CBS Productions was the production arm of the CBS Television Network, formed in 1952 to produce shows in-house, instead of relying solely on outside productions. Its first production was CBS Television Workshop, a drama anthology series that featured an early appearance of Audrey Hepburn. Before 1978, it was simply known as the "CBS Television Network". From 1978-1995, the name "CBS Entertainment Productions" co-existed.
From September 2004 to 2006, it functioned as an in-name-only unit of Paramount Television, but its logo remained on-screen until 2006. On January 17, 2006, it was merged with Paramount Television to form "CBS Paramount Television", whose main production division, CBS Paramount Network Television, continued to produce the former CBS Productions shows that were still running. Currently, all of the CBS library except certain shows they merely held rights to, is owned by Paramount Global themselves and is distributed by CBS Media Ventures. However, CBS has certain domestic or international rights on co-produced series.
On September 2, 2008, CBS Productions was revived as an in-name-only unit of CBS Paramount Network Television (later known as "CBS Television Studios") by producing non-CBS network produced programs such as 90210 for The CW. On October 8, 2020, as part of a brand unification of all of the CBS divisions, CBS Productions was folded into the then-newly renamed CBS Studios.
Historical Note: The CBS logo was created by William Golden and Kurt Weiss on October 17, 1951 and was introduced on broadcast on October 20, 1951.
CBS Television Network
1st Logo (January 13, 1952-March 6, 1968)
Logo: On a white background, we see CBS' huge Eyemark logo, with a second Eyemark replacing its pupil. As the camera zooms in on the second Eyemark's pupil, we see it opening up like a camera shutter to reveal the words "CBS TELEVISION NETWORK" in the Didot font. The pupil later closes.
- On the TV movie Destination Space, the text "In Association with the" is seen first, before it fades out and the rest of the animation takes place.
- Sometimes, the pupil remains open for a longer time than usual, or the logo fades out before the pupil closes.
- On the TV special Stars in the Eye, after the pupil closes, the word "Presents" appears with superimposed footage of fireworks behind it, which transitions into the intro.
- There exists a color variant, with the background being an off-white color and the Eyemark and shutter being a shade of brown.
- A variant exists when the 2nd eyemark’s pupil is replaced with a decorated keychain one, and the chains reveal the text and then close after a few seconds.
Technique: 2D animation. Designed by William Golden and animated by Kurt Weiss.
Music/Sounds: Usually none, particularly on modern prints.
- On current prints of Perry Mason season 3 episode 1, the logo uses a version of the generic CBS theme from the era.
- In other cases, it included a male announcer saying "This is the CBS Television Network" or simply "This is CBS", or the opening/closing theme of the show.
- Occasionally, voice actors (including Hal Simms) doing promotional announcements regarding upcoming programming accompanied this card. "See/Watch (NAME OF SHOW) on most of these (same) stations."
Availability: Common. This logo was the standard closing card for the CBS network and appeared mostly on filmed series produced for CBS.
- This logo appeared on Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide, among other shows.
- It is intact on every show released on DVD that CBS produced during this period (except for The Honeymooners, as the prints were sourced from syndication airings of the show).
- This is also seen on some newer TV prints of Perry Mason, Rawhide, and pre-fall 1965 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, which started in early 2009, followed by the silent 2003 Paramount Domestic Television logo on said show, and on more than one occasion, the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo.
- The variant with the CBS theme can be seen on season 3 episode 1 of Perry Mason on IMDb TV and CBS Drama/Justice UK (now RealityXtra) airings.
- This logo also made an appearance following the 1965 20th Century Fox Television logo on the recent S2 Blu-ray of Lost in Space, which is odd considering the latter series aired in color by 1966.
2nd Logo (April 21, 1963?-1967)
Logo: We see a black Eyemark zooming-out to the top of the screen on a gray background. "CBS" appears letter-by-letter in a dramatic fashion in white.
Color Variant: On the color variant of this logo, the background is blue.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: A commanding trumpet. The fanfare was rumored to be composed by Morton Stevens.
Music/Sounds Variant: On Western Hero, the logo is silent.
Availability: Extinct. This logo was another standard closing card for the CBS network and appeared mostly on filmed series produced for CBS.
- It was seen on original network airings of Hogan's Heroes, Pistols 'N' Petticoats, Hazel, Lassie, My Favorite Martian, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Lucy Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Captain Kangaroo, Password, Art Linkletter's House Party, The Red Skeleton Hour, The Jackie Gleason Show, To Tell the Truth, What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret, Mission: Impossible, Gunsmoke, and The Gary Moore Show, among other shows.
CBS Productions (first era)
1st Logo (1983-1985)
Logo: It's the same as the 1983 CBS Theatrical Films logo, but "THEATRICAL FILMS" is replaced by "PRODUCTIONS".
Closing Variant: The logo is still and "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" is added above the logo.
Technique: Same as the 1983 CBS Theatrical Films logo. None for the closing variant.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- It appears on Columbia House releases of I Love Lucy: The Collector's Edition on VHS.
- On some copies, the "closing variant" appears at the start, and the opening variant appears at the end.
2nd Logo (August 23-November 8, 1985)
Logo: Against a black background, we see the following text in a light blue, 3D Impact font with a white shadow effect:
Music/Sounds: None or the intro theme of the respective movie.
Availability: Rare. This can be found on the VHS and Blu-ray releases of Target, Eleni, and Better Off Dead..., while the DVD release of the latter plasters it with the 1995 CBS Video logo.
CBS Entertainment Productions
1st Logo (March 30, 1985-June 19, 1992)
Logo: Against a certain colored background, we see the following text:
An Eyemark logo is located to the right of "CBS" with a filmstrip next to it. The filmstrip also has little "comet streaks" on its left side.
- Sometimes, the logo is shown on an all-white, gray, or blue background, with the letters smaller and on the bottom of the screen.
- The logo is sometimes superimposed or scrolling in the end credits.
- The text "A Production of" sometimes appears above the logo.
- Sometimes, there is a copyright stamp underneath the logo.
- Sometimes, the text "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appears below the logo, The Honeymooners Reunion Special had the IAW text type in.
Technique: None. The IAW byline typing in on The Honeymooners Reunion Special.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.
- This is seen on the first two seasons of Rescue 911, the first season of Evening Shade (Antenna TV airings retained this but DVDs remove this logo and plaster with the CBS Television Distribution logo), the first two seasons of The (New) Twilight Zone (MeTV and former Chiller airings retained this with the CBS Television Distribution logo following soon after), the 1987 TV movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge, the 1990 film Gunsmoke: The Last Apache, and the 1992 film Gunsmoke: To the Last Man.
- It was also seen on several television specials like I Love Lucy: The Very First Show!, the short-lived talk show The Pat Sajak Show from 1989-90, as well as some TV movies from this time.
- The in-credit version appeared on the pilot of the short-lived game show The Hollywood Game.
- It made its debut on CBS Storybreak, and didn't make full use until the 1985-86 season.
2nd Logo (September 15, 1991-March 5, 1996)
Logo: Against a blue/purple gradient background, we see the following text zoom out and place itself on the center:
The word "CBS" is in a turquoise-blue gradient color, and "ENTERTAINMENT" is inside a red rectangle. A sky blue CBS Eyemark zooms out and places itself below the text.
- There is a superimposed variant of this logo that has appeared on some shows.
- A short version exists, where it starts at the point where the CBS eye moves up.
- On the 1992 Guiding Light Primetime Special, the logo is a still image against a black background.
- There is a still version.
- There is a variant that has the byline "A PRODUCTION OF CBS BROADCAST INTERNATIONAL OF CANADA LTD".
- On the 1995 TV adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, the logo is filmed.
Technique: CGI animation.
- A synthesized re-arrangement of 3 notes of the 4-note 1959 CBS Television fanfare, the end theme, or most commonly, silence. The short version features a longer last note.
- There is also a longer version, where we hear a synth harp at the beginning, then it leads to the normal version.
- Starting in 1994, a generic theme is used due to split screen credits.
Availability: Fairly common.
- It's seen on post-season 2 episodes of Evening Shade, pre-1995 episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, CBS Soap Break, and Rescue 911 (except for the first, second, and final seasons), among others.
- It also appeared on the Caroline in the City episode "The Pilot", in some prints.
- It still appears on DVD prints of the first two seasons of Walker, Texas Ranger (intact on H&I and Peacock), the first three seasons of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the final two Gunsmoke TV movies: The Long Ride (1993), and One Man's Justice (1994), as well as the first season of Touched By An Angel. However, the DVDs of the first 2 seasons of Caroline in the City, and the second season of Dave's World both plaster this logo with the CBS Television Distribution logo.
- The in-credit version appeared on the game show The Hollywood Game.
- It was also seen at the end of the Family Home Entertainment and Golden Books Family Entertainment VHS releases of Frosty Returns (however, it is plastered by the 9th logo on current CBS airings and the Classic Media logo on the Frosty The Snowman DVD in which this special is included), and made its final appearance in the 1996 TV movie Dead Man's Island while it made its debut on P.S. I Luv U.
CBS Productions (second era)
1st Logo (September 13, 1995-1998)
Logo: Over a textured yellow or gold CBS Eyemark background, we see a pair of ghostly gray hands holding up a gray CBS eye logo. We then fade to a closer shot of the hands holding the logo, with the text "CBS PRODUCTIONS" in a Futura font and with "CBS" in a bigger font, along with a CBS Eyemark below, in front of them.
Trivia: This logo was based on the CBS 1995-96 on-air identity, "You're on CBS".
Variant: Sometimes, the hands holding up the CBS eye logo are omitted, so we only see the text on the textured yellow background.
Music/Sounds: A haunted theme with a thud sound, none, a generic theme on NBC and CBS, or just the end title theme playing over the logo.
- It appeared on such shows like seasons 3 & 4 of Walker, Texas Ranger, the first 2 seasons of Caroline in the City, the final season of Rescue 911, the first season of Early Edition, post-1995 episodes of Dave's World, Moloney, and even the first season of Kids Say The Darndest Things.
- Also seen on seasons 4 and 5 of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the first seasons of Promised Land and Early Edition.
- However, this logo was plastered by the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo on most current prints of Early Edition including the DVD and Start TV airings, and on the DVD releases of the first two seasons of Caroline in the City, and by the 2006 CBS Paramount Network Television "Wallpaper" logo on Walker, Texas Ranger: The Complete Third Season on DVD, but it is still intact on Peacock's prints of the latter series.
2nd Logo (September 15, 1997-November 28, 2019)
Slightly zoomed in widescreen version
Cropped widescreen version
Cropped widescreen version 2
Dark widescreen version
Logo: We see a flash of light, which dies down to reveal the CBS Eyemark logo (with the light coming from the center of it) with "CBS PRODUCTIONS" next to and below it, floating above a floor in a blue and white studio with a CBS logo pattern (with the color variations of the Eyemark) on the walls. The text is in the network's familiar Didot font and the entire logo is brown. The logo then slowly zooms away.
- This logo was based on the CBS 1997-98 on-air identity, "The Address is CBS: Welcome Home". Designed by Pittard Sullivan.
- If you look closely in the 1997 version of this logo as the light dies down, you can see another CBS Eyemark located in the center of the bigger Eyemark.
- Starting in 1999, a better-known version debuted, which omits the light. The logo is redone in a lighter shade of reddish-brown, and the font is smaller, with the metallic silver outline more visible. However, the original text can still be seen in the reflection on the floor.
- Now & Again continued to use the original version, and Walker, Texas Ranger continued to use the original version until its end in 2001. Snowden's Christmas also used the original version on the VHS release despite the CBS premiere using the 1999 logo.
- Five widescreen versions exist for the 1999 version.
- On season 1 of The Amazing Race, the logo is next to the 1985 Touchstone Television logo.
Technique: CGI animation.
- Mostly none or the outro of the end title theme from any show playing over the logo until 2009. On occasion, the music score from the 97-98 on-air look plays over the logo, along with voice actor Mark Elliott reading a short promo.
- June 23, 2009-March 13, 2016: A light orchestral sounder, played by low strings, low horns and a piano with a bang of a timpani and a clash of cymbals. It sounds a little bit like the 3-note CBS jingle, which was used between 1992 and 2020. Composed by Jeff Cardoni. This debuted on the second season of The Cleaner, and was last heard on CSI: Cyber.
- There are two short versions. The first starts a split-second before the cymbals end, and the second has the theme truncated.
- On Kids Say the Darndest Things, Now & Again and The Brian Benben Show, a mysterious synth sounder is heard.
- On Listen Up!, the abridged version of the Fox Television Studios logo's theme is played, as a result of this logo plastering it.
- On The Beautiful Life: TBL, the shortened 2006 CBS Paramount Television jingle is heard.
- On Russian TV prints of Early Edition, this logo is short and almost still with the ending theme playing over it.
- On one episode, a bad plaster job also resulted in this logo having the music for Columbia TriStar Television.
- CBS, NBC and The CW airings used their generic themes.
- On most episodes of Family Law, the scream from the preceding 2000 Paul Haggis Productions logo extends into this logo.
- On seasons 1-4 of Without a Trace, the thunder sounds from the Jerry Bruckheimer Television logo finishes over this logo.
- It's seen on Walker, Texas Ranger seasons 5-8, The District, The Gregory Hines Show, Still Standing, Yes, Dear until 2006, The King of Queens until 2007, the final season of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (and the two TV movies that followed it), the last few seasons of Promised Land, Kids Say the Darndest Things, The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS, and the CSI franchise, among others. This was regularly used until summer 2006 when this logo was replaced by the 2006 CBS Paramount Network Television logo.
- The logo is not plastered over on syndicated reruns of shows except on season 5 of Walker, Texas Ranger on DVD and Early Edition reruns on GMC (now Up) and DVD releases, which have the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo instead.
- When the company was revived in 2008, this logo appeared on The Cleaner, 90210 (until season 4), the short-lived Melrose Place revival (except the pilot episode which used the 2009 CBS Television Studios logo), the first three seasons of The Good Wife, and the first two seasons apiece of Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods.
- Starting in 2012, most of the shows that used this logo began using the 2009 CBS Television Studios logo.
- However, the logo was also seen on CSI: Cyber, and The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS continued to use this logo until 2019, with the CBS Studios logo replacing it starting in 2020.
- It also appeared on original prints of season 1 episodes of Rescue Heroes and season 3 episodes of Tales from the Cryptkeeper, but current prints remove this logo.
- It can also be seen on later seasons of Touched By An Angel on MeTV and Start TV airings.
Legacy: This would become the basis of the later CBS Television Distribution logo.
Here is some information about the copyright stamps on CBS Productions shows:
- 1952-1974: © [YEAR] Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 1974-1998: © [YEAR] CBS Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 1997-2003: © [YEAR] CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 2003-2019: © [YEAR] CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.