NBC Color Presentation IDs

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Editions by
MJ2003, Tjdrum2000

1st ID (1955?-1956)

NBC Color Presentation (1950s).png

ID: We see a card with the words "THIS PROGRAM IS BEING TELEVISED IN", with COLOR below it in a larger font, and below "AND BLACK AND WHITE" in the same font as the text above the word "COLOR".

Variant: A B&W variant exists.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: An announcer saying, "The following program is brought to you in compatible color, pioneered and developed by RCA."

Availability: Extremely rare. Both captures appeared on a 1956 episode of The Dinah Shore Show. It is only preserved in black and white.

2nd ID (1956-1962, 1984, 2019)

ID: We see a white peacock facing left on a black background. Its feathers, outlined in white and tipped with little diamond shapes, begin to fold up. As they meet in the center, they spread out in the opposite directions, becoming colored in the process. The feathers flash multiple colors and "bloom", becoming thicker, with the diamonds changing to teardrop shapes. The result is an 11-feathered peacock with its paper fan-shaped display feathers in various colors.


  • In its earlier years, the peacock was still. There is also a still version with the peacock appearing over the word "COLOR." On this, there is no music, and just the spiel described below.
  • Another still variant has the words "AN NBC COLOR PRESENTATION" under the peacock. This was seen on the 1958 primetime version of the game show Tic-Tac-Dough.
  • B&W variants exist on prints of said colors.
  • An unknown B&W variant exists where the peacock suddenly freaks out and starts erratically moving in different directions, causing it to have its feathers ruffled up rather horribly and its body stretched out, resembling it screeching in pain. It then collapses to the ground.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: We first hear a gong crash, then announcer Ben Grauer says, "The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC.". This ends with a bombastic fanfare that is accompanied by shimmering sounds for the feathers flashing multiple colors.

Music/Sound Variants:

  • Sometimes there is no music, and the announcement is provided by Bill Hanrahan instead.
  • A special variant was used on Howdy Doody. It starts with the NBC chimes performed on a guitar with the characters singing, "Everyone in Doodyville is shouting 'hooray'!/'cause we're in living color/we're in living color/we're in living color todaaaaay!".
  • On The Steve Allen Plymouth Show, a big band tune based on the NBC chimes is heard.

Availability: Extremely rare. Appears on the pilot of Bonanza on DVD. This ID was spotted recently in front of the Bonanza episode "The Frenchman" on MeTV, and may appear on other early episodes.

Legacy: This marks the first appearance of the iconic NBC peacock, with the design being in use until 1975. NBC didn't use another peacock logo until 1979, 4 years later.

3rd ID (September 25, 1962-1975, May 22, 1992, June 1, 2009)

ID: We see a kaleidoscope of colors rotating. It wipes away, leaving us with the peacock from before, but with its feathers greatly enlarged, which shrink down and form its feathers, looking the same from before, albeit with different colors.


  • On Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, there is a variant where a man in white rolls a desk with a camera in from the left of the screen on a purplish-pink background. Another man in the same clothing floats down with a green rolled-up 16-millimeter screen. He unfolds it and walks around the movie screen as the movie starts with a countdown, then a blue "PICTURE START" screen, then this logo. The movie screen zooms in to fit the screen. After the music stops, the peacock sneezes, and its feathers fly off as it looks around, wondering where its feathers went.
  • On The Dinah Shore Show, the peacock appears three times screaming "CAW!" during the opening of the show.
  • On the Star Trek: The Original Series gag reel, when the logo is about to finish, we see a hand holding a gun, shooting the peacock repeatedly, causing the peacock to flip over several times and scream.
  • On a rare marketing reel for Nightmare: The Host and Rodney, the logo looks a lot more deformed. The colors of the feathers are different, faded, and 2 of the tips are sagging, while the peacock body looks crooked and there are two feathers under it. This variant is also still and the Vincent Price-like announcer has an very menacing feel to it, complete with an echo. The voice says "in livid color" (livid is a blue-gray color) instead of "living".
  • B&W variants exist on prints of said colors.
  • On 1970s episodes of "Today", the word "TODAY" appears during the 2nd half of the logo.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A mellow flute and harp tune with a different (and much softer) announcer (Mel Brandt) saying the spiel from before.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Sometimes, a different announcer is used, and says, "It just starts in black and white." when the logo fades out. This was seen on a promo for Get Smart.
  • There are versions of the bumper with a shortened jingle. Also, the announcement can vary depending on the situation.

Availability: Rare. It was first used on the final season of the western series Laramie. It can be seen on DVD's of classic NBC shows, such as Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. The Get Smart variant can be found on the Get Smart complete series DVD. It made an appearance in front of the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on June 1, 2009. This can also be seen on at least one The Tonight Show tape from Buena Vista Home Video featuring Johnny Carson, as well as the VHS versions of Movin' With Nancy (starring Nancy Sinatra) and Petula Clark Spectacular. Some of the prime time episodes of Hollywood Squares that GSN aired retained the peacock as well, as well as episodes on Hulu. This logo is restored on the newest prints of Bonanza episodes (dubbed "The Lost Episodes") on Me-TV.

Legacy: Perhaps one of the most iconic television logos of the 1960s.

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