CBS Special Presentation

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
codyfinke6, mr3urious, kc86er, and KramdenII

Captures by
Doctorine Dark and ImportedNostalgia2003

Video captures courtesy of
sterlingyoyo, WREYtube, tyson83782, jlehmann, videoholic2008a, SwozyGustafsson, HulkieD, stiffkids2006, Mr.Logo, Edc4, ClosingLogosHD, and CBS

1st Logo (1970?-1974)

Logo: On a black background, the text "A CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" is shown in a white Futura Thin font aligned to the left. Then, the "A" in "PRESENTATION" flies off like a Rocket, being replaced by a yellow, red, pink, and grey starburst/explosion that increases in size.

Trivia: The animation was done by Computer Image Corporation, which can be seen on their 1975 demo reel here

Technique: Scanimate.

Music/Sounds: A four-note horn fanfare that is synced to the starburst's animations. The theme is lifted from "So Old, So Young" by Morton Stevens, which was used as the theme to CBS' special movie presentation bumpers of the time.

Availability: Ultra rare. It's long gone from television, but it can be seen on Original airings of The Lily Tomlin Special - Vol. 1, as well as Ed Sullivan Presents The TV Comedy Years and It’s a Mystery, Charlie Brown.

2nd Logo (1973-1992)

Logo: On a black background, we see the word "SPECIAL" (in the Avant Garde font) spinning toward the camera with a yellow, orange, pink, and blue "trailing" effect. As we zoom inside the "C" in "SPECIAL", the word "SPECIAL" in white zooms out, and then turns neon pink when it stops zooming. As this happens, the words "A CBS" and "PRESENTATION" appear suddenly, above and below "SPECIAL" respectively.


  • This was parodied on some special episodes of Animaniacs in 1993-1996, with "ANIMANIACS" in place of "SPECIAL" spinning towards the camera, and the finished phrase reading "AN ANIMANIACS SPECIAL PRESENTATION", with "ANIMANIACS" in yellow and the rest of the text in red. The music heard is a different bongo-driven orchestral fanfare.
  • Supernatural does the same on one episode, but they remove the mention of CBS. Same goes for The State, Clone High, and The Venture Bros.

Technique: Scanimate.

Music/Sounds: A series of bongo drums, leading into a jazzy horn fanfare. The music is an abridged version of "Call to Danger", composed by Morton Stevens for the soundtrack of the original Hawaii Five-O series.

Availability: Rare on home media.

  • This appeared on special programs and especially many holiday specials that were broadcast annually during this period, including the Garfield TV specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas (back when CBS held the broadcast rights before ABC acquired them), Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, every Grammy Awards ceremony until 1990 and the Star Wars Holiday Special. As such, if you have old tapes of CBS from this period, this should probably be an easy find considering this intro's longevity.
  • Outside of off-air recordings, it can be seen on The Making of The Deep on the U.S Blu-ray of The Deep. It was also seen on Hulu prints of the 1971 TV special The Cat In the Hat and The Lorax (preceded by the 1995 Paramount logo).

Legacy: One of the most popular logos on television, thanks to the music and longevity.

3rd Logo (February 20?, 1991-1993)

Logo: On a space background, we shift to a rippled blue pane of glass (that kind of looks like a washboard), and the word "SPECIAL" in yellow-orange goes through the rippled glass. The glass zooms out to a computer animated gray/white gradient BG, and the word "SPECIAL" in red appears on it, with "CBS" in yellow settling above it, and "P R E S E N T A T I O N" in white sliding in below it. Finally, a black CBS Eye logo zooms out from the top of the screen next to "CBS".

Trivia: This logo is patterned after CBS's "The Look of America" campaign used in 1991-92.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: Starts out with a roll up, then a 14-note fanfare, then a dramatic 6-note loud fanfare, ending with an echo gliss. Composed by Non-Stop Music.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • One version used the music from the CBS Mini-Series intro; apparently this was used on the second special if there were two broadcast in a row.
  • An announcer may speak over the music.

'Availability: Extinct. Check your old tapes. Early appearances of this logo can be seen on specials such as The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards.

4th Logo (1992-1996)

Note: This logo is based off of the ID CBS used in this era.

Logo: On a dark background, we see a blue CBS Eye logo, and many light streaks (including one that goes through the eye) appear as we zoom in. Then we fly through the interior of the eye and see that it's made of several stacked lines. Then, we shift up and zoom out as the words "CBS SPECIAL", also made of lines, float over the blue CBS eye at an angle, with a blue light projected through the eye.

Variant: A variant with the text "CBS SPECIAL MOVIE" exists. This appeared in promos for Simon & Simon in Trouble Again, possibly among others.

Technique: CGI by Pittard Sullivan.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic synthesized tune, then the CBS jingle.

Availability: Extinct. Programs that used this were "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movies and "CBS Soap Break", among others.

5th Logo (1994-1997)

Logo: On a white background, the CBS eye logo slowly fades in, as an image of flames appears inside it. "CBS" floats across it, and several copies of the text "CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" appear, with each copy descending and fading away. As the gold words "SPECIAL PRESENTATION" float across the screen, a black CBS eye eclipses the background, and a smaller one eclipses the flaming CBS eye, casting a glow. As all this happens, the following 3D text zooms out and places itself in front of the Eyemark:


Trivia: This logo is patterned after CBS's "Everyday People" idents used in 1994-95.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: An orchestral fanfare with the CBS jingle at the end. Like before, an announcer may speak over the music.

Availability: Rare. This appeared in front of some shows, such as holiday specials and TV movies.

6th Logo (1997-1999)

Logo: We start out traveling through the doors of the CBS Television City with several people walking by. As the doors are opened by two red-uniformed ushers standing on both sides, we see the CBS eye, and then fireworks shoot out. The fireworks reveal the words "CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" in the Didot font on a yellow light CBS eye. We finally zoom out.

Technique: A combination of live-action and CGI, done by Pittard Sullivan once again.

Music/Sounds: The music used during CBS's "Welcome Home" era, which was composed by Cue11.

Availability: Extinct.

7th Logo (1999-2000)

Note: The logo was used during the "Address is CBS" era.

Logo: TBA.

Variant: On Good Grief, Charlie Brown: A Tribute To Charles Schulz, we hear a remixed version of "Linus and Lucy" which was followed by Charlie Brown saying: "Regularly scheduled program will not be seen tonight. Now a special presentation, Charlie Brown here! Join me and the gang for our tribute to our creator Charles Schulz. CBS Next!" it features clips from various Peanuts specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Extinct.

8th Logo (2000-2001)

Logo: TBA.

Technique: TBA.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: TBA.

9th Logo (2001-2002)

Logo: We see a blue wallpaper of CBS eyes. Then, the word "CBS" appears. The words "SPECIAL PRESENTATION" then slide in, and a light glows while the text shines. Finally, the words zooms in.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: An instrumental version the 2000 CBS "It's All Here" jingle.

Availability: Extinct. Was seen at the start of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies and CBS specials at the time.

10th Logo (2002-2003)

Logo: TBA.

Technique: TBA.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: TBA.

11th Logo (2004-2005)

Logo: TBA.

Technique: TBA.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: TBA.

12th Logo (2005-2006)

Logo: On a blue background, the words "EVERYBODY'S WATCHING" appears in several places. Then the CBS eye and, soon after, the words "CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION" appear.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: A orchestral version of the 2002 CBS jingle.

Availability: Extinct. It appeared at the start of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies and CBS specials during the period.

13th Logo (March 11, 2021-)

Logo: On a starry black background, we see the glowing purple text "SPECIAL", and much like the beloved 1973 opener, it spins toward the camera, leaving multiple orange and blue trails. As we zoom through the "C", the screen grows bright and then dies down, and we see the white text "CBS" zoom out. Then, to the tune of the 2020 CBS jingle by Antfood, "CBS" shifts to the right to make way for "A", then they both move up to make room for "SPECIAL", and then "PRESENTATION" appears underneath. The final product shines and zooms back a bit.

Trivia: Alongside the unveiling of this logo, CID created three remixes of the 2020 CBS jingle by Antfood, mixed with the classic "This is CBS" voiceover from the 1950s CBS News opening, collectively known as "This is CBS Remixed". While the audio version of all three remixes can be heard here, the visual video version of the second of three remixes, entitled "Unum Oculum", which is also heard in the 2021 CBS Fall Preview special, based on the album cover, can be viewed here. A behind the scenes video can be viewed here.

Variant: A short version exists where the logo starts on the fourth drum beat.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: The first note of the 2020 CBS jingle by Antfood and a jazzy drum break not unlike "Call to Danger", then the full jingle.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The short version either has the last notes of the theme or the 2020 CBS jingle.
  • Sometimes, a female announcer says "And now, a CBS special presentation.".

Availability: Brand new. It was first unveiled online on March 11, 2021, and made its television debut before CBS's broadcast of the 2021 Grammy Awards. The short version can be seen on Homeward Bound: A Grammy Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.