PolyGram Television

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Sean Beard and Shadeed A. Kelly

Captures by
Eric S, iheartparamount, Dean Stewart Rumsey, and TheEriccorpinc

Editions by
Shadeed A. Kelly, Eric S., V of Doom, Michael Kenchington and others

Video captures courtesy of
Phasicblu and EnormousRat

Background

PolyGram Records also had a television division in 1981 (first under the name of "PolyGram TeleVision Ltd."), which distributed mainly TV movies. In 1983, the company was closed down along with it's film counterpart, with King Features Entertainment acquiring it's assets (including syndication rights to 1981-1983 PolyGram Pictures films). In 1995, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (the second incarnation of PolyGram's film division) entered the television business itself by acquiring ITC Entertainment Group. In 1997, ITC was folded into a new incarnation of PolyGram Television, retaining most of ITC's staff and producing series mainly for the U.S. syndication market as well as continuing ITC's focus at the time on made for TV movies. Also setting up a visual programming division for live musical videos and children's series. However this incarnation created an extremely short lifespan similar to the first incarnation, due to PolyGram's acquisition by Seagram and it's merge with Universal Studios, PolyGram TV was folded into Universal Television in 1999, as the unit was renamed as a second incarnation of Universal TV. In 2002, Vivendi Universal re-acquired the entertainment assets of USA Networks resulting in Universal Worldwide TV (the renamed PolyGram TV) being folded into Studios USA Television and being renamed under the Universal name, and effectively shutting down what was once ITC for good. NBCUniversal Syndication Studios currently distributes the 1997-1999 library of this company. However, the ITC library was later bought by Carlton International Media on January 19, 1999 and is currently owned by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, a subsidiary of ITV plc. The film Rehearsal for Murder is in the public domain, although Lionsgate has the official rights to the title, due to Hearst Entertainment.

1st Logo (May 12, 1981-1983)

Logo: On a black background, we see the name "PolyGram Television", in blue, flying from right to the center of a logo while an orange star zooms out to place itself under the "P" and makes more stars underneath the name. We later see an orange (or red) light shining across the stars to make a line.

Technique: Early CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A simple synth tune.

Availability: Extremely rare. It appears at the end of a DVD release of Rehearsal for Murder (which is in the public domain), and appeared at the end of an Amazon Prime Video print of the TV Movie The Five of Me.

2nd Logo (September 22, 1997-1999)

Logo: Same as its film counterpart (the short videotaped variant, also used by the PolyGram Video logo), except with "TELEVISION" replacing "FILMED ENTERTAINMENT".

Variants:

  • A version with "distributed by" in a blue font above the Icarus was put onto some feature films and television shows from the ITC and Epic libraries; the animation for this variant is slightly different, apparently based off the long movie logo, with the word "TELEVISION" not zooming out (instead it simply fades in under the PolyGram text) and the shining of the Icarus is different, with less of a "glow" around it.
  • The print version was seen in the closing credits of the Nick Jr. cartoon Maisy and the 1998 TV movie Outrage.
  • There is a variant which replaces the "TELEVISION" text with "VISUAL PROGRAMMING".
  • A version with the words "TELEVISION INTERNATIONAL" also exists.

Technique: Same as its film counterpart or none.

Music/Sounds: None or the end theme of the show.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • The distribution version was last seen on The Moderns on the Showtime Networks, The Tamarind Seed when it was on Netflix, Netflix/Tubi prints of Winter People (1989) (it was also present on MGM HD Europe's print), the 1998 PolyGram VHS of Ski Patrol (plastering the Epic Productions logo), an Epix print (and possibly the MGM Limited Edition Collection DVD-R) of the 1986 TV movie The Right of the People (preceded by the 2010 MGM logo), and supposedly on the 2008 Hen's Tooth DVD of The Boys in Company C (1978).
  • The regular version is intact on the mini-series The Billionaire Boys Club (originally produced by ITC) on DVD from A&E Home Video and on the pilot of The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (the DVD release of that show plasters it with the Universal Worldwide Television logo on the rest of the series). It is also seen on the TV special Barney's First Adventures, which can be found as a bonus feature on the Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie DVD. It also plastered the Moonlight Productions logo on a 90s syndicated print of the 1984 TV movie Obsessive Love.
  • It also appeared on the ultra short-lived Motown Live! as well as the 1997-98 syndicated season of Due South.
  • This also appeared on Netflix viewings of The Lunatics.
  • The "VISUAL PROGRAMMING" variant can be found on Cats, and some prints of The Best Bits of Mr. Bean.
  • The in-credit print version is still seen on Maisy episodes from the era on Peacock. It was also seen on the TV movie Outrage (1998), which can be found on DVD.
  • This appears on Shout! Factory TV's print of the TV movie Friendly Fire from 1979.
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