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Home > About > Timeline
  • 1963

    D.L. Taffner Ltd founded as a buyer of U.S. programming — for an Australian network and for stations in Canada.

    The company then shifted its emphasis, representing programs produced overseas and selling them in the U.S. — including the animated Beatles series for King Features Syndicate produced at Artransa Park in Australia, and King Features’ Krazy Kat, Barney Google and Beetle Bailey, also produced in Australia.

  • 1968

    D.L. Taffner Ltd entered into an agreement with Britain’s then new broadcasting entity Thames Television, to distribute it's programming in the U.S.

  • 1969

    The first major sale in the U.S. was an Australian series, Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo, which ran successfully for several years in syndication to local television stations across America.

  • 1973

    Without the funds to produce the entire series, Thames Television produced a pilot episode of The World at War which Taffner sold in syndication. Instead of selling to a station's Program Director, Taffner approached the stations General Manager who were typically World War 2 veterans and generated the revenue needed for production.

  • 1977

    DLT Entertainment became a television programming producer in its own right in 1977.

    Using the characters and format of Thames’ hit comedy series Man About The House, the Taffner company premiered Three's Company® which quickly became one of the most successful situation comedies in U.S. network television history.

  • 1978

    In 1978, the company introduced Benny Hill, the madcap British comic, to enthusiastic U.S. audiences. Thames’ The Benny Hill Show has built legions of fans across the nation, who eagerly watch the series again and again.

  • 1980

    The success formula of Three's Company® encouraged the Taffner organization to develop another situation comedy series based on a Thames hit. In 1980 Too Close For Comfort® modeled on Thames’ Keep It In The Family—premiered on the ABC Television

  • 1981

    Thames Televevision's BAFTA winning Edward and Mrs. Simpson is licensed to Masterpeice Theater by DLT. Danger UXB, Flame Trees of Thicka, Love in a Cold Climate, and Glory Enough For All are a few of the other titles licenced by the Taffner organization this trand.

  • 1982

    DLT was a prime supplier of programs to Mystery! including titles such as Reilly, Ace of Spies and Rumpole of the Bailey.

  • 1983

    ABC cancelled Too Close For Comfort, but the history of the series was far from over. In a bold, new innovative move, Taffner continued to produce new episodes, syndicating them with great success to stations in the U.S.

    With the non-network distribution of Too Close For Comfort, the company pioneered the production and syndication of first-run situation comedies, beginning an important new trend, essentially creating an industry within the industry. Today many syndicators are engaged in the major business begun by Taffner.

  • 1985

    The company once again looked to a proven comedy format when it created Check It Out!, a series based on the Thames hit Tripper's Day. This produced-in-Canada series premiered on Canadian Network Television, before appearing nationally on U.S. cable and being syndicated to stations in the U.S. (Taffner and Associates was established in Toronto in 1984.)

  • 1986

    Don Taffner’s many significant contributions to the development of the industry were recognized by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which presented him with an Emmy for its prestigious Founders Award in 1986 "for setting new levels of creativity in the worldwide exchange of television programs."

  • 1987

    DLT Entertainment licensed The Grand Knockout Tournament to the USA Network on behalf of Prince Edward's Ardent Productions helping raise in excess of £1,000,000 for charity

  • 1989

    1989 saw yet another innovation as DLT Entertainment co-produced and distributed the Mystery Wheel of AdventureTM, a series of two-hour movies for first-run syndication based on The Saint and Dick Francis Mysteries.

    In that same year DLT Entertainment’s game show division successfully launched TalkaboutTM on the Fox owned-and-operated stations and throughout the U.S.

  • 1990

    Following on the production of the gameshow Talkabout by DLT for the CBC in Canada with subsequent sales in syndication in The US as well as a sale to the USA network, 3 series of TALKABOUT were produced by DLT for the UK's ITV Network. A version was also produced in Ireland for ITV.

  • 1991

    Before Benny Hill's untimely death, The committed to continue production of a new series of shows to be produced by the company around the world.Benny Hill's World Tour was the first, and sadly, only production.

  • 1992

    Using synergies from ownership in Theatre of Comedy, members Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer and writer and future member Bob Larbey, this first series of this hit program was broadcast by BBC One. Eventually 11 series and 68 episodes were produced.

  • 1993

    Tying into the release of the movie Schindler's List, the Taffner organizations unique ability to market shows to every segment of US broadcasting made it possible to syndicate Thames Television’s previously produced documentary Schindler to local commercial television stations across America

  • 1994

    In a US television first, The Taffner organization syndicated the hit Canadian talk show Shirley to commercial stations across America.

  • 1995

    Building upon The Taffner Organization’s relationship with Thames Television' s Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, producers of shows The Hollywood Series: A Celebration of American Silent Film and subsequent documentaries The Unknown Chaplin, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow, D.W. Griffith - Father of Film and Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius and more, all sold to PBS and cable networks in America by Taffner, DLT was the driving force behind Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood, and international co-production involving broadcasters in 6 different countries

  • 2000

    Having worked with creator Fred Barron on a US adaption of UK comedy A Fine Romance, Taffner sold his pilot script ofMy Family to The BBC. Once Robert Lindsey and Zoe Wanamaker were attached as stars, a series, the first and only series produced using an American style table of writers, was commissioned eventually leading to 127 episodes over 11 series.

  • 2010

    Building on an partial ownership that started in 1986, The Taffner organization became 100% shareholder in the West End’s Theatre of Comedy—a unique theatrical production entity that also owns its own West End theatre, The Shaftesbury Theatre, a 1500 seat, beautifully restored turn-of-the-century theatre.

  • 2012

    An ambitious £5,000,000 fly tower extension to the Grade II listed Shaftesbury Theatre commences to ensure its long-term ability to accommodate large-scale productions. The extension will increase the height and loading capacity of the Fly Tower, enable safer working practices and, on the north and west faces, add offices, for production and theatre staff, and dressing rooms.

  • 2016

    After a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Taffner optioned the format rights to develop a TV show. Original creators Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon were joined by host Dara O'Briain and Games expert Ellie Gibson with Dara O'Brian' Go 8 Bit commissioned by UKTV's Dave.

  • 2017

    With the success of Dara O'Brian' Go 8 Bit UKTV's Dave commisioned a companion show, Go 8 Bit DLC, from The Taffner Organization. Hosted by Go 8 Bit's resident games expert Ellie Gibson, with its team captains Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon, It featured lively debates and reviews covering the history of video games, with guest stars including comedians Susan Calman, Jamali Maddix, writer Rhianna Pratchett, musician Scroobius Pip and Harry Potter's Weasley twins, James and Oliver Phelps. Plus, each week, Dara O Briain popped in to discuss one of his favorite games of all time.

  • 2018

    In a first for The Taffner Organization, Vera Productions was purchased and brought into the DLT entertainment fold allowing its principal, Geoff Atkinson, to focus on creative matters and not the day to day operation of a company as DLT expands its footprint in entertainment and drama as well as adding factual to is output.

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