Telepictures (also known as "Telepictures Productions") was formed initially as "Telepictures Corporation" in 1978 by Michael Garin. The company syndicated the Rankin-Bass library's holdings from post-1974 to 1988 and numerous television programs. In 1983, the company formed Telepictures Productions as the production arm of the corporation. Telepictures merged with Lorimar Productions, creating Lorimar-Telepictures Corporation (or just "Lorimar-Telepictures") on April 21, 1986. Under Telepictures' ownership, Rankin-Bass produced original animated series. In 1988, Lorimar-Telepictures split the television production divisions into their own separate names but keeping the Lorimar-Telepictures name as the distribution arm. In 1989, Warner Communications (now Warner Bros. Discovery) purchased the company. Lorimar remained a separate production entity, which would be folded into Warner Bros. by 1993. Telepictures Productions later became a producer of syndicated programming that Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution would distribute starting in 1990 after a two-year hiatus. It is also involved in online areas, including operating the TMZ celebrity blog (until 2021), amongst others.
1st Logo (1980-1986)
Nicknames: "Drum Roll", "Flying Parallelograms", "Rollercoaster", "Shadows", "Telecoaster"
Logo: Here are the main versions of this logo:
- 1980-1983: On a black background, we see the word "Telepictures" in white and in ITC Lubalin Graph Std Bold emerging from the bottom of the screen followed by many "shadows" (dodgerblue in the color version), and moving up and "curving" down as if it was a roller coaster. When it stops in the middle, the word "CORPORATION" (in ITC Lubalin Graph Std Demi) appears below it.
- 1983-1986: Against a black background, numerous rectangles of different dodgerblue shades fly from the top and bottom of the screen and towards the middle, where they form a dodgerblue, horizontally segmented "dodgerblue" logo. The word "CORPORATION" appears at the right below the logo, and "Telepictures" then turns white.
- On network television, the name appeared as "Telepictures PRODUCTIONS".
- The "rollercoaster" was later updated with smoother animation, "Telepictures" emerging more rapidly, a more vivid dodgerblue color, and, instead of the shadows constantly trailing, a limited number appearing and then piling into the logo.
- Sped-up variants of this logo exist.
- The All-New Let's Make a Deal, 1981-1986 episodes of The People's Court, the 1985-1986 US version of Catch Phrase, and the 1st season (1983-84) of Love Connection superimpose this logo over the credits, animation and all.
- Some episodes of The All-New Let's Make a Deal combine this logo with a disclaimer stating "THIS PROGRAM WAS EDITED FOR BROADCAST WITHOUT AFFECTING THE OUTCOME OF THE DEALING."
- A B&W variant exists.
FX/SFX: The shapes piling and forming the logo depending on the variant.
Music/Sounds: A drum roll sound during the formation of the logo, ending with a "ding" from a triangle when the logo is completed.
- Sometimes it is silent or the show's ending theme.
- On the first season of ThunderCats, the Rankin-Bass logo music segues into a five-note horn fanfare (composed by Bernard Hoffer), which keeps the "ding" at the end. The "ding" sound is longer on earlier episodes of said show.
- On the animated special The Coneheads (based on the SNL sketch), the 2nd half of the Rankin-Bass music plays, mixed with the drum roll, perfectly in sync with the "ding" noise from the Telepictures logo.
- On produced TV movies, this logo is silent; once they are distributed, the logo has its normal music.
- On The All-New Let's Make a Deal, Brian Cummings (Dean Goss for season 2) says "The All-New Let's Make a Deal is a Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Production, in association with Telepictures!" For the first episode, the drum roll and ding were absent; it was used for all other episodes.
- On Catch Phrase, John Harlan announces "Catch Phrase is a Pasetta Production, in association with Telepictures!" The drum roll and ding are not heard.
- A low-tone variant exists.
Availability: Quite rare.
- It was previously seen on The All-New Let's Make a Deal (in-credit version) on Buzzr and GSN. Some episodes on Buzzr are edited to fade out immediately before the logo appears.
- It's also seen on ThunderCats DVD releases from the first season.
- It was seen on Love Connection on GSN.
- Most tapes of Telepictures' movies removed the logo, and most of Telepictures' distributed shows have since been acquired by other companies.
- This also appeared in the early seasons of The People's Court when it was the last rerun and appeared on AOL's In2TV site.
- This was also seen on the 1985 U.S. version of Catch Phrase with Art James.
- The 1980 "rollercoaster" version can be found at the end of a sales promo from 1981 for the syndication release of Here's Lucy. This promo is available on disc 4 of Shout Factory's DVD "best of" release.
- It also appeared on a VHS of Flush, which was put out on VHS in Canada by Marquis Video (a pay-TV print was probably used for this release).
- The rollercoaster version also appears at the start of each episode of My Favorite Martian on Amazon Prime's video streaming service.
Legacy: The logo is unique for having at least 2 different versions of animation, but having the same result.
2nd Logo (1990-Mid 1993)
Nicknames: "The T", "The Flipping T", "The Spinning T", "T in the Box", "Telepictures T"
Logo: On a white background, a square with a "T" in it (with the left tip of the "T" separated from the rest of the letter) quickly changes colors in a blur, from yellow to orange to neon green, before it becomes dodgerblue and quickly flips around. When it stops, it turns black, and small black text that says "TELEPICTURES PRODUCTIONS, INC." in spaced-out lettering appears underneath. Then the separated part of the "T" (which is now on the right side) turns red.
Bylines: On 1992-1993 episodes of The Jenny Jones Show and The Jane Whitney Show, either the byline "A TIME WARNER COMPANY" on early episodes or "A TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY" (in the same font used in the Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Television logos) on later episodes fades in after the separated part of the "T" on the right side turns red.
FX/SFX: The "T" square changing colors, and flipping around.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show, silence on season 2 of The Jenny Jones Show, and/or an announcer spiel.
Availability: Extinct. It was seen on the final season of Fun House, the first two seasons of The Jenny Jones Show, the 1990-91 game show Trump Card, and the early episodes of The Jane Whitney Show, among other shows.
3rd Logo (Mid-Late 1993)
Nicknames: "The Circle T", "The T II", "Telepictures T II"
Logo: On a white background, we see a circular logo with a border that's gray on the top half and white on the bottom, inside of it there is a gray left half and a white right half. Inside is a "T" that's white on the left and gray on the right. The black text "TELEPICTURES" (in a Futura font) and "p r o d u c t i o n s" (spaced out and in italics) zooms out and places itself on the "T" emblem. A line and the black text "A TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY" fade in below.
Variant: Sometimes, "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appears below the byline when the logo moves up.
FX/SFX: The simple zoom-out of the text.
Music/Sounds: A 3-note theme with a twinkle ding or the ending theme of the show.
Availability: Rare. It can be seen on mid-late 1993 episodes of The Jenny Jones Show and The Jane Whitney Show, as well as How'd They Do That? and The Wild West.
4th Logo (Late 1993-2009)
Nicknames: "The Circle T II", "The T III", "Telepictures T III", "T of Doom", "Circle T of Doom"
Logo: On a black background, the same circular emblem from the previous logo in white zooms towards the screen. In a flash, the logo appears much closer and with the word "TELEPICTURES" (in the same font as the previous logo) in the center. Another flash (which results in a white bar as if someone turned off a television) brings the logo to a median distance, and under "TELEPICTURES" is "p r o d u c t i o n s" (spaced and in italics). Under all that, the Warner byline fades in. The logo may fade out to black and the end with the succeeding Warner Bros. Television logo fading in, or cut straight to the then-current WBTV logo.
- 1993-2005: "A Time Warner Entertainment Company"
- 2001-2003: "An AOL Time Warner Company"
- 2004-2009: "A Time Warner Company"
- September 8, 2008-2009: "A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company"
- 2001-2003: A later version exists where the animation is the same, but the end product looks different. In this variation, the "Circle T" is zoomed-in much more (almost taking up the whole screen) and the "T" is now in a Times New Roman font, and the "Telepictures Productions" text seems smaller in proportion than the original. This is done to create a AOL Time Warner byline (in about the same position as the old logo) inside the "Circle T".
- 2008-2009: Another version, which was "enhanced" for HD, features the logo glowing blue with a fresh byline to boot. The word "productions" now zooms in and spreads into position.
FX/SFX: The flashes and the logo "jumping".
- 1993-2004: A thunderclap sound is heard, along with a "shout", with "tingles" and "wind" heard in the background. Sometimes, it'll just have the end of the show's theme or, on early episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, post-2003 episodes of Street Smarts, and post-1993 episodes of The Jane Whitney Show, the sound effect with the show's theme.
- 2004-2009: Sounds similar to before, but the "crash" sounds more percussive and the wind has been replaced with a synth drone.
- In other cases, the end theme of a show or the generic network theme.
Music/Sounds Variant: On early episodes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the second-half of the Next Entertainment theme plays over it.
- The AOL version is pretty much extinct, and the Time Warner/WBE variants are just as scarce. Most productions from this period either aren't rerun on TV nowadays or are talk shows, which typically aren't broadcast past their original airings. Your best bet is to search old video recordings of programs from this time for this logo.
- The AOL variant was seen on 2001-2003 episodes of The Jenny Jones Show, Judge Mathis, the US version of The Sharon Osborne Show, Street Smarts, SlamBall and Elimidate, among others.
- The Time Warner variants are rare and can be found on all shows produced by the company from 1993-2009, such as The Jenny Jones Show from 1993-2001, The Tyra Banks Show, 1999-2001 and 2003-2009 episodes of Judge Mathis, all episodes of The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and pre-2009 episodes of TMZ on TV. The DVD box set of The History of Rock and Roll retains this variant.
- The WBE version was seen only on episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show from September 8, 2008, up to the time their next logo was introduced in 2009.
5th Logo (2009-)
Nicknames: "The Golden Circle T", "The Circle T III", "CGI Circle T", "The T IV", "Telepictures T IV"
Logo: On a brown background, a gold bar zooms out of view as lights move in different directions. The gold bar rotates, revealing that it is the pieces of the Telepictures logo, with the "T" cut in half (the logo resembles the 1993 version, with amendments made to its design). The parts of the "T" then join to form the whole "T" as the black and white circle fades in, and the word "TELEPICTURES" (in Futura like in the previous logos, but in a thicker weight) rotates and zooms out. The logo then zooms out slowly to its usual distance, with the Warner Bros. Entertainment byline fading in.
- Starting in 2010, alternate version exists with the Warner Bros. byline in a serif font. Even though most shows from the company from 2021 onward use the 2009 byline, the serif byline is still used on The Real until 2022 and Extra.
- On some shows starting in 2014, the logo's colors are brighter.
- A scope version exists. The byline is shifted up in this version.
- Some shows such as TMZ and Extra have the logo fade out at the end and the following Warner Bros. Television logo would fade in. Other shows, such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Real, and Judge Mathis will have the logo cut straight to the WBTV logo.
- Starting in 2020 on some shows, like TMZ, The Real and Judge Mathis, the logo is part of the split-screen credits alongside the other logos in the show's logo combo, including the WBTV logo.
- A long version exists and was seen on the test-run show The Hustle. It can also be found on New Wave Entertainment's official Vimeo account.
- There is a shortened version that starts when the 2 parts of the "T" are about to join together. This was seen on the 2016 revival of Mad TV, Ellen's Game of Games, Paris in Love, Family Game Fight, and The Jennifer Hudson Show.
- An even shorter variant exists where the logo starts when 2 parts of the "T" have already joined together. This was spotted on the short-lived show Raq Rants.
- A warp-speed version exists.
FX/SFX: The combination of the Telepictures logo, the rotation, and zooming letters, done by Pembrook Creative and New Wave Entertainment.
Music/Sounds: A laser-like sound and a "clang" when the parts join together. The following music plays throughout:
- 2009-2010, 2021-present: Two mysterious-sounding synth notes. A longer version exists; the first 3 seconds would later be used for the 2014 theme.
- 2010-2022: 3 synth piano chords.
- 2014-2020: A rearranged version of the 2009 music, which is basically the long 2009 music cut to the first 3 seconds. First heard on season 2 of The Real.
- Short versions of these themes exist.
- Sometimes, the closing theme of the show or the network generic theme.
- Reportedly, at least one episode of Judge Mathis that aired in late 2009 or 2010 used the 2004 sounder.
- On season 1 of Ellen's Game of Games and the 2017 revival of Love Connection, a whoosh sound plays towards the end of the logo, that sound later plays into the Warner Horizon Television logo. Starting with season 2 of the former series however, it no longer played on the Telepictures logo.
Availability: Common. It's seen on post-2009 Telepictures shows currently and/or formerly in syndication such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show (until May 26, 2022 when the show ended), Extra, TMZ on TV (until September 15, 2021 when Fox Alternative Entertainment took over), Judge Mathis, The Real (until June 3, 2022 when the show ended), and The Jennifer Hudson Show, among others. Also appears on videos uploaded for the Tumblr blog DC All Access, which is produced by Telepictures, and on the 2016 revival of Mad TV. This, however, does not appear on The People's Court.