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Aaron Spelling to Produce CBS Programming : Deal Will Allow Firm to Continue ABC Work

September 23, 1987|AL DELUGACH | Times Staff Writer

Aaron Spelling Productions, which has produced television programming only for ABC for more than 17 years, has a new, non-exclusive deal with CBS for producing television series and TV movies next year, the parties said Tuesday.

The initial agreement includes a firm commitment for 13 on-air episodes of a series to be developed, as well as for two two-hour television movies, to be broadcast during the 1988-89 season.

As reported Aug. 12, the Spelling firm and ABC extended their contract for three more years but on a non-exclusive basis. The old pact was to run until next April.

Only two Spelling productions were renewed by ABC for this fall, "Dynasty" and "Hotel." The same network rejected two pilots for the new season, which set a low-water mark for Spelling in terms of network series on the air. In past years, the producer created a flock of hit ABC series, including "Charlie's Angels," "Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" and "Family," some of them made with former partner Leonard Goldberg.

The agreement with CBS was viewed by the industry as a welcome boost for a company whose profit and stock price have suffered this year.

Stock Price at $8.875

For the nine months ended April 30, Spelling reported that revenue decreased to $122 million from $187.8 million and net income to $17.2 million from $20.1 million. James A. Roach, vice president for finance, said the company will issue on Monday its results for the year ended July 31. He said they will be "what we expected all year"--something less than last year's $24.1-million net profit.

The price of Spelling's shares on the American Stock Exchange also have been trading at about 35% below the $14 figure that prevailed when it went public in June, 1986. The issue closed Tuesday at $8.875 a share, unchanged from Monday.

Investor Marvin Davis, a longtime friend of controlling shareholder Aaron Spelling, made news last week when he reported that he had sold 192,600 of his 582,500 shares in the company and was considering selling more. He was one of the original buyers of its stock last year.

The new relationship with CBS "marks an exciting milestone in our company's history," the announcement quoted Aaron Spelling as saying. "I am certain that many significant projects will be developed and produced as a result of this association."

CBS' issuing of a "blind" commitment for a future series is not uncommon for networks dealing with successful producers.

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