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Background

Tandem Productions (then known as "Tandem Enterprises, Inc." only in 1967) was formed in 1958 by former writers Alan David "Bud" Yorkin and Norman Lear. They first produced unsold pilots for Paramount Pictures Television. Since then, they produced movies with United Artists, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Warner Bros. Pictures. In 1965, Tandem produced an unsold TV pilot, Barnaby (not to be confused with QM's Barnaby Jones). A year later, they've produced the CBS TV special, An Evening with Carol Channing. In 1968, they've decided to focus on producing sitcoms starting with Justice for All and a year later, Those Were the Days; both were pilot shots for the ABC Television Network, but the network said they were "Too hot to handle", and both pilots were rejected. After a third go at the same concept, it was finally picked up by CBS in 1970, and premiered in January 1971 under the title All in the Family. The duo would also create a in-name-only company called "Norbud Productions, Inc." and would only copyright early seasons of Sanford and Son that debuted in 1972; however, Yorkin ended his partnership with Lear in 1975 to form "Bud Yorkin Productions" with Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein, both writers who wrote most episodes of Sanford and Son from 1974-1977. Yorkin however, remained with Tandem as executive vice president. On January 6, 1982, Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio acquired Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation from Avco Financial and merged it with T.A.T. Communications Company to become "Embassy Communications, Inc." and renamed T.A.T.'s production division to "Embassy Television" and ran Tandem Productions. In 1985, Tandem Productions and Embassy Television including the rest of the Embassy empire were sold to Coca-Cola for $485 million and Tandem became an in-name-only division of Embassy Television when Diff'rent Strokes was moved to ABC after NBC canceled the show. Tandem Productions later became an in-name only division of Embassy and was renamed to "Tandem Licensing Corporation". When ABC canceled Diff'rent Strokes in 1986, Tandem Productions was abandoned, and all television divisions were merged into Embassy Communications in mid-1986, as EC became a full television studio rather than a holding company while Tandem still remained in-name-only. However, this company remains currently as an in-name-only unit of Sony Pictures Television under the name of "Tandem Licensing Corporation" (TLC). The "Tandem" name was curiously used because when Yorkin and Lear formed the company and they were handling it during that time, they were feeling as if they were riding uphill on a "tandem" bicycle.

(1968, 1969, January 12, 1971-May 4, 1985, February 16, 1991)

Logo: Tandem Productions never had a real on-screen logo. In the ending credits of shows like All in the Family and Sanford and Son, the text would scroll up at the end:

A
BUD YORKIN-NORMAN LEAR
TANDEM PRODUCTION

or it can be read in a pyramid style as:

A
BUD YORKIN
NORMAN LEAR
TANDEM PRODUCTION

After 1978, Archie Bunker's Place, Diff'rent Strokes, Sanford, and Gloria would have a text that reads:

A
TANDEM PRODUCTION

Variants:

  • Some series would feature a copyright stamp below the text, such as All in the Family from seasons 1 and 2 and always on Sanford and Son.
  • Some in-credit texts would appear in shadow mode in 1975 on Sanford and Son and Maude, Good Times in 1978, and the others in 1979.
  • On the 1991 All in the Family: 20th Anniversary Special, the text says:

ALL IN THE FAMILY
was a BUD YORKIN-NORMAN LEAR
TANDEM PRODUCTION

  • On the first unsold All in the Family pilot, Justice for All, the text reads as:

A
BUD YORKIN
NORMAN LEAR
Production

  • An revised version of this showed up on the second pilot, Those Were the Days, and it now reads:

EXECUTIVE
PRODUCERS
BUD YORKIN
&
NORMAN LEAR
A TANDEM PRODUCTION

  • Two episodes of Diff'rent Strokes, "Feudin' and Fussin" and "Thanksgiving Crossover", do not feature the Tandem credit in the closing credits. This is due to both episodes being crossovers with the 1979-80 series Hello, Larry, produced by T.A.T. Communications Company. Both episodes feature only a notice that says the episode is copyrighted by both Tandem and T.A.T.

FX/SFX: Seen on closing sequences with crawl screens. Others would appear superimposed after the credits. On Diff'rent Strokes from seasons 5-7, the text fades out.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme from the specific show.

Availability: Very common. Since it's an in-credit text, it isn't too hard to find. Seen on All in the Family, Sanford and Son (and its short-lived revival Sanford), Good Times, Maude, and Diff'rent Strokes, as well as the two unsold All in the Family pilots (Justice For All and Those Were The Days, both of which have been issued on DVD a couple times). Also made an appearance on the All in the Family: 20th Anniversary Special, which was only ever commercially released on VHS.

Scare Factor: None.

Final Note: After the sale of Tandem and Embassy Television to Coca-Cola in 1985, the Tandem in-credit text was retired in favor of the Embassy Television logo on the final season of Diff'rent Strokes, although those episodes still had a Tandem copyright.

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