Carnival Films

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Carnival Films is a British production company which was founded in 1978 as Picture Partnership Productions by feature film producer Brian Eastman. It was later renamed to its current name in 1988. The company produces feature films and programs such as the long-running series Downton Abbey and The Last Kingdom. In 2007 the company was sold to Australian company Southern Star Entertainment and was later acquired by American-based media company NBCUniversal (who owns Universal Television) in 2008, marking its first UK acquisition and adding the company into its international portfolio. Prior to 2002, the company had no on-screen logo and used in-credit text notices at the time.

1st Logo (March 5, 2002-August 9, 2004)

Logo: On a blue background, we see the light revealing the words "a carnival films production" with "L" and "F" connected together in a flashing effect.

Technique: The light revealing the text.

Music/Sounds: A high-pitched synth note.

Availability: It first appeared on the US version of As If and was last seen on The Grid.

2nd Logo (August 31, 2003-2016)

Logo: We see a red spotlight with orange light streaks and a purple light is seen then the flaming light reveals the words "Carnival" in a different font with the small text on the bottom right reads "a carnival films production" then the light stops flashing.


  • There is an early version where the background and the light streaks are different with the text "a Carnival production" with the same text as the second logo and it's still.
  • On Downton Abbey, the logo remains the same but we can see the text "a Carnival (in it's corporate text as seen above)/ Masterpiece co-production" appears below the logo with a copyright disclaimer.
  • Sometimes, the logo can be still.
    • There exists a version of said variant where it is inside a red box.
  • A notice for shows by the BBC or Sky co-produced with Carnival Films may be placed underneath the former's logo.
  • On season 1 of The Last Kingdom, the text "co-production with BBC America" is seen below the logo. The logo is also smaller and seen with a blurred black box.
  • On The Worricker Trilogy, only the "Carnival" text of the logo as well as a small portion of the background is seen albeit as an in-credit notice.

Technique: The light streaks and the flaming light.

Music/Sounds: Usually the ending theme of the show or none.

Music/Sounds Variants: On Downton Abbey and the first season of Stan Lee's Lucky Man, a two note theme with a synthesized sound is used.

Availability: It first appeared on it's shows and miniseries that they produced from this era until 2017 such as Rosemary & Thyme, the final season of Sea of Souls, the long-running series Downton Abbey, The Last Kingdom, The Philanthropist, Dracula, Whitechapel and The Hollow Crown. The variant with the rex box can be seen on DVDs of their shows.

3rd Logo (May 5, 2017-)

Logo: On a black background, we see multicolored smoke and multiple lines with swirls is seen to form the word "CARNIVAL" then the whole logo turns white with some smoke becomes grey then it disappears.


  • A notice for various channels co-produced with Carnival may be placed underneath the latter's logo.
  • At the end of the movie adaptation of Downton Abbey and its sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era, the logo is still with colored smoke on it.

Technique: Simple, but effective 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the show, or the opening theme of the movie.

Music/Sounds Variant: On series two and three of Stan Lee's Lucky Man, the fanfare from the previous logo is heard.

Availability: Common. It first appeared on Jamestown and then it appeared on later seasons of Stan Lee's Lucky Man and The Last Kingdom. It also appeared on the movie adaptation of the long running series Downton Abbey and its 2022 sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era.

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