KCET

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Not to be confused with Kansas City-based KCPT.

Credits
Editions by
mr3urious, Paperking99, Chace1204 and GoAnimateFan199Pro

Video captures courtesy of
Johnny80, Skyoneer2007, BillMillerTV, SuperMetro, Cesar Blanco, MicroJow, and File Preserver

Background

KCET (abbreviated "Community Educational Television") is a television station based in Los Angeles, California. Since October 2018, it is the secondary PBS affiliate in Los Angeles, sharing operations with the primary station, PBS SoCal. For most of its existence as a station, KCET was the primary PBS affiliate for Los Angeles since its founding in 1964 (six years prior to the switch from NET), and the second most-watched PBS station in the United States. It was an independent station from 2011 to 2018.

1st Logo (1968?-2015)

Logo: Basically an in-credit logo. The font type (or just the logo in later years) and animation varies depending on the feature.

FX/SFX: Varies.

Music/Sounds: The ending theme or none.

Availability: Seen on most KCET programming from the 1960s until the merger with Link TV in 2015.

2nd Logo (1970-April 30?, 1979)

Logo: We fade in to the gold letters "KCET" on a dark blue background. Just a few seconds later, "A PRESENTATION OF" and "LOS ANGELES" fade in, above and below "KCET" respectively.

Variant: Sometimes, the background is light blue, sky blue or black.

FX/SFX: Just the text fading in. The clouds moving with the sky background.

Music/Sounds: Either a dramatic horn fanfare which at the end gets softer, a triumphant horn fanfare with a synthesized lute sounder at the end, or none. The former fanfare was only used with the blue background, but the latter fanfare was used with all three backgrounds.

Availability: Rare. This is considered a "Holy Grail" of a PBS logo, other examples being the 1976 KETC, 1972 WGBH, and 1978 WQLN logos. During its usage it was common. The logo is seen at the beginning of KCET's original content in that period, such as Bill Cosby on Prejudice, The Way It Was, and Academy Leaders. The black background variant appears on Visions. It may be preserved on a VHS or DVD release of Hollywood Television Theatre, and is confirmed to be on the Kultur release of Six Characters in Search of an Author.

3rd Logo (1970-1976)

Logo: Multiple variants exist:

  • Primary: The text "KCET", shown in an Avant Garde typeface, is seen on the center of the screen. It is sandwiched between two lighter-colored duplicates of the logo. At the bottom, there's the text "Los Angeles".
    • Blue background, white KCET logo, red duplicates, and gold text.
    • Salmon-colored background, gold logo and text, and semi-transparent duplicates.
    • Dark blue background, gold logo and text, and semi-transparent duplicates.
  • Decennial (10th anniversary): The KCET logo, outlined in white with a gold-colored hole centered in the "C", is seen enclosed in numerous outlines of itself, in red, gold, and green, from inner to outer edges. One portion of the green outline is cut out so the text "LOS ANGELES" could fit. Below, in the same font as the primary logos, reads "Beginning our second", and below that, "decade of service".
  • Alternative: There were alternative versions using a secondary font for the logo, this time more condensed.
    • Similar in layout to the primary logos, except the background is black, and the duplicate logos were colored a red-orange and yellow-green-blue gradient, respective for each one. "LOS ANGELES" is seen below.
    • A variant of the logo, composed of 15 lines, similar in fashion to the IBM logo, tilted about 45 degrees counterclockwise. The same "LOS ANGELES" text from before is shown, standing below the "E", tilted 45 degrees clockwise.
  • Abstract: This refers to any specially-designed KCET logo card, whether it be for a special event or holiday, or to display other people's versions of the work. Numerous special cards are believed to have existed.
  • Clock: Against a black background, the KCET logo in blue is shown in a wall of KCET logos connecting to each other, also blue. In the center, an analog clock, showing the current time, is displayed. Below the clock is the text "KCET LOS ANGELES", in the same font type as the logo. The background would grow dimmer over the years.
    • A version of the clock ident was shown around the time that former U.S. President Richard Nixon resigned in light of the Watergate scandal. The text "hearings continue..." was shown above the clock.

FX/SFX:

  • Regular variants: None.
  • Clock idents: A clock ticks.

Music/Sounds:

  • Regular variants: Depends on the time of day, and how close a program is to schedule. It could be a voiceover announcing upcoming programming, or a selection of easy-listening songs or synthesizer tunes.
  • Clock idents: A selection of easy-listening songs or synthesizer tunes.

Availability: Extinct. Seen during programming breaks and used interchangeably with the studio logo above.

Legacy: The inclusion of an analog clock was unusual for an American station. Such idents were usually only prominent in European stations, especially British stations such as BBC and numerous ITV affiliates.

4th Logo (1976-1978)

Logo: Against a blue background, a series of thick, white horizontal lines are drawn in from bottom to top, and go in a pattern from left to right, right to left, left to right, etc. Then, the camera zooms out as the lines unfurl to reveal the KCET logo, presented in a fashion similar to that of the IBM logo. Then, the words "LOS ANGELES", "COMMUNITY", "SUPPORTED", and "TELEVISION" (solid, and in yellow) scroll out from "KCET", one-by-one, and repeat.

Variants:

  • There is also an alternate ID that was used as one of KCET's sign-offs, and as a station ID. The letters are blue instead. At the end, the "KCET" text slowly slides under the words. In the station ID, a clock similar to that of the previous logo appears behind the sliding text.
  • A still variant exists as a continuity bumper. The logo is smaller.

FX/SFX: The lines being drawn and the words scrolling down by Scanimate effects. This was done by Dolphin Productions.

Music/Sounds: The logo's soundtrack varies; usually a selection of easy-listening tunes are played. The initial recording of the logo, presented in a portfolio reel by Dolphin Productions, played a jazzy, high-pitched synth tune with an electric bass line, sourced from an instrumental rendition of "Suicide Is Painless", the M*A*S*H theme, by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade.

Music/Sounds Variant: The sign-off ID has a horn fanfare and an announcer saying "Just before we say good night, KCET would like to thank you for joining us for another day of programming without commercials. Operated by Community Television of Southern California, our studios are located in Los Angeles at 4401 Sunset Blvd. Your comments regarding programs presented on KCET are invited. And now, good night and good morning from KCET, Los Angeles."

Availability: Extinct. Seen during throughout KCET's programming schedule during the time.

5th Logo (1979-1984)

Logo: On a sky background, a giant rectangle, tilted on its side, rotates into view. It turns out that that rectangle is actually a postcard with the city of Los Angeles on it (with “Greetings from L.A.” in a cursive font placed above the picture). As it zooms into view, the same "KCET" from the previous logo (but solid and in blue) zooms out from the bottom-left corner, and we go into the picture on the postcard, zooming over the city, with "KCET" in the bottom-right corner and moving upwards to the center until we get to the Hollywood Sign, at which point "KCET" is placed above it, and a white light sweeps through the letters.

FX/SFX: A giant-scale logo swoops across a city skyline, rests on a mountain, and shines. This is actually early CGI animation, produced by Information International Inc., who would later provide CGI effects for Disney's Tron. The logo was rendered on the company's Foonly F1 computer (which a modified DEC KA-10). The logo manages to meet today's standards and it's a surprise that it didn't last longer.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic synthesized orchestra tune.

Availability: Rare. Can be found on a Turner Home Entertainment VHS of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and on Information International, Inc.'s 1982 reel.

6th Logo (1979-Mid 1980s)

Logo: On a black background, we see a blue segmented TV-tube shape with a blue palm tree in it. At the right of the palm tree, is "KCET" in the same font as the previous logos, and "Los Angeles'" in a different font. They are both white.

Variant: A animated variant of this logo was used for promos, with the logo beginning with the blue shape already there, then "KCET" appears, with each letter appearing one by one and flashing, and then finally, "Los Angeles" flashes in below, and we zoom into the palm tree, revealing the program being advertised.

FX/SFX: None for the normal variant. The 2-D animation of flashing letters and bottom text along with the palm tree zooming in for the animated variant.

Music/Sounds: A portion of Vangelis' "Alpha" with an announcer saying "This is KCET Public Television in Los Angeles". Sometimes, it's silent. In the animated variant, chimes/dings can be heard as each letter/text appears/flashes, and then after the letters and text finish forming and appearing on-screen, we hear a horn stinger playing and continuing throughout the rest of the logo. As the palm tree zooms in, we hear the announcer mentioning the show being advertised with the horn stinger continuing in the background.

Availability: Extinct. It was only used as a local station ID. The animated variant appears on a promo for Great Performances.

7th Logo (1984)

Logo: On a brownish black background with a dark orange stripe on it, the same "palm tree in the TV tube" from the previous ID zooms in from the bottom. A red ribbon that says "CELEBRATE'" flips into view, and settles on the shape. The shape zooms out, and the text "KCET Los Angeles" wipes in from the right. A blue line draws itself beneath the logo, while the text "20th Anniversary" flashes below. The 20th Anniversary text shines.

FX/SFX: The shape, the line, and the text.

Music/Sounds: A horn, flute, and piano fanfare is heard, while an announcer says "This is KCET, Los Angeles, celebrating 20 years of serving you".

Availability: Extinct. Was only used as a local station ID during KCET's 20th Anniversary.

8th Logo (1984-1986)

Logo: On a light-dark blue gradient background, which seems to be zooming out, the then-current KCET logo, tilted to another angle, flips. It starts to tilt towards the screen, causing a TV-tube shape to appear. As it flips, the TV-tube is actually the same palm tree from the previous IDs. After the logo forms, "Los Angeles" fades in below "KCET".

FX/SFX: The background zooming out, the logo forming.

Music/Sounds: A portion of KCET's 80s sign off music.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on Watch Me Move!, Penn and Teller Go Public, and Passion and Memory.

9th Logo (September 17, 1986-August 15, 1987)

Logo: Against a cityscape background, the KCET logo, in a metallic light blue, zooms out, with the same palm tree image appearing to its left.

FX/SFX: The zooming.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.

Availability: Extinct. Seen on Sentimental Swing: The Music of Tommy Dorsey. You might also see it on Blaine Baggett's specials for the station, Fighting Terrorism: A National Security View and Hungary: Pushing the Limits. A VHS or DVD of any program which used this logo has yet to be discovered, if any was released.

10th Logo (October 19, 1987-1997)

Logo: On a blue background, we see the same KCET logo from the previous ID, this time made of glass. An orange "Los Angeles" is written underneath the logo, with “L” and “A” both appearing in a style similar to 1980s handwriting. The letters shine.

Variants:

  • Sometime in the 90's, an enhanced version was introduced.
  • One version of this logo was used at the end of a few programs. The logo is positioned further down than usual, and the text "A PRESENTATION OF" is shown above.
  • On odd numbered episodes of The Puzzle Place, after the credits roll, the two puzzle pieces in the background flip around and fit together, showing the Lancit Media logo on the top and the KCET logo (with a purple background and pink "Los Angeles" text) on the bottom. On even numbered episodes, the KCET logo is shown on the top and the Lancit Media logo on the bottom.
  • A still version appears on California’s Gold.
  • There is a special version that appears in the funding credits in Storytime in which Kino appears and looks at the logo as it crawls up from the bottom of the screen. Here, "KCET" is in light blue, while "LOS ANGELES" is in (non-neon) pink. Afterwards, the logo fades out and Kino walks away.
  • On Television, this and the WNET logo are shown simultaneously. There is no music.

FX/SFX: The words “Los Angeles” writing in. Simple, but effective.

Music/Sounds: An ethereal synth, followed by a piano note.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On rare occasions, the logo may be lower pitched than usual.
  • On Storytime, the closing bars of the Storytime theme song is heard as a child says "Storytime is a production of KCET Los Angeles."
  • On The Puzzle Place, a synth choir sound is heard as the character Julie says "The Puzzle Place is a co-production of...", followed by one of the following lines:
    • Odd Numbered Episodes: "Lancit Media, New York, and KCET, Los Angeles."
    • Even Numbered Episodes: "KCET, Los Angeles, and Lancit Media, New York."

Availability: Rare, though it may pop up on KCET reruns every now and then. Programs such as The Puzzle Place, Storytime, California’s Gold, and More Things That Aren't Here Anymore had this logo at one point. It also appeared on the Adventures from the Book of Virtues episode "Compassion" on VHS. The closing variant is presumably scarce; it was spotted on the premiere airing of I'll Fly Away, co-produced with Warner Bros. Television. Due to a botched plaster, a Season 2-era rebroadcast of the Season 1 episode "Loyalty" showed this one for a split second before cutting away to the 1997 logo.

11th Logo (1991-1997)

Logo: On an orange/blue gradient background, a transparent KCET logo shines, as a stylized "28" and "LOS ANGELES" fade in aside and below the logo. In the background, we see scan lines and a palm tree fade in.

Variant: There is also a still version.

FX/SFX: The logo shining, the text fading in, the scan lines and palm tree appearing.

Music/Sounds: A synth tune and an announcer saying "This is KCET 28 Los Angeles."

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • There's a variant with no announcer.
  • There's a variant with the announcer, but without music.
  • There's a rearranged variant, with the inclusion of "...member supported television for Southern and Central California."

Availability: Extinct. This was only used as a station ID.

12th Logo (1997-2008)

Logo: On a gaseous background of blue, purple, yellow and orange colors, presumably a nebula, a big KCET logo (in a new font, and with the "c" and "e" connected together, shaped like an infinity sign), with “H O L L Y W O O D” underneath it, rotates and spins out. If you notice, the background seems to zoom in towards the viewer during the animation, even at the very end.

Variants:

  • On The Charlie Horse Music Pizza, the logo is still, and has "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" above it in a yellow Funhouse font.
  • On Puzzle Place, it uses the same variant for the 1988 logo's variant, but with this logo and a 2D spinning animation.

FX/SFX: The logo "twirls" in.

Music/Sounds: Initially, same as the 1988 logo, sometimes shorter. At times, an alternate theme was used: a futuristic tune that ended with three ascending notes is heard.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On The Charlie Horse Music Pizza it's silent.
  • Season 3 episodes of The Puzzle Place use the ending theme, but on 1998-2000 reruns of the first 2 seasons, it has the same choir theme but Julie's lines are changed. In this case:
    • Odd Numbered Episodes: "Lancit Media Entertainment, and KCET, Hollywood."
    • Even Numbered Episodes: "KCET, Hollywood, and Lancit Media Entertainment."

Availability: Seen at the end of KCET programming at the time, including the second and third seasons of Adventures from the Book of Virtues and certain rebroadcasts of the first season thereof.

13th Logo (1997-2008?)

Logo: On a black background, we see a flash reveal the KCET logo from 1996 flip and zoom towards us. Afterwards, the slogan "INFINITELY MORE" and the URL appear below, the background turns into a gaseous purple background and an infinity symbol scrolls behind the logo.

FX/SFX: The flipping and zooming.

Music/Sounds: A choir tune with the announcer from the 9th logo saying "You're watching member supported KCET."

Availability: Extinct. Used as a local ID and also seen during sign offs.

14th Logo (1997-2003)

Logo: Similar to the previous logo in composition, however the logo is shown below a message telling viewers to subscribe. Usually, a KCET donor is shown on screen saying "Hi, I'm [donor's name], and I am proud to be a KCET member." Then text is shown saying "Are you a member?"

FX/SFX: The transition from the shot of the donor to the text.

Music/Sounds: A jazz tune.

Availability: Extinct. Seen as the primary station ID on KCET for its time period and used in tandem with the previous logo.

15th Logo (November 2003-2011)

Logo: On a beige background, two brown ribbons form an infinity sign with white windy lines flying. The infinity sign turns into the teal letters "c" and "e" while "K" and "T", in the same font as the 5th logo, fade in. The slogan "infinitely more", in gray, fades in at the bottom with "L O S A N G E L E S" appearing at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes, "L O S A N G E L E S" doesn't appear at all.

Variant: There is a longer version that was used as a station ID, where two teal ribbons appears at the beginning, spinning counter-clockwisely, before it fades out.

FX/SFX: The ribbons forming the infinity sign. Modern CGI animation, compiled by Mark Wurtz, and designed by a team at Troika Design Group led by Dan Pappalardo.

Music/Sounds: An acoustic note with a timpani beat opens the ident, followed by a 5-note French horn tune accompanied by an R&B beat. Composed by Rob Cairns.

Availability:

  • Original short variant: Seen on all KCET-produced shows from 2003 until 2010, examples include Sid the Science Kid and Tavis Smiley.
  • Longer variant: Extinct; was only used as a station ID.
  • Demo video: Never used on broadcast television; only in the initial Troika unveiling.

16th Logo (2003-2011)

Logo: Multiple variants exist. TBA.

FX/SFX: TBA.

Music/Sounds: A calm soft rock tune, usually with an announcer saying "KCET: infinitely more".

Availability: Extinct. Used as a station ID in tandem with the previous logo.

17th Logo (2007-January 1, 2011)

Logo: On a blue-green infinity background, we see a close-up infinity sign forming what instantly becomes the same "ce" from the previous logo, which zooms out. Then, a "K" and a "T" flip in to the sides of the infinity "ce". After the logo forms, KCET's slogan "infinitely more" wipes in below the logo. The logo shines.

Variant: There is also a demo video by 3 Ring Circus, with a few segments of Tavis Smiley and the text "LOS ANGELES" below the logo.

FX/SFX: As the background ripples, this time by 3 Ring Circus.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo, or silent. The demo video has an orchestral tune with drums.

Availability:

  • Original: Seen on most KCET shows from 2010 to the beginning of 2011. Used in tandem with the previous logo.
  • Demo: Unknown. It appeared in a demo video from 3 Ring Circus. Likely appears before KCET shows on demand, or as a simple network promo.

18th Logo (2011-2017)

Logo: TBA.

FX/SFX: TBA.

Music/Sounds: Timpani beats.

Availability: No longer current. Can be seen during breaks, and at the end of programs produced at the time. During this period, the only KCET program to be broadcast on a majority of PBS stations was BBC World News.

19th Logo (2015?-2017)

Logo: The logo starts on an orange background. It zooms out and shrinks into a square, as it sits below the KCET logo, over a white-gray background, filled with mostly invisible symmetrical triangles. The square then spreads into two, with the text "Local. Global. Connected." shown between the two squares.

FX/SFX: The orange background becoming a square, the square splitting, the text being revealed.

Music/Sounds: An upbeat violin tune. Sometimes, this is shortened.

Availability: Extinct. Seen before programming at the time in celebration of KCET's 50th anniversary.

20th Logo (June 20, 2017-)

Logo: A colored group of squares (yellow, purple, white, orange) form. We pan to the white square, like a slideshow. In the square, we see the current KCET logo, in black against a white background, with an abstract group of squares next to the logo, which consist of two green squares on the bottom left and top right, yellow and red squares paired in the center, and a purple square on the bottom right. The logo slowly zooms in.

Variants: On station IDs, the background is replaced with Los Angeles scenery in specific settings depending on the time. All images are in the public domain and were retrieved through Pixabay. Below the logo is the text "LOS ANGELES".

  • Day: The background is replaced with a photograph of the Broad Museum, or the Getty Center.
  • Night: The background is replaced with a shot of a Joshua tree in the Joshua Tree National Park.

FX/SFX: The squares, and logo zooming.

Music/Sounds:

  • Primary logo and night bumper: A two-note piano tune with reverse chimes and quiet background noise.
  • The Broad: A quiet three-note piano tune with percussion and street noise.
  • Getty Center: A calmer piano tune, also with street noise.

Availability: Current. Seen throughout KCET's programming schedule, and at the end of programs.

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