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New World Pictures

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New World Pictures

New World Pictures
Fate Acquired by News Corporation
Successors Fox Television Stations
Founded July 8, 1970 (1970-07-08)
Defunct January 22, 1997 (1997-01-22)
(still exists as a legal entity to hold ex-New World Fox O&Os)[1]
Headquarters USA[2]
Key people Roger Corman
Products Motion pictures
Television broadcasting

New World Pictures (also known as New World Communications Group, Inc. and founded as New World Pictures, Ltd. then renamed New World Entertainment) was an American independent motion picture and television production company, and later television station owner in the United States from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. 20th Century Fox (then News Corporation), controlled by Rupert Murdoch, became a major investor in 1994 and purchased the company outright in 1997; the alliance with Murdoch helped to cement the Fox network as the fourth major U.S. television network.

Although effectively defunct, it, along with various regional subsidiaries (i.e. "New World Communications of Tampa"), continues to exist as holding companies within the complex 21st Century Fox corporate structure.


New World Pictures (1970-1987)

In 1970, the company was founded as New World Pictures, Ltd., by B-movie director Roger Corman with his brother Gene, after leaving American International Pictures (AIP).[3] At the time, New World was the last remaining national low-budget film distributor, and was also one of the most successful independent companies in the nation.

Corman hoped to continue AIP's formula at New World, making low-budget films made by new talent and distributing them globally. However, it only started out with only ten domestic offices, only one for Canada, and another for the UK; its films were distributed regionally by other companies.[4]

New World initially made exploitation films such as The Student Nurses and other small-scale programmers. Corman helped launch the filmmaking careers of Jonathan Demme (Caged Heat, Crazy Mama), Jonathan Kaplan (White Line Fever), Ron Howard (Grand Theft Auto), Paul Bartel (Death Race 2000), and Joe Dante (Piranha), all of whom made some of their early films as interns for the company.[4]

New World also released foreign films from Ingmar Bergman (Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata), Federico Fellini (Amarcord), Akira Kurosawa (Dersu Uzala), and countless others. The distribution of such films was for Corman to disassociate New World as an exhibitor for exploitation films.[4]

Corman sold the company in 1983 for $16.5 million to Larry Kupin, Harry E. Sloan, and Larry A. Thompson, who took the company public. Corman retained the film library while New World acquired home-video rights. In 1984 Robert Rehme, former CEO of Avco Embassy Pictures and Universal Pictures who had also served as former vice president of sales for New World under Corman in the 1970s was brought in as CEO of New World. Later that year, Thompson left the company to form his own firm.[5]

The company created, in 1984, three new divisions: New World International, distribution of New World content outside the United States; New World Television, television program production unit (its first output was the soap opera Santa Barbara and the made-for-TV movie Playing With Fire); and New World Video, home video distributor for mainly New World Pictures output. New World acquired the Marvel Entertainment Group, parent of Marvel Comics, in November 1986.[6][7] In May 1986, New World acquired Lions Gate Studios, a post-production facility for $4.4 million. By early 1987, the company sold its Taft Broadcasting shares for $17.8 million.[5]

New World Entertainment (1987-1993)

In 1987, New World acquired Highgate Pictures and Learning Corporation of America.[8] New World Pictures by then changed its name to New World Entertainment to better reflect the company's other subsidiaries besides the film studio; including its purchase of Marvel Comics. Also that year New World almost bought two toy companies, Kenner Products and Mattel, but both planned acquisitions never materialized (although Hasbro acquired Kenner Products in 1991). In the fall of 1987, New World became the third in the list of prime-time series producers to the network after Lorimar-Telepictures and MCA. In 1988, New World also faced a lawsuit from Michael Mann, executive producer of Crime Story, a second season hour-long show.[5]

New World faces a major financial slump and the company began to restructure. First, the Marvel Entertainment Group sans Marvel Productions was sold to financier Ronald Perelman's Andrews Group in 1989.[9] Then New World Entertainment was subsequently acquired by Perelman later in the year. Four Star Television, which Perelman had previously acquired, became a unit of New World.[10] The bulk of its film and home video holdings were sold in January 1990 to Trans-Atlantic Pictures, newly formed by former New World executives.[11][12] Highgate Pictures and Learning Corporation of America were shut down in 1990. On October 7, 1991, New World sold much of its "network" assets to Sony Pictures Entertainment.[13] Some television programming such as Santa Barbara and The Wonder Years would continue on by New World until their cancellations in 1993 and would not re-enter production of new network television programs until early 1995.

In 1992, Perelman acquired bankrupt television station group SCI Television from [10] In December 1992, New World formed two new divisions, New World Family Filmworks and New World Action Animation, to increase production to the growing family market by $20 million and would operated under Marvel Productions President Rick Ungar.[13][14] Following Marvel Entertainment Group's (MEG) ToyBiz deal in 1993, Avi Arad of ToyBiz, was named President and CEO of Marvel Films division and of New World Family Filmworks, Inc., a New World Entertainment subsidiary. New World was MEG former parent corporation and later a fellow subsidiary of the Andrews Group.[15] Marvel Productions became New World Animation by 1993 as Marvel and New World start up Marvel Films including Marvel Films Animation.[15][16][17]

New World Communications (1993-1997)

In 1993, New World Entertainment purchased stakes in program distributor Genesis Entertainment and infomercial producer Guthy-Renker.[10] Later that year, GCI Broadcast Services, Inc. (formerly known as Gillett Communications, and previously Storer Broadcasting) was folded into New World, and the company changed its name to New World Communications.[18] The television station group was originally composed of:

A number of major deals involved New World in 1994, including one which would change the face of American broadcasting. The year began with the acquisition of Argyle Television (formerly Times-Mirror Broadcasting, and partially related to Argyle Television Holdings II, which merged with Hearst Broadcasting to form Hearst-Argyle Television in 1997). Argyle's stations included:

A month later, New World acquired four stations from Citicasters (formerly known as Taft Broadcasting):

Because of Federal Communications Commission ownership rules at the time, New World decided to acquire WBRC and WGHP and then place them in a trust at the end of March 1995 for sale to another company. That company would eventually be the News Corporation, who purchased the two stations in Summer 1995 and closed on the purchase on January 17, 1996. Meanwhile, the transfer/assignment applications of the Argyle stations were not filed with the FCC until some time after New World had already completed its purchases of the four Citicasters stations on September 9 and October 12, 1994. New World took control of the Argyle stations on January 19, 1995 through time brokerage agreements, and after WBRC and WGHP were placed in a trust, New World completed the acquisition of the Argyle stations on April 14, 1995.

Less than a month after the Citicasters acquisition announcement, and in the wake of Fox's acquisition of the rights to National Football League games (announced some time earlier), News Corporation (Fox's parent company) made a deal with New World which moved the Fox affiliations to most of New World's stations.[2]

Three New World stations were not included in the Fox deal. In Boston, where New World owned WSBK-TV, Fox was already affiliated with WFXT, a station it would later reacquire. In Birmingham, WVTM was not included because WBRC would be sold to Fox directly, and would switch to Fox when its affiliation contract with ABC expired. And, in San Diego, KNSD did not switch because Fox was already on a VHF station, Tijuana, Mexico-based XETV. Both KNSD and WVTM retained their NBC affiliations. All three stations were to be sold as well in order to keep the company's station holdings below the FCC limit at that time, 12.[18]

Later that year, former NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff joined the company, and as a result New World acquired his production company Moving Target Productions. Also, New World acquired the remainder of Genesis Entertainment, which gave New World television distribution capabilities as well as production.

In 1995, New World sold WSBK-TV in Boston to Viacom. As well, Genesis Entertainment was renamed New World-Genesis Distribution. Later, it signed a distribution deal with NBC (Access Hollywood was the only program that came out of the deal, it is now distributed by NBCUniversal Television) which also called for ten-year NBC affiliation renewals on the Birmingham and San Diego stations. That year also brought in the acquisition of Cannell Entertainment and Premiere magazine (Premiere magazine was purchased in a joint venture between New World and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., when New World was sold to News Corporation, Hachette-Filipacchi took full ownership of Premiere).

In 1996 New World sold the Birmingham and San Diego stations to NBC, becoming final on August 14. In July of that same year, News Corporation announced the purchase of the remainder of New World Communications.

On January 22, 1997, News Corporation completed the acquisition of New World Communications, and its television stations were placed into the Fox Television Stations division. Stations formerly owned by New World and still owned by Fox, the copyright for the stations have been either "New World Communications of (city or state)" or "NW Communications of (city or state)" except between 2007 and June 2009. These names have also been used as the legal licensee names of these stations since late June 2009.

Current rights to the New World libraries

1971-1983 films

1984-1991 films

Television programs

Former New World-owned television stations

  • *—Station owned by a third party but operated by KDFW-TV under a local marketing agreement.
  • **—Stations acquired with the purchases of KSAZ-TV and WDAF-TV, but later placed in a trust for sale to Fox. New World continued to operate the stations for several months until Fox took over through time brokerage agreements in September 1995.

Partial filmography

Roger Corman Regime

New Regime

(P/U) = film picked up for distribution by New World only


  1. ^ "WJBK ownership report".  
  2. ^ a b Ealy, Charles (18 July 1996). "Murdoch buys New World for $2.8 billion News Corp.; deal includes Channel 4".  
  3. ^ King, Susan (July 9, 1995). "Roger Corman: Master of His Cult".  
  4. ^ a b c David A. Cook. Lost illusions: American cinema in the shadow of Watergate and ..., Volume 9.  
  5. ^ a b c "REAL CLIFFHANGER Will New World Be the Next Financial Horror in Hollywood? New World Entertainment".  
  6. ^ Keppel, Bruce (November 21, 1986). "Cadence Selling Comic-Book, Animation Unit : New World Pictures to Acquire Marvel".  
  7. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (October 11, 1988). "Superheroes' Battleground: Prime Time". New York Times. 
  8. ^ William Deneen, Retrieved on June 2, 2012
  9. ^ Hicks, Jonathan P. (1988-11-08). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Marvel Comic Book Unit Being Sold for $82.5 Million".  
  10. ^ a b c "MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  11. ^ "New World Deal". Los Angeles Times. January 4, 1990. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ The Los Angeles Times
  13. ^ a b "New World forms two new kidvid banners". Variety. December 8, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "New World Expands TV Program Activities". Los Angeles Times. December 9, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT AND AVI ARAD TO DEVELOP MEDIA PROJECTS". The Free Farlex, Inc. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "John Semper on "Spider-Man": 10th Anniversary Interview". Marvel Animation Age. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Cawley, John. "Marvel Films Animation 1993-1997". Home of John Cawley. John Cawley. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Harris, Kathryn (June 18, 1994). "Broadcasting's Creators of a New World : Perelman, Bevins Credited With Transforming the TV Station Operator". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Shout If You Want Roger Corman Creatures and Classic Gamera DVDs!". DreadCentral. 

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