the television distribution arm of Embassy Television. They distributed off syndicated shows by Embassy Television and those by Tandem Productions and T.A.T. Communications.

Coke era

In 1985, CBS canceled The Jeffersons and NBC canceled Diff'rent Strokes, the latter of which then moved to ABC. Lear and Perenchio sold Embassy Communications (included Tandem Productions) to The Coca-Cola Company (then-current owners of Columbia Pictures) for $485 million on June 18[2][3][4][5] and a new sitcom, 227, debuted on NBC. After the sale, Lear, Perenchio, nor Bud Yorkin were no longer involved in Embassy or Tandem.

A year later, the television brand name was renamed to Embassy Communications as a television production and distribution banner of Embassy by producing the shows by Embassy Television and distributing those by Tandem Productions and T.A.T. Communications. When ABC canceled Diff'rent Strokes, the brand name Tandem Productions was abandoned and was merged with Embassy Television and Embassy Telecommunications to become Embassy Communications. In November 1986, Coca-Cola fused Embassy's television operations including the movie packages (Embassy II and Embassy III) with Columbia Pictures Television; the combined company became Columbia/Embassy Television, though Columbia and Embassy continued to produce and distribute programs under their separate names. Married with Children was the next successful sitcom by Embassy Communications in 1987.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment eras

In December 1987, Coca-Cola merged the theatrical divisions Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Pictures into Columbia Pictures Entertainment and merging their other units Triumph Releasing Corporation, Embassy Communications, and Merv Griffin Enterprises under that banner. Still-running Embassy shows would bear the Columbia Pictures Television logo in January 1988 for the rest of their runs.

Embassy Communications then became ELP (Embassy Limited Partnership) Communications in February 1988 under the banner of Columbia Pictures Television. The television distribution arm was then folded into Columbia Pictures Television Distribution. On November 8, 1989, Columbia Pictures Entertainment was sold to Sony Corporation and renamed as Sony Pictures Entertainment on August 7, 1991.

The final surviving show to be produced by Embassy Television was Beakman's World in 1992. In February 1994, SPE merged Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television to become Columbia TriStar Television. All series by CPT, TriStar, ELP, and Merv Griffin were produced under the banner. Beakman's World was cancelled in 1997 and ELP Communications became an in-name only unit of Columbia TriStar Television in 1998.

Today, television distribution rights to both Embassy's television and theatrical libraries are now owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment's television division. Also, all shows from T.A.T. Communications Company to ELP Communications are all copyrighted by ELP Communications on DVD releases by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, with the exception of the first season of 227.

Studios and tapings by ELP Communications

  • The Jeffersons at CBS Television City (1975), Metromedia Square (1975–1982) and Universal Studios by Compact Video (1982–1985)
  • Hot l Baltimore (1975)
  • One Day At a Time (1975–1984) at CBS Television City (1975), Metromedia Square (1975–1982) and Universal Studios by Compact Video (1982–1985)
  • All's Fair (1976–1977) at Metromedia Square
  • Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman at Metromedia Square (1976–1978)
  • Fernwood 2Night at Metromedia Square (1977–1978)
  • Hello, Larry (1979) at Metromedia Square
  • McGurk: A Dog's Life (Pilot) (1979)
  • The Baxters at Metromedia Square (1979–1981)
  • The Facts of Life at Metromedia Square (1979–1982), Universal Studios By Compact Video (1982–1985) and Sunset-Gower Studios (1985–1988)
  • Palmerstown, U.S.A. (1980–1981) at Metromedia Square
  • Silver Spoons at Metromedia Square for pilot and Universal Studios by Compact Video (1982–1985), and Sunset-Gower Studios (1985–1987)
  • Square Pegs on location (1982-1983)
  • Who's the Boss? at Universal Studios by Compact Video (1983–1985) and ABC Television Center (1985–1992)
  • a.k.a. Pablo at Universal Studios by Compact Video (1984)
  • Double Trouble at Universal Studios by Compact Video Season 1, Sun Television, Compact Video Season 2 (1984–85)
  • E/R at Universal Studios by Compact Video for Pilot, by One Pass Film and Video (1984–85) by Sun Television (1985) Quality Video (1985)
  • 227 at Metromedia Square (1985–1986); renamed Fox Television Center (1986–1990)
  • The Charmings at ABC Television Center (1987–1988)
  • Married with Children at ABC Television Center (1987–1988), Sunset-Gower Studios (1988–1994), and Sony Pictures Studios (1994–1997)

In Charge of Production for Embassy Television

  • Al Burton (1982-1983) production supervisor
  • Glenn Padnick (1983-1986) production supervisor
  • Frances McConnell (1986-1989) production supervisor
  • Ken Stump (1983–1988) former associate producer for Tandem Productions and T.A.T. Communications from 1978-1980 (Tandem Productions/Embassy Television-ELP Communications) (died in 1990)
  • Ed Lammi (1988–1998) for ELP Communications (Was the Executive Vice President for SPT's Production)


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