Fox 21 Television Studios: Pre-Production & Production of Cable Television


Fox 21 Television Studios, the cable production division of 20th Century Fox Television, was formed in 2014 by the merger of Fox Television Studios (FtvS) and Fox 21. David Grant launched Fox Television Studios in 1997. Seven years later, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, two veteran Fox executives, created Fox 21 (Kunz, 2007). Shortly thereafter, Walden and Newman noticed that both Fox Television Studios and Fox 21 focused on cable TV and their business increasingly overlapped; so in 2014, they decided to combine Fox Television Studios and Fox 21 into a new power cable series supplier: Fox 21 Television Studios. Fox 21 president, Bert Salke, holds this newly formed entity now, and the new headquarters are in FtvS’ offices at Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles (Villarreal, 2014).


Although Fox 21 Television Studios is a newly formed company, its predecessors are prolific TV companies. The combination of these two TV companies brings Fox 21 Television Studios a portfolio of 20 cable series and pilots: 10 coming from each unit (Andreeva, 2014). For instance, White Collar, which was produced by Fox TV Studios, and the Emmy-Award-winning and Golden-Globe-Award-winning Homeland, which was produced by Fox 21, are all assets of Fox 21 Television Studios. After 2014, as a new organization, Fox 21 Television Studios produced many TV shows as well, such as American Crime Story and Feud (21st Century Fox, n.d.). In addition, the author of The Deeds of My Father, Paul David Pope, sold the film rights to his book to Fox 21 Television Studios in 2015 (“National,” 2015). With film rights to books sold by authors such as Paul David Pope, Fox 21 Television Studios can produce many new shows in the future.

Fox 21 Television Studios also has many talented people. Its president, Bert Salke, has rich experience, and he played a prominent role in making Fox 21 an industry leader. Andy Richley, who was the Veteran Lionsgate TV development executive, joined Fox 21 Television Studios in August 2017 (Andreeva, 2017). Moreover, 20th Century Fox TV also provided many talented people and teams with a strong business background to assist Salke (Andreeva, 2014).

Business Model

As a production arm of 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 Television Studios produces scripted and unscripted projects for various cable networks and streaming providers (21st Century Fox, n.d.). TV programs with diverse genres are produced, including drama, comedy, reality series, and event series. Although 20th Century Fox Television is owned by 21st Century Fox (also known as Fox), it also produces series for other competing networks (Noren, 2013). For example, it produces Sirens, and Queen of the South for USA Network, Damien for Lifetime, The Killing for Netflix, and Chance for Hulu (Andreeva, 2014).

Revenue Model

In the Television Industry, the production company has two major revenue sources: DVD sales and Television licensing. Namely, the TV studios make money by selling DVD and selling TV licensing to networks. Fox 21 Television Studios uses the same revenue model, with TV licensing generating the most revenue of TV production studios (Epstein, 2005). TV licensing is very profitable for TV studios because the licensee covers most of the expenses required to market a television program, including tapes and advertising. More specifically, studios only need to spend around 10 percent of the revenue, and they can keep the other 90 percent. In 2004, for example, the six major studios (Disney, Fox, Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, and Sony) had a total revenue of $17.7 billion from world television licensing, which meant they could keep about $15.9 billion (Epstein, 2005).

New Innovations

21st Century Fox decided to combine its broadcasting company and studio group into a single organization. Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen of the 20th Century Fox Television Studios, became the chief executives of the new Fox TV Group. Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox president, said in a statement that, “It is clear that the best path forward is to operate our creative and broadcast divisions under the leadership of a single team” (Steel, 2014). The melding of the studio group and broadcasting groups helps TV studios and broadcasters to work together more closely and to make more money on shows that are wholly owned by Fox. Walden also said that unifying their network and studio helps the company to remain competitive in the television business (Steel, 2014).



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Andreeva, Nellie. (2014). Fox 21 & Fox TV Studios merging into one entity headed by Bert Salke. Deadline. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from

Andreeva, Nellie. (2017). Lionsgate TV exec Andy Richley joins Fox 21 Television Studios As SVP programming & development. Deadline. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from

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Kunz, M. W. (2007). Culture conglomerates: Consolidation in the motion picture and television industries. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 49, 50. Print.

National Enquirer Heir and “The deeds of my fathers” author Paul David Pope sells film rights To Fox 21 Television Studios: Project producers include Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park Productions. (2015). PR Newswire, NY. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from

Noren, Eric. (2013). Business model opportunities in the television industry. Digital Business Models. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from

Steel, Emily. (2014). 21st Century Fox Melds Its Television Broadcasting and Studio Units. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from

Villarreal, Yvonne. (2014). Company town; 21st Century Fox merges two TV units; Fox 21 and Fox Television Studios will be combined, and veteran exec Bert Salke will be at helm. Los Angeles Times, B.3.

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