Founded in 1989 by comedian/writer Steve Vizard and writer/producer, Andrew Knight, Artists Services became one of the three largest production companies in Australia during the 1990s. Indeed between 1989 and 2002 the company produced over 1400 hours of prime time television shows, with notable successes including Seachange (one of ABC TV's highest rating drama series), Big Girls Blouse (which created and first showcased the popular comedic characters Kath and Kim), and several award winning mini-series such as Kangaroo Palace. In 1996, under Vizard's chairmanship, Artists Services co-founded the Comedy Channel (in association with Foxtel). Artist Services shows have been distributed internationally and received numerous awards including over 20 Logies, and more than a dozen other key awards, including those from the Australian Film Institute (AFI), Australian Writers Guild and the Television Society of Australia. It has also been nominated for an International Emmy award.
In 1995, Vizard sold half of the shares in his company Artist Services to John Fairfax Holdings for a reported sum of AUD$9 million and then sold his remaining 50% shares in the company to the UK-based media company Granada Media plc. He remained as Chairman until 2002 at which time he resigned to spend more time on other business and creative interests.