NBC Studios

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Jason Jones, James Fabiano, TrickyMario7654, Logophile, Shadeed A. Kelly, bmasters9, and indycar

Captures by
Eric S., Shadeed A. Kelly, Mr. Logo Lord, V of Doom, EnormousRat, megamanj2004, BluTheParrot, Logophile, randomtvandmoviejunk, Mr.Logo, bmasters9, Pygmalion X, indycar, TheEriccorpinc, Mr. Gann, LogoGuy94, Gilby 1385, and Edc4

Editions by
Shadeed A. Kelly, PerryLuv2001, indycar, MattBr, AA2018, and Edc4

Video captures courtesy of
Ron Rondon, JohnnyL80, DanDMan16, Mr.Logo, Jordan Rios, Newave, and Broken Saw

Background

NBC Television Network was founded in 1947 by RCA (NBC's former parent company). In 1979, they changed its name to NBC Productions. In 1995, NBC launched a partnership with television director James Burrows to create 3 Sisters Entertainment, which produced series for the network. Out of these five, the most successful from the venture were Will & Grace and Caroline in the City (co-produced by CBS Productions and owned by CBS Media Ventures). In 1996, the company was renamed NBC Studios. In July 2004, NBC Studios merged with Universal Network Television to form NBC Universal Television Studio.

NBC Television Network (pre-1979)

1st Logo (1960-1963)

Logo: We see a few camera lenses rotate clockwise, and two yellow and blue shadows of a microphone turning. Superimposed on the screen, the NBC snake logo forms, and the text "TELEVISION NETWORK" in a small font appears inside the "C" of the snake.

Technique: Live-action footage and cel animation.

Music/Sounds: A horn fanfare plays as an announcer either says, "Produced (in color) in association with the NBC Television Network", "This has been a color presentation of the NBC Television Network", or "This has been an NBC Television Network presentation".

Music/Sounds Variants: There is a scarce 1962 blooper variant in which a different horn fanfare (which is one of the fanfares used for CBS's in-credit eyemark wallpaper logos) is being heard as the announcer says, "This is the CBS Television...oh, goddamn it!", as the wrong logo was shown. This was only used for a CBS blooper reel.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • This logo has been spotted in a few episodes of You Bet Your Life.
  • This also surprisingly turned up at the end of GSN's 2003 airing of the original 1963 pilot episode of Let's Make a Deal.
  • More recently, this logo has been spotted on several color episodes of Laramie on Encore Westerns, following the color Revue logo, making this a much easier find.

2nd Logo (1960-1963?)

Logo: We zoom onto a camera rotating around in a clockwise direction, we also see a blue shadow of a cameraman operating a camera. We then see the logo form in the same way as the previous logo along with the minuscule "TELEVISION NETWORK" text. When the logo is nearly finished forming, we zoom out from the camera lens.

Technique: Live-action footage and cel animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as before.

Availability: Very rare. The color version can be seen on some season 3 episodes of Laramie on Encore Westerns.

3rd Logo (1960-1966)

Logo: On a black background, we see pink, red, and magenta light spots. We see the NBC logo forming, while a cameraman moves from left to right in the background.

Technique: Live-action footage and cel animation.

Music/Sounds: A jazzy horn rendition of the famous NBC theme or a dramatic horn fanfare from the 2nd logo with the announcer voice-over, depending on the variant:

  • The announcer says, "This has been a production (or presentation) of the NBC Television Network.", or "This has been a color production (or presentation) of the NBC Television Network." for earlier shows (or programs) in color.
  • The same announcer says just like in the 2nd logo, "Produced in association with the NBC Television Network.", or "Produced in color in association with the NBC Television Network." (for the earlier shows (or programs) in color) or "This has been an NBC Television Network presentation".

Music/Sounds Variant: A silent variant exists.

Availability: Rare, though it is a little easier to come across than the last two logos.

  • It is currently seen on most season 3 episodes of The Virginian on INSP; this also appeared on some episodes of Bonanza on Me-TV, such as season 2's "Day of Reckoning" & season 7's "The Lonely Ranger", and several of the "lost episodes", which recently began airing on Me-TV, followed by the CBS Television Distribution logo.
  • The black and white version can be seen on The Perry Como Show on GetTV.

4th Logo (1966-1975, 2009)

Logo: On a black background, we see the NBC snake forming itself from the bottom starting with the letter "C". As the snake forms the letters "B" and "N", the background changes its color from black, to light blue, to green, to red. Below the logo is the text "PRODUCED WITH THE NBC-TV NETWORK", "PRODUCED BY THE NBC-TV NETWORK", or "PRESENTED BY THE NBC-TV NETWORK", which disappears as the background turns red and the logo finishes.

Variants:

  • This logo would appear on a light purple-like background as a still shot.
  • On a promo for Star Trek, the logo is in the bottom left corner and forms from the center of that area. The "N" moves in the top left, the "B" in the top right, and the "C" in the center bottom.
  • Short versions exist that cut part or most of the formation of the letter "C".
  • This can also appear in B&W on prints in the said colors.

Technique: Camera controlled/cel animation.

Music/Sounds: The NBC chime theme from the 1950s only sped up a little or the ending song of the program or promo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On WNBC's analog shutdown, this had the original 1950's chimes.
  • On Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, a single person clapping can be heard over the chimes.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • It was last seen on current prints of the I Dream of Jeannie episode "Uncles a Go-Go" preceded by the Screen Gems "S from Hell" and followed by the Sony Pictures Television logo last aired on WGN America and last seen on several 1964 episodes of The Virginian on Encore Westerns.
  • It was also recently spotted after The Monkees episode "Son of a Gypsy" on Antenna TV (with the Colex Enterprises logo before AND after it).
  • Currently seen on Retro TV airings of The Doctors episodes from the era (followed by the SFM Entertainment logo).
  • The logo was seen on original broadcasts of Star Trek (and likely other shows that aired on NBC that were not in-house productions) but is usually edited out nowadays.
  • The "PRESENTED BY THE NBC-TV NETWORK" version also appeared on WNBC's analog shutdown back in 2009.
  • As for the still variant, it is extinct and was last seen on Eye Guess.
  • This logo was recently spotted on an airing of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In on Decades.

Legacy: This is one of NBC's most well-known logos.

5th Logo (1976-1981)

Logo: Just the 1976 NBC network ID used as a closing logo.

Technique: Same as the 1976 NBC ID.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1976 NBC ID.

Availability: Extinct. NBC replaced it with the "Proud N" starting in 1979, but NBC News and NBC Sports retained this logo until 1981.

NBC Productions

1st Logo (1980-1986)

Logo: On a black background the 1979-1986 NBC Peacock turns into place. It is a blur of color as it does so but clears up as it stops. Under the peacock are the words:

NBC
PRODUCTIONS

Variants:

  • This logo also appeared superimposed on a blue background.
  • A copyright stamp may appear below on some shows.
  • On the Peter the Great miniseries, a still in-credit logo was seen with "NBC" above it.
  • A prototype version that exists where it is just a (probably) still logo with a black background and a copyright notice.

Technique: Early computer trail animations.

Music/Sounds: A light synth version of the NBC 3-note chimes (taken from the 1981 "Our Pride Is Showing" ID, composed by Gerry Sherman) beginning in 1985, a low tone version was used once as well. In other cases, it uses the show's ending theme or none.

Availability: Rare. Since the NBC logo appears in reruns of other shows, it would stand to reason that this one would be kept as well.

  • It is seen on some co-produced shows, such as seasons 1 & 2 of Punky Brewster, It's Punky Brewster, and season 1 of the cartoon Kissyfur, among others.
  • The version with the blue background appeared on the first two season DVD releases of Punky Brewster (intact on Peacock). The 1985 NBC TV special Let's All Be There, and on the 1985 NBC comedy Sara, starring Geena Davis; on these shows, it came after the UBU Productions card, and between the two was an IAW card in a stacked formation and lowercase Broadway font in white on a black screen.

2nd Logo (1985)

Logo: On a black background, there are various multicolored lines. These lines then turn and a trail appears, forming the NBC peacock, as it shines. "NBC ENTERTAINMENT" in silver zooms out below.

Technique: Scanimate.

Music/Sounds: The music of the reel.

Availability: Unused. Only seen on a 1985 Dolphin Productions demo reel.

3rd Logo (November 9, 1985-May 24, 1986)

Logo: On a pine green, light gray and black gradient background is the 1979-1986 NBC "Proud N" logo with the "N" in black borders. On top is "in association with" and below that, in front of the "Proud N" logo, "NBC Entertainment". All of the words are a shiny gold color.

Variant: A later version has "Productions" in place of "Entertainment". It's also darker and a little bit narrow in appearance.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The show's closing theme.

Availability: Near extinction.

  • This was the first real, non-in-credit NBC Productions logo ever used on Saturday Night Live, starting with episodes from the 1985-86 season on four episodes on Hulu and Netflix. However, they have been taken off the respective sites.
  • The "NBC Entertainment" version is seen on the "Chevy Chase/Shelia E" episode. In contrast, the "John Lithgow/Mr. Mister" episode has the "NBC Productions" variant. Both have been retained on Peacock.
  • It should be retained on episodes if they are re-run on TV again. Most reruns, however, will have the next logo.

4th Logo (May 12, 1986-September 16, 1996)

Logo: Same as the network ID, but below, the words:

NBC
P R O D U C T I O N S

in its typeface, NBC Futura (which is NBC's proprietary font), fly-in, also with a CGI-like appearance. When they move back into their places, they take on a more "solid", 2D color.

Trivia: This logo was based on the NBC on-air ident and NBC Sports ident, both from 1986.

Variants:

  • A videotaped variant exists that moves somewhat slower than the filmed counterpart; this has appeared on Saturday Night Live reruns of the era and early episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
  • A copyright stamp may appear below on some shows.
  • On Tapeheads, the name is written in one line, but the peacock remains above NBC.
  • Some shows have a slight-shortened version which begins as the Peacock eases back. It is seen on some shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • On The Nerd, an unsold TV pilot that was produced in 1989, but did not air until 1996, season 1 of The Single Guy, most episodes of the short-lived show The Cosby Mysteries, Homicide: Life on the Street and most NBC shows from 1994-96 due to split-screen credits, the logo is still.
  • On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien from sometime in late 1994, the logo is still on NBC's then-new generic split-screen closing credits on the right-hand side with a copyright notice.
  • In 1994, a still version of the logo has the peacock's feathers shown in their true colors.
  • On the Saturday Night Live episode from December 17, 1988 (Melanie Griffith / Little Feat), snow falls all throughout this logo and the Broadway Video logo.

Technique: Same as the network ID. None for the still variant.

Music/Sounds: A piano version of the NBC chimes, ending in an orchestral hit.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In late 1993, the theme was slightly orchestrated and sped-up.
  • A low tone version of the theme was used on Lifetime Movie Network's airings of Her Last Chance.
  • The NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration uses the NBC Chime theme from the 1950s.
  • Most shows and TV movies, however, use the ending theme of the show or movie, or the logo is silent.
  • Original airings used generic network themes starting in 1994.

Availability: Common.

  • It debuted at the end of the NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration.
  • It was seen at the end of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air last seen on TBS and ABC Family (now Freeform), and originally seen on the third and fourth seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street.
  • Last seen on reruns of SNL on E! and the end of Malibu Fox (not the 1993 film).
  • This also appeared on the 1st two seasons of the NBC/UPN sitcom In the House (retained on Aspire airings) and the short-lived 1989-1991 soap opera Generations when BET last reran that show in the '90s; this also appeared on the short-lived 1992-93 NBC sitcom Out All Night as well. It was also seen on the 1987 NBC Saturday Morning Preview Specials.
  • This can also be found on the Season 1 DVD of JAG released by CBS; H&I airings and Paramount+ prints keep this logo intact.
  • This can be found on most 1980-1996 SNL episodes on Peacock, and previously on Netflix and Hulu before they were taken off the respective two services.
  • This logo has also been added, following the Broadway Video logo, on select 1975-85 reruns of Saturday Night Live when broadcast on NBC and Peacock.

NBC Studios

1st Logo (August 26, 1996-July 29, 2004)

Logo: Against a black background with three sets of light beams, we see an extreme close-up of a 3D NBC peacock design, which appears facing downward, and then rises and zooms back to the center of the light beams, as the text "NBC STUDIOS" in the same font as above, blurs in from above the screen and lands right under the peacock. Three sets of red and blue beams radiate behind the peacock.

Trivia: The background was based on CBS's affiliate IDs from 1992-1996.

Variants:

  • For syndicated programs, the text would sometimes read "NBC ENTERPRISES".
  • A variant of the "ENTERPRISES" version has the orange beam in the middle much more visible, and the red beam on the right slides to the left before ending up in its usual position.
  • The more common "short" version starts when the peacock zooms backward and the company name blurs in and lands under the peacock.
  • Some episodes of Spike TV's Most Amazing Videos and reruns of Passions have a copyright stamp attached.
  • Another "short" version shows only the finished product, with the light beams moving in the background. This can be as short as a second long.
  • On Sleepwalkers (the 1997 TV series), the text "in association with" is seen under the logo.
  • On the animated sitcoms God, the Devil and Bob and Sammy, there is a still version of this logo.
  • On UC: Undercover, the logo is seen on the right with the Regency Television logo on the left.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds:

  • 1996-2001: A majestic rendition of the NBC chimes, ending in an orchestral flourish. Composed by Chris Saranec. The full version can be heard on the NBC Studio & Rockefeller Center Tour promo here and from his Soundtrack Sampler album here. Some NBC affiliates used the same music for their station IDs. Last heard on early episodes of the U.S. version of Weakest Link and this is used in tandem with the 1999 theme.
  • 1999-2004: A more orchestrated rendition of the NBC chimes, featuring brass instruments.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The 1996 TV movie Sweet Dreams uses the theme from the previous logo.
  • On some shows and TV movies, the 1996 theme is sped up.
  • On some shows, the 1999 theme is slightly slowed down with a different background orchestration. This music variant would later be used for the NBC Universal Television logos in 2004.
  • The 1999 theme also has a faster, lower-pitched version. This is heard only on the short version of this logo.
  • Season 1 of The Pretender had part of the MTM Enterprises music play over this logo. TNT airings had this logo silent.
  • The 1999 TV movie Road Rage has the regular 1999 theme sped-up.
  • Sometimes, the ending theme of the show was played, or the logo is silent.
  • Original NBC airings used generic music.

Availability: Common.

  • It is seen on Profiler on all DVD releases and Start TV airings, seasons 5-7 of Homicide: Life on the Street on DVD and when last aired on Centric (now BET Her), the first two seasons of Will & Grace on WE tv, Logo TV, and DVD, seasons 4-7 DVD releases of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, 1996-1999 episodes of Saturday Night Live (1999- episodes would start using the SNL Studios logo in place of this), The Pretender on all DVD releases and Decades, and H&I (with the current 20th Television logo following this), and Malibu Fox when they are rerun. It is also seen on pre-2004 episodes of World's Most Amazing Videos, and its Spanish language counterpart that airs on Telemundo, Videos Asombrosos.
  • This also appeared on subsequent post-season S2 episodes of the sitcom In the House, currently shown in reruns on the Aspire network.
  • The "ENTERPRISES" variant can be seen on City Guys on BET, Malibu CA, One World, and the 1996 TV movie Pandora's Clock (including the DVD release, in which this is even followed by the 2001-04 NBC Enterprises logo!). Also seen on Ed from 2001-2004, Titans from 2000-01, and the final season of California Dreams. The USA Network's USA High had the version with the moving beams.

2nd Logo (October 12, 2000-July 28, 2004)

Logo: We see the standard NBC Peacock logo emerging from the bottom of the screen. The logo border is in chrome, and the feathers are crystal-like and tinted for each of its colors. As the logo rises upward and out, a pair of searchlights bounce light onto the feathers, reflecting the vibrant colors outward. The words "NBC STUDIOS", also crystallized, appear below the logo.

Variants:

  • On the short version, only the finished product is seen.
  • The most common version starts modernization when the peacock is still emerging.
  • The syndication logo was ID'ed as "NBC ENTERPRISES" with "DISTRIBUTED BY" above the peacock.
  • There is also an HDTV widescreen version of this logo.
  • On The Fighting Fitzgeralds, the logo is next to the Artists Television Group logo.
  • On The George Michael Sports Machine, the NBC Enterprises variant is used, but the logo quickly zooms back much further than usual -- making it appear tiny.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: The same 1999 theme from the last logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Like the previous logo, some shows used a slower orchestration.
  • Also on the short version, the same lower-pitched orchestration from the previous logo is used.
  • Sometimes on the short version, the last 2 and a half notes of the regular 1999 theme is heard.
  • On American Dreams, the regular 1999 theme is sped up.
  • Sometimes, the ending theme of the show is played.
  • NBC and ABC airings use generic themes.

Availability: Uncommon. It appeared on several shows during the period.

  • Appears on seasons 3-6 of Will & Grace and Crossing Jordan.
  • It was also seen at the end of It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, in which the Blu-ray release of it retains that.
  • The "ENTERPRISES" variant was seen on a few episodes of the U.S. version of Weakest Link and was used on early fall 2001 episodes of Access Hollywood.

Final Note: In 2004, NBC Studios merged with Universal Network Television to form NBC Universal Television Studio (later known as Universal Media Studios, now Universal Television).

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