You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Par to close Big Ticket

Lyttle exit leads studio to absorb prod'n co.

HOLLYWOOD — Paramount has pinkslipped Big Ticket TV.

The production shingle, responsible for skeins such as syndicated megahit “Judge Judy” and UPN laffer “The Parkers,” will be folded into the mother ship in the coming months.

Concurrently, Big Ticket founder-president Larry Lyttle, who had a year left on his deal, has opted to leave the company.

Lyttle said Big Ticket will wind down operations in the next three to four months, probably shuttering by October. The company’s syndie shows (“Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown”) will move under Paramount Domestic TV, while Paramount Network TV will take over primetime skeins “The Parkers,” CBS’ “Hack” and the WB’s “Jamie Kennedy Experiment.”

Viacom Entertainment Group chairman Jonathan Dolgen and Paramount TV Production prexy Garry Hart said the decision to shutter Big Ticket came after Lyttle decided to call it quits — but that the studio had also been looking at new ways to streamline its operations.

It made sense to announce the closing of Big Ticket now, before the new development season began, Lyttle said.

Still unclear is the fate of Big Ticket’s 35 employees. Some of the production company’s staff likely will move to Paramount, while others have job offers elsewhere, Lyttle said.

“Because this has been so amicable, Paramount really emphasized to me that they’ll be taking care of everyone here,” he said. “I leave with a great sense of satisfaction, although I’m sad that the company is not going on without me.”

Lyttle originally launched Big Ticket as a sitcom-centric subsidiary of Spelling TV in October 1994. (The shingle’s name was a play on the logo for Spelling’s then-parent, Blockbuster.)

Viacom later bought Blockbuster, including Spelling/Big Ticket, and Par took on oversight of Big Ticket last year after the departure of Paramount TV Group topper Kerry McCluggage prompted a round of corporate restructuring.

Beyond the company’s current crop of shows, Big Ticket also was responsible for long-running skeins such as UPN’s “Moesha.”

“We applaud and congratulate Larry for shepherding such a prolific and financially successful company,” Dolgen said. “He has been a very valuable part of Paramount and Viacom. Larry has also been both a great friend and a great colleague and has contributed to our success in a significant way.”

After nine years running Big Ticket — and a 25-year-career as a seller that included stints running Spelling TV and developing for Warner Bros. TV — Lyttle said he was looking forward to a break.

“I want a third act to my career,” he said. “It was inevitable that I wanted to do something else.”

Lyttle said the recent deaths of two close friends gave him the impetus to take stock of his life. The exec said he hadn’t yet determined his next leap –but it won’t be as a producer.

The exec said he wouldn’t rule out political consulting as a future career.

“I’ve sold TV shows for 25 years. At a certain point and time you say, you’ve done it,” he said.

More TV

  • ‘Gentleman Jack’ Gets Season 2 at

    ‘Gentleman Jack’ Renewed for Season 2 at BBC, HBO

    “Gentleman Jack” will return to TV screens on both sides of the Atlantic after the BBC and HBO ordered a second season of the period drama. The series is based on a true story and stars Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, a lesbian, and the proprietor of her family’s coal mines. She has to walk [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • Vida

    Why Too Much TV Can Be a Good Thing (Column)

    Three episodes into the second season of “Vida,” there’s a wedding so gloriously and specifically queer that I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. After watching countless couples walk down the aisle onscreen before, Starz’s “Vida” takes care to show a ceremony quite unlike any other, featuring drag queens, a pair of Latinx grooms in bedazzled [...]

  • Emmys: Peak TV Meets Peak FYC

    Emmys: Peak TV Meets Peak FYC With Activations and Experiences

    As the number of Emmy contenders continues to skyrocket in this era of too much choice, “For Your Consideration” events are evolving into full-fledged experiential activations. The traditional Emmy screenings and panel discussions are still around — and have grown to a point that the Television Academy now allows competing events on the same day. [...]


    TV Ratings: ABC's 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' Easily Tops Wednesday

    The ABC special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” handily walked away with Wednesday night in the overnight ratings. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” pulled in a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers. For comparison, its closest competition in the demo were the season finales of “Chicago Med” and [...]

  • Star Trek: Picard - Logo ©

    'Star Trek: Picard' Drops First Teaser Trailer, Poster (Watch)

    CBS All Access has released the first look at “Star Trek: Picard,” the new series that will see Sir Patrick Stewart reprise the iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard. Little is known about the plot of the series other than it is said to tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life. Stewart played [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content