Operation Prime Time

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Operation Prime Time (OPT) was a syndication block of programming created by the Organization to Promote Television, which offered to independent stations in 1976 by what was then called MCA TV (now NBCUniversal Syndication Studios). It was MCA's desire to launch new television shows by having them run in first-run syndication. In 1980, after the Paramount Television Service failed to launch, Paramount Television joined OPT, bringing with it Solid Gold (which ran until 1988) and, in 1981, Entertainment Tonight (which is still on the air, though it's produced entirely by CBS Media Ventures now). OPT's slogan was "for better programming". OPT and its successor company, Television Program Enterprises (TPE) were formed by Al Masini.

(May 9, 1977-1987)

Logo: On a black background, four rainbow-colored lines, one coming from each side of the screen, come together to form the letters "OPT". The line from the left curves to form the "O", the lines from the bottom and the right combine together to form the "P", and the lines from the top and the right combine together to form the "T". When "OPT" is formed, the screen moves backward, as the words "Operation Prime Time" (in a rounded yellow font) appear from the right side and place themselves next to each letter. When everything is in place, the words "for better programming" appear in the bottom right hand corner. At the same time, you can see thin overlapping circles in the background.

Technique: Backlit cel art combined with a few rostrum camera effects.

Music/Sounds: A patriotic-sounding horn fanfare. In some cases, the last note of the jingle is very short, while sometimes it is longer. The Key to Rebecca had the end theme play over it.

Music/Sound Variant: Sometimes, an announcer says "An Operation Prime Time presentation".

Availability: Very rare.

  • Originally appeared at the end of Solid Gold (last aired on VH1 in the '90s) and various other syndicated programs and movies in the '70s and '80s.
  • Last seen at the end of Yogi's First Christmas when WGN America last aired it. However, VHS copies and recent Boomerang airings of the mentioned special don't have it (but the Boomerang app print does), and it is also cut from Warner Archive DVD-R release.
  • DVD prints of The Key to Rebecca kept this logo intact followed by the 1994 Worldvision logo (with the Blockbuster byline) and the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo.
  • Also seen at the beginning and end of Sadat.
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