(written from a Production point of view)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or MGM, is a major Hollywood motion picture and television production and distribution company, founded on 16 April 1924. Its headquarters are based in Los Angeles, California.
In 1963, MGM was airing Gene Roddenberry's television series The Lieutenant when they approached Roddenberry for a new action-adventure series for the 1964 season. Roddenberry pitched his early ideas for Star Trek, and although MGM was initially interested, they eventually declined, becoming the first studio to reject Star Trek. The series was ultimately accepted by NBC after CBS Broadcasting also rejected it.
After Star Trek had become one of the most succesfull franchises in media history, MGM was one of the Hollywood studios that became increasingly envious of Paramount Pictures for its Star Trek franchise due to the property's stable and highly profitable revenue stream for that studio, especially in the early-to-mid 1990s when Star Trek was at its peak in popularity, being Paramount's most profitable property for a period of time, admitted as such by them. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, pp. 50-51) MGM became one of the studios that invested most heavily trying to create something akin to the Star Trek franchise for themselves – the other ones being Universal Studios (SeaQuest DSV, 1993-1996; Battlestar Galactica, 2003-2012; Defiance, 2013-2015), Warner Brothers (Babylon 5, 1993-2002) and 20th Century Fox (Firefly, 2002-2005; Terra Nova, 2011) which, though having been the production company, had declined to become further involved in Star Wars as a franchise.
None really succeeded, but it was MGM that came closest to emulate the longevity and format of the Star Trek franchise with its Stargate franchise, which, produced for the Sci-Fi Channel, ran from 1994 through 2011. Based on the 1994 movie of similar title, its primary series Stargate SG-1 ran for an all-time science fiction show record breaking ten seasons, whereas its first spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis, also enjoyed a considerable measure of success. Nevertheless and despite attaining a cult status, after live-action production had been suspended in 2011, interest in Stargate as a franchise, waned sharply and quickly, and while considerable, its longevity has not come anywhere near that of Star Trek, or Star Wars for that matter.
The studio complex MGM called home from 1924 to 1986 later became known as Sony Pictures Studios, whose Soundstage 15 hosted the production of Star Trek Into Darkness, due to the Star Trek franchise's traditional production bases (Paramount Stages 8 and 9) being occupied by sets for the TV series NCIS: Los Angeles.
MGM has released such Academy Award-winning films as Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Gone With the Wind (1939), An American in Paris (1951), Ben-Hur (1959), and Rain Man (1988). Other films for which they are responsible include The Wizard of Oz (1939), Singin' in the Rain (1952), William Shatner's first American film, The Brothers Karamazov (1958), North by Northwest (1959), How the West Was Won (1962), Ryan's Daughter (1970), Network (1978), A Christmas Story (1983), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Thelma & Louise (1991), and such science fiction classics as Forbidden Planet (1956), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Soylent Green (1973), and Logan's Run (1976). In 1986, MGM released the popular science fiction parody Spaceballs.
Perhaps MGM's most lucrative films are those in the James Bond franchise. The Bond films were initially produced by United Artists, a film studio now owned by MGM, who have released the Bond films since purchasing United Artists in the 1980s. Through this "absorption", MGM also acquired video distribution rights for the first two Rocky films (MGM themselves released the following Rocky movies), as well as such classics as Rebecca (1940), Marty (1955), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961, featuring William Shatner), the Robert Wise-directed West Side Story (1961), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and Annie Hall (1977).
In addition to their feature films, MGM produced the classic Tom & Jerry cartoons and such television programs as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Green Acres. The also produced TV shows based on their films, including series for The Thin Man and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.