In October 25, 1965, after his exit from Four Star Television as a staff writer prior to becoming a producer, Aaron Spelling formed his own company with Danny Thomas, Thomas-Spelling Productions.
Thomas-Spelling Productions was a television production company formed by comedian Danny Thomas and producer Aaron Spelling on April 15, 1966 as a partnership with 24 properties. The company adapted its name by July 18, 1966 when it announced the financial involvement of ABC with its first show, Range (later Rango), a half-hour comedy western starring Tim Conway. ABC also pick up another show for a pilot, just in an outline treatment, in The Guns of Will Sonnett. Thomas-Spelling Productions' active operations ended with the last season of The Mod Squad in 1972. Spelling formed a new partnership with Leonard Goldberg, Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Aaron Spelling, who was still involved with Thomas-Spelling Productions, signed an exclusive deal with ABC via Aaron Spelling Productions for TV series and feature films.
In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Spelling was called king in television. In 1982, Aaron Spelling Productions struck a deal with Warner Bros. Television Distribution for worldwide syndication rights to future Spelling productions. In 1984, Spelling had seven shows for the ABC television network, accounting for one-third their prime time schedule. This outweighed other production companies by a large margin, leading many industry insiders to dub ABC as "Aaron's Broadcasting Company". Spelling himself was never amused with this name.
Aaron Spelling Productions went public in 1986 after raising $80 million. On August 17, 1987, Spelling extended its contract with ABC for three more years. On September 28, 1987, Spelling's arrangement with ABC became non-exclusive as it was signed a deal to other networks. In 1988, Aaron Spelling Productions acquired Laurel Entertainment and most of the Taft Entertainment Company, including Worldvision Enterprises, Inc. All three companies became part of Spelling Entertainment Inc. – though Worldvision was the only Taft division to continue operating. The sale was completed on March 1, 1989.
In the early 1990s Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place helped propel Fox even higher and reach a new generation of young teen viewers. Also in the 1990s the WB was launched and their longest running, highest rated and most successful show during their time in operation was 7th Heaven for ten seasons. By 2006, another new network, the CW, used 7th Heaven in their first season in operation as the newest network; 7th Heaven, in fact, turned out to be the last network broadcast series produced by Spelling Television. Spelling's ABC, Fox, and WB shows were enormously successful for the company and they wasted no time entering into the world of merchandise in the 80's and 90's. The company also was one of the first production companies to actively run a website for a show they produced when the internet was just taking off in the 1990s. The website was for Melrose Place.
Spelling Entertainment Inc. was acquired by The Charter Company on April 6, 1991. On March 31, 1992, Spelling and Charter announced a merger agreement. On October 5, 1992, Charter changed its name to Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. and updated its NYSE ticker symbol to SP. On October 5, 1993, Blockbuster, Inc. acquired a controlling stake in Spelling Entertainment Group. On April 28, 1994, Spelling Entertainment acquired Republic Pictures for $100 million.