ABC Studios

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Touchstone Television Productions, LLC
ABC Studios
Limited liability company
IndustryTelevision production
PredecessorABC Circle Films
ABC Productions
Walt Disney Television
Touchstone Television
FoundedMarch 21, 1985; 33 years ago (1985-03-21)
Area served
Key people
  • Patrick Moran (President)
ParentABC Entertainment Group
(Disney–ABC Television Group)

ABC Studios, a DBA of Touchstone Television Productions, LLC,[1][2] is the television production unit of ABC Entertainment Group, part of Disney–ABC Television Group (both ultimately owned by The Walt Disney Company). ABC Studios was established as the Touchstone Television banner in 1985 and given its current name on May 28, 2007.


Touchstone Television[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

On April 18, 1989, Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television were grouped together under Garth Ancier, president of network television for Walt Disney Studios.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

In 2000, Touchstone created two departments for comedy in September, and a department for drama in December.[11] 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.[12]

ABC Television Studio[edit]

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.[3][1]

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.[13][14] In January 2010, Disney–ABC Television Group announced it was cutting 5% of its workforce.[15] In October 2012, ABC Studios formed its Signature unit to sell to outside networks.[16]

In early 2016, ABC Studios International (also referred to as ABC International Studios) was started up with the appointment of Keli Lee as managing director, international content and talent and her move to London. The unit, announced at MIPCOM in October 2016, would allow more overseas local productions, leveraging fellow Disney Media Network expertise in distribution and production expertise for local co-production, international co-productions, IP library re-version and original formats acquisition and production. This would add to Disney-ABC's international productions in Latin America, where the company has 16 years of producing local content.[17] In April 2017, the international unit greenlit its first co-production Harrow Australia series.[18] Lee signed Hoodlum Entertainment, Harrow co-production company to a first look deal by February 2018.[19] With ABC picking up the international unit's Reef Break in August 2018, ABC Studios was added as a co-producer.[20]

In August 2017, Ryan Seacrest Productions left CBS at the end of their deal to move over to ABC Studios.[21] Following up its cable/streaming unit expansion, ABC Studios launched a new Alternative Division for the full range of unscripted work from documentary to game show to social experiment shows. The former executive vice president of development and production at Ryan Seacrest Productions and Universal TV Alternative Studios' former head, Fernando Hernandez was hired by the studio to head the division around January 2018. The division was announced in October 2018 with a small slate, a production executive Gareth Provan and an in-house development group, The Originals Group. The division is tapping existing production companies with deals at ABC Studios, Ryan Seacrest Productions, Larry Wilmore’s Wilmore Films and Bob Sertner Productions, plus partnerships Hernandez has developed including with Mission Control Media, Parker Paige Media, INE Entertainment, Party Pit Productions.[22]

List of programs produced by Touchstone Television/ABC Studios[edit]

Currently produced[edit]

Title Year Network Notes
The Amazing Race 2001–present CBS as Touchstone Television until 2007; co-production with Jerry Bruckheimer Television
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2003–present ABC as Touchstone Television until 2007; co-production with Jackhole Productions
Grey's Anatomy 2005–present ABC as Touchstone Television until 2007; co-production with The Mark Gordon Company and Shondaland Productions (2005–present) (season 2–present)
Criminal Minds 2005–present CBS as Touchstone Television until 2007; co-production with The Mark Gordon Company and CBS Television Studios
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2013–present ABC co-production with Mutant Enemy Productions and Marvel Television
Black-ish 2014–present ABC co-production with Khalabo Ink Society, Principato-Young Entertainment, Cinema Gypsy Productions and Artists First
How to Get Away with Murder 2014–present ABC co-production with Nowalk Entertainment and Shondaland
Marvel's Jessica Jones 2015–present Netflix co-production with Tall Girls Productions and Marvel Television
Speechless 2016–present ABC co-production with Silver & Gold Productions, The Detective Agency and 20th Century Fox Television
American Housewife 2016–present ABC co-production with Eight Sisters, Inc., Wiener & Schwartz Productions and Kapital Entertainment
The Good Doctor 2017–present ABC co-production with 3AD Productions, EnterMedia Content, Shore Z Productions and Sony Pictures Television
The Alec Baldwin Show 2018–present ABC co-production with Greengrass Productions and El Dorado Pictures
For the People 2018–present ABC co-production with Davies Heavy Industries and Shondaland
Station 19 2018–present ABC co-production with Shondaland
Single Parents 2018–present ABC co-production with Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures, JJ Philbin Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
A Million Little Things 2018–present ABC co-production with Next Thing You Know Productions, Fee-Fi-Fo Films and Kapital Entertainment
The Kids Are Alright 2018–present ABC co-production with Mr. Bigshot Fancy-Pants Productions Inc.
The Rookie 2018–present ABC co-production with Perfectman Pictures and Entertainment One Television
Schooled 2019–present ABC co-production with Sony Pictures Television and Happy Madison Productions

Future productions[edit]

Title Year Network Notes
The Fix 2019 ABC co-production with Erica Messer Productions and Mandeville Television
Grand Hotel 2019 ABC co-production with UnbeliEVAble Entertainment
Bless This Mess 2019 ABC co-production with 20th Century Fox Television

Former productions[edit]

Alternative Division[edit]


Title Year Network Co-production company Notes
Best Bite Ever TBA ABC [22]
Ink & Paint Disney+ co-production with Sertner Productions[22]

ABC Studios International[edit]

Title Year(s) Service(s) Co-production company(ies) Notes
Harrow 2018—present ABC (AU), Alibi (UK), Hulu (US)[23] Hoodlum Entertainment, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Queensland [18]
Reef Break 2019— ABC (US), M6 (FR) ABC Studios [20]
The Gloaming 2019— Stan Sweet Potato Films, 2 Jons, Mushroom Pictures [24]

ABC Signature[edit]

ABC Signature Studios, Inc.[25]
ABC Signature
IndustryFilmed entertainment
FoundedOctober 2012 (2012-10)[16]
Key people
Tracy Underwood[16]
Production output
Cable show programs[16]
ParentABC Studios
(ABC Entertainment Group)[16] Edit this on Wikidata

ABC Signature Studios, Inc. (alternatively Signature, or ABC Signature) is the boutique cable and streaming production subsidiary of ABC Studios.

Signature history[edit]

ABC Studios was moving to sell to outside networks. As the studios had placed the former ABC comedy Cougar Town at TBS, and Devious Maids at Lifetime, Signature was started in October 2012 to continue the trend.[16]

Signature developed Mistresses, which was included in ABC's summer schedule and renewed for another season.[16] Signature was incorporated on September 23, 2013.[25] In October 2013, the division placed its first outside project, Benched, for USA with a pilot order which finished shooting by December. Other projects were in the works with A&E, WE tv and TBS. In the works with ABC, Signature has a possible straight-to-series Stephen King story adaptation, Grand Central based on The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates.[16] Corporate sibling Freeform picked up Rated P For Parenthood for development as its first program from Signature in June 2014.[26]

In April 2015, Signature and ABC Studios agreed to a two-year, first-look with Black Label Media, started by Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill three years ago as a financing and producing company.[27] McG's Wonderland Sound & Vision signed a two-year overall production agreement with Signature, Freeform and ABC Studios in October 2015. This follows two productions from McG on Freeform/ABC Family.[28] Signature signed SMILF producer Frankie Shaw to a two-year overall deal in July 2018.[29] In March 2019, the deal was suspended.[30]

In April 2016, Freeform greenlit Marvel's Cloak & Dagger with a straight-to-series order as Marvel Television's first co-production with Signature.[31] Another co-production with Marvel Television was greenlit in August 2016, with Marvel's Runaways confirmed for the Hulu streaming service.[32] Signature put in development a live action Mighty Ducks series in January 2018 that is likely to end up being a show on BAMTech's Disney brand streaming service.[33]

Signature is teaming with John Grisham, Hulu and Michael Seitzman's Maniac Production to create Grisham Universe set of TV series. The franchise would begin with two series, The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer, based on Grisham's books with potential to grow to additional series.[34]

Signature productions[edit]


Title Year Network Notes
SMILF 2017–present Showtime co-production with Showtime Networks,[35] Supahsmaht Productions, Groundswell Productions and Quantity Entertainment
Marvel's Runaways 2017–present Hulu co-production with Fake Empire Productions and Marvel Television[32]
Grown-ish 2018–present[36] Freeform co-production with Khalabo Ink Society, Principato-Young Entertainment and Cinema Gypsy Productions
Marvel's Cloak & Dagger 2018–present co-production with Wandering Rocks Productions and Marvel Television[31]


Title Year Network Notes
Godfather of Harlem 2019 Epix co-production with Significant Productions[37]
Marvel's New Warriors TBA TBA co-production with Marvel Television[38][39]
Grand Central[16] ABC co-production with Upstart Entertainment
Shatter Me [citation needed]
Strega A&E co-production with Gotham Group[26]
Borne to be Wilde co-production with Coquette Productions [26]
Suburban Shootout WE tv co-production with Kapital Entertainment and Feelgood Fiction[26]
Corridors TBA [26]
Rated P For Parenthood Freeform[26] co-production with Milojo Productions
Little Fires Everywhere Hulu co-production with Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street[40]
Unrelated Freeform [41]
The Mighty Ducks Disney+ co-production with Brillstein Entertainment[42]
High Fidelity 10-episode order; co-production with Midnight Radio[43]
The Rainmaker Hulu co-production with Hulu and Maniac Productions; development stage; based on John Grisham's books[34]
Rogue Lawyer


Title Year Network Notes
Mistresses 2013–16 ABC[16] co-production with Good Talk Productions, Bob Sertner Productions, Ecosse Films and Tsiporah Productions
Benched 2014 USA[16] co-production with The Mark Gordon Company
Blood & Oil 2015 ABC[44] co-production with Flame Ventures
Confirmation 2016 HBO television film; co-production with Groundswell Productions and HBO Films[45]
Dead of Summer 2016 Freeform co-production with Kitsis-Horowitz Productions[46]
Guerrilla 2017 Sky Atlantic/Showtime miniseries; co-production with Green Door Pictures, Fifty Fathoms and Stearns Castle Entertainment[47]
All About the Washingtons 2018 Netflix co-production with Simmons Lehman Productions[48] and Amblin Television[49]


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  2. ^ "Annual Report 2018 Exhibit 21: List of Subsidiaries" (PDF). The Walt Disney Company. p. 113. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
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  30. ^ Masters, Kim; Elise Sandberg, Bryn (March 8, 2019). "'SMILF' Canceled at Showtime Amid Probe Into Creator Frankie Shaw's Alleged Misconduct". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
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  32. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (August 17, 2016). "Hulu Orders 'Marvel's Runaways' Series From Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
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  42. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 22, 2018). "'Mighty Ducks' TV Series in the Works (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  43. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 24, 2018). "Zoe Kravitz to Star in 'High Fidelity' TV Series at Disney Streaming Service". Variety. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  44. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 12, 2015). "ABC Fall Schedule 2015 — First Look". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  45. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 12, 2015). "Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  46. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (February 10, 2016). "'Dead of Summer' Casts 'OUAT' Alums Elizabeth Mitchell & Elizabeth Lail". Variety. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  47. ^ Vivarelli, Nick. "Showtime-Sky Miniseries 'Guerrilla' Adds Cast Ahead of London Shoot Start". Variety. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  48. ^ Pedersen, Erik (July 18, 2018). "'All About The Washingtons' Trailer: Rev Run & Justine Simmons In Autobiographical Netflix Sitcom". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  49. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 18, 2017). "Netflix Orders Comedy Series Starring Rev Run From Amblin TV & ABC Signature". Deadline. Retrieved October 3, 2018.

External links[edit]