The Touchstone Films banner was used for TV by then-new Disney CEO Michael Eisner in the 1984–85 television season with the short lived western, Wildside. Touchstone was a banner of Disney Pictures which included at the time television production. In the next season, Disney's TV production unit produced a hit in The Golden Girls using the Touchstone Films brand.
On April 18, 1989, Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television were grouped together under Garth Ancier, president of network television for Walt Disney Studios. With difficulty selling in the off-network syndicated market, Disney television executives decided in late September 1990 that Hull High, then on NBC, or a potential NBC mid-season replacement, Disney Action-Adventure Hour, would be its last hour long drama. High's pilot did cost the company $4.5 million which was considered very costly. In 1992, Touchstone moved into producing longer forms for TV, focusing on more adult fare with its first telefilm for CBS about Edna Buchanan, a Miami Herald crime reporter who would win a Pulitzer Prize.
On August 24, 1994, with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, Richard Frank became head of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications, a new group taking Touchstone and other TV units out of the Disney studios.
In April 1996, due to ongoing post-Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and the retirement of its president, Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications' divisions were reassigned to other groups, with Touchstone Television transferred to The Walt Disney Studios. By March 1998, David Neuman assumed the presidency of Touchstone TV. In March 1998, Touchstone was placed under Buena Vista Television Productions, a newly formed group under chairman Lloyd Braun, along with Walt Disney Network Television.
In 2000, Touchstone created two departments for comedy in September, and a department for drama in December. While two of their pilots were in consideration to be picked up by ABC in April 2003, Tollin/Robbins Productions agreed to a two-year development deal with Touchstone Television, which included a two-year option, shares in profits and outside sales.
ABC Television StudioEdit
In February 2007, Touchstone Television was renamed ABC Television Studios as part of Disney's push to drop secondary brands like Buena Vista for Disney, ABC and ESPN.
In June 2009, ABC Entertainment announced a new organization, effective immediately as ABC Entertainment Group, consolidating back office functions like business affairs, distribution and scheduling of ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment while retaining separate creative units.
In January 2010, Disney–ABC Television Group announced it was cutting 5% of its workforce. In October 2012, ABC Studios formed its Signature division to sell to outside networks
The studio's ABC hits included Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, among others. They also produced multiple series that aired on other networks, like Army Wives and Devious Maids on Lifetime or The Amazing Race on CBS.
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