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Rysher Entertainment, Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1991; 33 years ago (1991)
FounderKeith Samples
Defunct1999; 25 years ago (1999)
FateShut down by Cox Broadcasting, assets acquired by Vine Alternative Investments
Vine Alternative Investments
Paramount Pictures (film library with the exception of The Opposite of Sex, retained by Sony Pictures Classics)
CBS Media Ventures (television arm)
HeadquartersLansing, Michigan, United States

Rysher Entertainment, Inc. was an American film and television production company and distributor. It was founded in 1991. In 1993, Rysher was acquired by Cox Enterprises, and was closed in 1999.


Keith Samples established the company in April 1991,[1] as an independent company, whose sole product had been the distribution of the series Saved by the Bell (at the time, NBC could not distribute it in syndication due to fin-syn rules). Encouraged by the success, it made its second move with their first foray into animation, Captain N and the Video Game Masters, the off-net syndicated version of the DIC Entertainment series that also aired on NBC, Captain N: The Game Master.[2] Also that year, it attempted to merge with film and television production company The Kushner-Locke Company, only for the deal to be aborted.[3][4]

Also that year, Cox Enterprises was in discussions to purchase the studio and helped them merge with TPE.[5] It was considered that later that year that Gay Rosenthal was inking a deal with the studio to distribute their own projects.[6] The Cox/Rysher merger was finalized,[7] and soon afterwards, Rysher merged with Al Masini's Television Program Enterprises to form Rysher TPE, its alternate name used from 1993 to 1994, and helped them to syndicate California Dreams, with Keith Samples remaining at the helm.[8]

Through it, they produced and distributed shows, such as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (renamed Lifestyles with Robin Leach and Shari Belafonte for the final season) and Star Search. Later, they produced and distributed George & Alana. The company branched out into feature films, and in the span of three years had produced over two dozen. In late 1993, Beverly Hills 90210 star Gabrielle Carteris, through GABCO Productions struck a deal with Rysher TPE for a production/distribution agreement.[9]

In May 1995, Rysher entered into a five-film domestic distribution arrangement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). The company closed the film unit due to underperforming box-office sales in July 1997.[10] Later that year, in 1997, Papazian-Hrsch Entertainment struck a deal with Rysher to develop their TV projects.[11]

In 1998, Rysher collaborated with HBO to distribute some of the series outside of the United States, including Arli$$, Oz and Sex and the City. The company was closed in 1999 after Viacom entered an agreement with Cox Enterprises, allowing Paramount Pictures and its television unit to handle distribution rights.[12] The company's library is incorporated into CBS Media Ventures for television series and Paramount Pictures for films (except The Opposite of Sex). The company's films and series included Hogan's Heroes (whose partial rights are held by CBS), Ben Casey, Walking Tall, Nash Bridges (continued by Paramount Network Television), Highlander: The Series, Kingpin, and Big Night. In 1998, Rysher and CBS Productions jointly purchased the Ann-Margret CBS drama Four Corners from Columbia TriStar Television.[13]

The company's assets were acquired by 2929 Entertainment in 2001. They were bought by Qualia Capital, LLC. in 2006, and were merged with Gaylord Films and Pandora Entertainment. The combined entity became known as Qualia Libraries Co. and the brand name served as a limited partnership, and now owns the trademark to Hogan's Heroes. In 2011, Qualia Libraries Co. was acquired by affiliates of Vine Alternative Investments which were integrated into Lakeshore Entertainment in 2015.[14] Vine acquired Lakeshore's library and international sales operations in November 2019. Village Roadshow Pictures was given remake rights to the Rysher library through Lakeshore Village Entertainment, a joint venture with Vine. Viacom merged with CBS Corporation, under the name ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global), as a single distribution company in December. CBS Media Ventures currently distributes Rysher's television library, while the distribution rights to the film library lie with Paramount Pictures, with Trifecta Entertainment handling North American broadcast television rights.

Television programs

Main article: List of Paramount Global television programs § Rysher Entertainment

Feature films

Release date Title Co-Producer Distributor
April 28, 1995 Destiny Turns on the Radio Savoy Pictures
October 27, 1995 Three Wishes
November 17, 1995 It Takes Two Dualstar Productions Warner Bros. Pictures
January 20, 1996 Hard Eight Green Parrot The Samuel Goldwyn Company
April 3, 1996 Primal Fear Paramount Pictures
July 26, 1996 Kingpin Motion Picture Corporation of America Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
August 9, 1996 Escape from L.A. Paramount Pictures
August 7, 1996 House Arrest Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
August 23, 1996 Foxfire Chestnut Hills Productions/Red Mullet Productions The Samuel Goldwyn Company
September 26, 1996 Big Night Timpano Productions
September 27, 1996 2 Days in the Valley Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
November 1, 1996 Dear God Paramount Pictures
December 25, 1996 The Evening Star
January 10, 1997 Turbulence Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
January 24, 1997 Zeus and Roxanne
March 7, 1997 Private Parts Paramount Pictures
April 4, 1997 The Saint Mace Neufeld Productions
August 22, 1997 A Smile Like Yours
October 3, 1997 Kiss the Girls
October 31, 1997 Switchback Pacific Western Productions
May 22, 1998 The Opposite of Sex Sony Pictures Classics


  1. ^ "COX COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF RYSHER ENTERTAINMENT" (Press release). Cox Enterprises. PR Newswire. Retrieved September 15, 2016 – via The Free Library.
  2. ^ "A sampling of the programming wares at INTV" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 13, 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 30, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Kushner-Locke, Rysher merge" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 1, 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "Rysher/Kushner-Locke merger off" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 27, 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  5. ^ McClellan, Steve (December 7, 1992). "Cox negotiates for Rysher Entertainment" (PDF). Broadcasting. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  6. ^ "First-look for Rosenthal" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 21, 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  7. ^ Freeman, Mike (February 1, 1993). "It's official: Cox to buy Rysher" (PDF). Broadcasting. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Samples tops at TPE in Cox shuffle" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 29, 1993. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "Rysher TPE signs deal with '90210' co-star" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 4, 1993. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  10. ^ "RYSHER CALLS 'Cut!'" (Press release). Andrew Hindes. Variety. July 9, 1997. Retrieved May 11, 2018 – via Variety.
  11. ^ "New producers for 'Bridges'" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 29, 1997. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 1, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  12. ^ ""ET" ALL PAR TV'S NOW" (Press release). Cynthia Littleton. Variety. May 27, 1999. Retrieved May 11, 2018 – via Variety.
  13. ^ Hontz, Jenny (January 16, 1998). "Eye web drama in transit". Variety. Archived from the original on September 16, 2021. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  14. ^ "Claim 311 on 2016 CD - eCRB". Retrieved November 19, 2019.