CBS Corp. handed out pink slips at its Spelling TV shingle Thursday, cutting much of its already reduced-sized staff.
The legendary house that Aaron Spelling built (“Beverly Hills, 90210”; “Melrose Place”) had most recently operated with a team of around 30; between 10 and 12 staffers will remain going forward, including president Jonathan Levin.
A Paramount spokesman confirmed the staff reduction but declined to comment on details.
Positions being eliminated include most of Spelling’s backdoor operations, including business and legal affairs, finance and casting.
Those duties will now be absorbed by Paramount Network TV, while Spelling will continue to receive a development fund, and its development team will remain.
Also, as part of the absorption, Spelling will now operate as a production pod at the studio. Until recently, Spelling had operated as an independent unit under the Paramount TV banner. But going forward, Spelling development and projects will fall under the domain of Par and prexy David Stapf.
The downsize surprised few, as Spelling’s remaining two shows head toward the finish line. The studio’s long-running “7th Heaven” has already announced that it will close shop in May, while it’s unlikely “Charmed” will return as well.
Spelling produced the drama skein “Wanted” this summer for TNT.
Spelling TV reps the final remaining part of Spelling Entertainment, which first arrived at Viacom in 1994 after the conglom bought then-parent Blockbuster Entertainment. Viacom attempted to sell the company in the late 1990s, but later wound up purchasing the portion it didn’t own in 1999 and set about integrating it into Paramount.
Par eventually absorbed Spelling’s distrib arm, Worldvision, and later shut down its film division and Big Ticket TV production banner.