20 years of CABLEready: a timeline

A look at CABLEready's past two decades.
January 1, 2012


• CABLEready begins in the back bedroom of Gary Lico’s Riverside, CT home with one program – Hearst Broadcasting’s CAPELLI AND COMPANY.

• Nickelodeon buys 65 half-hours of CAPELLI AND COMPANY, the first local TV show ever sold to the cable network.


• Ad sales rep firm Katz Media purchases CABLEready.

• HOUSE DOCTOR launches on HGTV. Previously a local program (KGO, San Francisco)


• CABLEready organizes the first annual NATPE food drive. This public service initiative continues for 7 more years.

• Bravo acquires INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO as the net’s first original production.

• CABLEready throws its first MIPCOM party at The Saloon in Cannes – the start of a twice-yearly tradition (MIPCOM & MIP) that later thrived at The Cat Corner nightclub through 2004.

• October – First exhibition at MIPCOM


• Gary Lico buys CABLEready back from Katz Media.

• Medstar Television’s MEDICAL DETECTIVES is developed for TLC and sold to Discovery International, marking the beginning of CABLEready‘s worldwide forensic franchises. HISTORIC TRAVELER, from Venture Media, launched on The Travel Channel


• Retooled previously syndicated series, WORKING WOMAN and AT THE ZOO for cable.

• Developed and sold one-offs, AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, to HGTV.

• Unapix begins partial-world distribution of CABLEready catalog.


• SCRATCH sold to Encore’s WAM! Network.

• Gary has a walk-on role in MEDICAL DETECTIVES.


• Northwest Teleproductions’ FREE WHEELIN’ launched on Speedvision.

• AMERICAN MUSCLECAR, from Crawford Entertainment, launched on Speedvision.

• THE DIRECTORS from Media Entertainment, sold to Encore, their first original series. It would run for 5 seasons, including 3 seasons of new production.


• PULSE, from Screaming Flea Productions, launches on Discovery Health.

• CABLEready attends ATF (MIP Asia) Singapore for the first time.


• Murphy Entertainment Group’s BILLION DOLLAR DISASTERS premieres on Discovery.

• MEDICAL DETECTIVES’ sibling series FORENSIC FILES launches on Court TV. The series is now a staple of the network’s primetime line-up.


• The forensic franchises continue to grow with TLC’s CRIME SEEN, a series of one-hour specials on highly publicized crime cases.

• HUNT FOR THE LOST SQUADRON – the story of a WWII fighter plane rescued in Greenland 40 years after it sank in the ice.- begins production for the History Channel, for former CABLEready supplier Broadview Media.


• WILDLIFE DETECTIVES, from Murphy Entertainment Group, premieres on Animal Planet in the US and National Geographic channels internationally.

• CABLEready receives a pilot order from VH-1 for 7 DAYS LEFT, produced by former supplier Pathway Productions.

• CRYING WOLF from Pathway Productions premieres on Discovery Health.

• Court TV designates CABLEready as international distributor for original series DOMINICK DUNNE’S POWER, PRIVILEGE AND JUSTICE.

• Discovery Channel commissioned AMERICA’S DEADLIEST STORM: THE GALVESTON HURRICANE produced by Murphy Entertainment Group.

• CABLEready attends DISCOP for the first time.

• In honor of the company’s 10th anniversary, CABLEready sets up a 10 year, $10,000 scholarship at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.


• The company moves into its new headquarters in Norwalk, CT.

• SASQUATCH: Legend Meets Science, from Bosch Media and White Wolf Entertainment, premieres on Discovery.

• CABLEready receives 13-episode series order from OLN (Outdoor Life Network) for MYSTERIOUS ENCOUNTERS, produced by Bosch Media and White Wolf Entertainment.

• Court TV airs a one-hour special episode of FORENSIC FILES on the mystery surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, distributed internationally by CABLEready under the title JFK: INVESTIGATION REOPENED.


• CABLEready receives a 10-episode series order and renewal from Discovery Home Channel for PICTURE THIS, produced by Re:Source Media.

• CABLEready is designated as exclusive international distributor of Outdoor Life Network’s program library.

• Court TV orders a one-hour special of FORENSIC FILES on the mystery surrounding the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s baby, distributed internationally by CABLEready under the title LINDBERGH BABY KIDNAPPING: INVESTIGATION REOPENED.

• CABLEready attends Sunny Side of the Doc for the first time and CEO, Gary Lico serves as a panelist/mentor at the Discovery Campus there.


• CABLEready receives a 26-episode series order from Discovery Health for HOUSE OF BABIES, produced by Bosch Media.

• RISK TAKERS from CMJ Productions launches on Discovery HD Theater.

• CABLEready receives order from History Channel for documentary special GIGANTO: THE REAL KING KONG, produced by Bosch Media and White Wolf Entertainment.

• CABLEready is designated as international distributor of hilarious documentary film COMBOVER: THE MOVIE.

• New York Times Television signs an exclusive distribution agreement with CABLEready for seven medical reality series, including MATERNITY WARD, RESIDENT LIFE and TRAUMA: Life in the E.R.

• ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR from CMJ Productions launches on Discovery Health Channel.


• TV Guide Channel names CABLEready exclusive international distributor, including Red Carpet specials hosted by Joan and Melissa Rivers; behind-the-scenes series InFANity; and lifestyle series READY, SET, CHANGE!.

• CABLEready receives a 13-episode series order from History Channel for MONSTERQUEST, a spin-off of documentary special SASQUATCH, both from Bosch Media and White Wolf Entertainment.

• New York Times Television designates CABLEready as exclusive international distributor for its entire library: more than 100 hours of programming, including A COOK’S TOUR and THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN specials.

• WE: Women’s Entertainment orders the first of four of SECRET LIVES OF WOMEN, produced by Blue Chip Films. Three were on the subject of polygamy wives.

• CABLEready concludes its first-ever output deal with TV4 FAKTA, Sweden.

• Lionsgate designates CABLEready as exclusive distributor for its factual program library: more than 60 series and specials, including CHEATING DEATH and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?.

• Weather Channel and CABLEready sign a distribution agreement for IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW.

• CableU launches: a joint venture with Cynopsis, CableU is an online service that monitors and analyzes cable network performance and programming trends to give networks and producers a unique competitive advantage.


• CABLEready is designated as international distributor for entire program library from Burrud Productions.

• CABLEready celebrates its 15th anniversary at MIPDOC and MIPTV 2007 and unveils a new company logo.

• For the first time CABLEready is named by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 5000 fastest growing private companies and the highest ranked TV programming company.

• CABLEready purchases copyright to WOMEN BEHIND BARS produced by Burrud Productions and licensed by WEtv

• Signs distribution agreement with National Geographic and National Geographic International.

• CABLEready donates an audio editing suite to Central Michigan University.


• CABLEready Productions, a new division which provides complete duplication and standard conversion services is formed.

• For the second consecutive year CABLEready is named by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 5000 fastest growing private companies and the highest ranked TV programming company.


• For the third straight year the company is named by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 5000 fastest growing private companies and the highest ranked TV programming company.

• Begins representing its first 3D show, DIRECTV CELEBRITY BEACH BOWL.

• Begins representing THE TONY AWARDS.


• As part of a new global expansion strategy, CABLEready adds two international veterans: David Fox and Associates CEO, David Fox to set up a joint venture with company that focuses on sourcing original Canadian programming; Peter De Jong, AETN International’s director of programming, joins as vice president, sales & marketing and will be responsible for territorial sales and developing new marketing strategies.

• CABLEready Productions ( expands services to offer corporate video and post production in addition to its work as a dubbing and duplication facility. For television producers, the division will utilize expertise in writing, editing, graphic design, special effects and sound mixing to allow them to focus on getting their projects on the air.

• CABLEready Productions receives greenlight for its first original TV series from SPEED Channel. Intersections, which focuses on the stories of two people on two different missions with the support of two very different machines, received a 13 episode

• For the fourth consecutive year CABLEready is named by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 5000 fastest growing private companies and the highest ranked TV programming company.


• CABLEready significantly increases programming line-up via acquisitions of new original series. Agreements with Finland’s Aito Media and Spain’s D4D, company expands European content offerings.

• Expands foothold in the food show category by adding a pair of series hosted by acclaimed chefs Eric Ripert and Todd English. CABLEready already distributes such programs as The Minimalist (NY Times food writer, culinary expert and TV personality Mark Bittman) and A Cook’s Tour (celebrity chef, TV personality and author, Anthony Bourdain).

• For first time in its nearly two-decade history, company offers scripted programming to broadcast buyers in addition to its vast non-fiction line-up. CABLEready unveils two sitcoms produced by Dan Garcia Productions during NATPE 2011.

• LORE from Burrud Productions airs on Investigation Discovery

• SAW DOGS sells to Velocity

• A COOK’S TOUR licensed by Cooking Channel and Travel Channel

• 100 episodes of MEDICAL DETECTIVES are licensed by Lifetime.

• 3Net licensed original concept WORLD CITIES, becoming our first ever 3D original deal.

• WOMEN BEHIND BARS sells to Bio.



About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.