The Program Exchange

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
Jeffery Gray

Captures by
V of Doom, Juniorfan88, and snelfu

Editions by
V of Doom, Hoa, Juniorfan88, Nathan B., DmitriLeon2000‎ & CezarWBC2020‎

Video captures courtesy of
JohnnyL80, mcydodge919, and GDelva2003


In 1979, DFS Program Exchange was formed and founded by Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, more commonly known as "DFS", which was a Madison Avenue-based advertising company. DFS was renamed "DFS-Dorland" in 1986, and in 1987, the company was acquired by "Saatchi & Saatchi", who took the "DFS-Dorland" out of the company's name (although "DFS" would continue to be listed in their logo until 1993). Ever since 1979, the Program Exchange has been a "barter company", trading shows with TV stations in "exchange" (pun intended) for the stations to run ads for DFS/Saatchi & Saatchi clients such as General Mills, allowing even low-budget stations to air them. In 2008, the Program Exchange was acquired by ZenithOptimedia, itself owned by the French media corporation Publicis Groupe S.A. In 2016, the company's website shut down, and it's presumed the company went defunct. The shutdown of the site coincided with Comcast's purchase of DreamWorks Animation (which included DreamWorks Classics, a major client for TPE). Today, the rights to shows originally syndicated by TPE have since gone back to their original owners.

DFS Program Exchange


Logo: Against a black background, a silver outline of the italic lowercase letters "dfs" inside a box streaks out toward the top center of the screen, increasing in brightness and then receding. As the tail end of the streak recedes, a graphic of the letters in white inside a light blue box with a black border fades in on a light-to-dark blue gradient background with a pattern of dark-to-light blue dots. Afterwards, two white arrows with black outlines and off-center tails come from opposite sides of the screen. The arrow coming from the right reads "PROGRAM", points left, and has a tail shifted up; the arrow coming from the left reads "EXCHANGE", points right, and has a tail shifted down. The two arrows cross over each other and lock into position, as the DFS symbol shines.

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Music/Sounds: We first hear multiple high-pitched chimes. Then, that same sequence gets played again in a lower pitch, which then leads into a loud synthesized drone. This was done by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban.

Availability: Ultra rare.

  • It appeared on 1980s syndicated prints of Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Abbott and Costello Show, as well as the 1986 Dennis the Menace cartoon, including 2007 broadcasts on Boomerang.
  • It is intact on most of the episodes on the DVD Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere!.

DFS-Dorland Program Exchange


Logo: Against a blue/black gradient background, we see "DFS-DORLAND" in a font resembling Goudy Old Style and in silver, with the "D" linked to the "O" and the "L" linked to the "A", zoom in from the bottom of the screen and position itself above the center of the screen in a "light trail" effect. Immediately afterwards, the word "PROGRAM" with a yellow arrow below it and the word "EXCHANGE" with a yellow arrow above it cross from opposite sides at the screen's bottom. Both words are in a light blue italicized Impact font. The two arrows join with a diagonal line that forms between the words, and the finished arrow flashes briefly. A horizontal line draws itself underneath "DFS-DORLAND" from left to right via a sparkle, and when it's finished, the words "DFS-DORLAND" shine.

Technique: Early computer animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the first logo, but softer on the volume and heavier on the bass. This logo also has a bit of vibrato compared to other logos, possibly due to the film being slightly warped.

Availability: Extremely rare. This logo was short-lived.

  • It appeared on episodes of the Dennis the Menace cartoon of this era, and has been said to be on at least one VHS tape of the series.
  • The logo can be found on one episode, "Dennis in Venice", on the DVD Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere! (the rest of the episodes end with the 1st logo).

The Program Exchange

1st Logo (1987-January 25, 2008)

Logo: Against a blue/black gradient background with little black scanlines, the word "PROGRAM" comes in from the bottom right of the screen, "EXCHANGE" comes in from the top left of the screen (both written in a light blue segmented font), part of a silver left-facing arrow comes in from the top right of the screen, and part of a silver right-facing arrow comes in from the bottom left of the screen simultaneously. They all intersect until the silver arrows meet at the middle of the camera. The word "THE" (in a smaller font, and situated on the side of the "P" in "PROGRAM") fades in along with the Saatchi & Saatchi byline underneath the lower arrow. Then, the logo shines.


  • 1987-1993: "A division of Saatchi & Saatchi DFS, Inc."
  • 1993-2008: "A division of Saatchi & Saatchi North America, Inc."


  • A black and white variant was spotted on a TV Land rerun of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
  • On reruns of Dennis the Menace and Fox/ABC Family (now Freeform) airings of Garfield & Friends, the 1993 logo is slightly shorter, beginning with the silver arrow appearing.

Technique: Early CGI.


  • 1987-1993: Same as the DFS-Dorland logo, but slightly extended.
  • 1993-2008: A relaxing synthesizer tune from Seth Krugliak.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In some cases, the 1987 logo has often been spotted with the 1993 music and vice versa.
  • A silent version also exists, which was seen on reruns of Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? on Univision.
  • When Ion Television reran Who's the Boss?, the network's generic theme played over it, with the logo's animation being in warp speed as well.

Availability: Rare, although it was used for 21 years.

  • During its run, either variant could be spotted on shows such as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Underdog and Friends, Bewitched, Sailor Moon, Garfield and Friends, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? (in which Qubo's prints retained it), and the 1992 syndicated print package of the 1986 Dennis the Menace cartoon, among others; it remains unknown if either version could be seen on late-1980s/early-1990s prints of The Abbott and Costello Show.
  • The 1987 logo appears on seasons 1-4 of Coach on DVD, as well as MCA/Universal Home Video tapes of the show.
  • It also used to appear on TBS airings of The Flintstones as well.
  • The 1993 logo was plastered on pretty much every show the Program Exchange offered to TV stations, but has since became less common.
  • The 1993 logo was also spotted on a 2002 rerun of Fantasy Island on TV Land, after the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo.
  • It is also preserved on the Mill Creek Entertainment DVD of the 1986 Dennis the Menace cartoon.
  • It also used to be seen at the end of Who's the Boss? reruns on Nick@Nite, TV Land and Ion Television.
  • Also seen on a syndicated print of What's Happening Now?!? and a rerun of Bewitched on TBS.

Legacy: This logo is a favorite of many for their solid CGI animation and music.

2nd Logo (January 26, 2008-2016?)

Logo: On a white background, a blue ball with a white swoosh arrow (a la Nike) bounces on screen, then "The Program Exchange" in a light blue italic Myriad font zooms out into the center, along with a larger blue swoosh arrow. As the ball bounces off, another white-swooshed blue ball rolls in and jumps on the swoosh, and it spins to place itself next to "Exchange", pointing to the top left of the screen. The italicized light blue text "ZenithOptimedia" fades in, and the ball rolls off the screen to the left.

Trivia: The swoosh arrow happens to be the logo for ZenithOptimedia.

Variant: A shorter version of this logo exists.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A synth bassline leading into a "beeping" electronic tune, accompanied by a click when a ball lands on the swoosh.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • First seen on Just Shoot Me! and 3rd Rock from The Sun reruns on TV Land, the latter which can be seen on some local stations.
  • It used to be seen at the end of syndicated reruns of NewsRadio and Beakman's World as well.
  • It often shows up at the end of Funniest Pets and People episodes on Laff and Qubo, whenever reran.
  • This is surprisingly retained on one episode of NewsRadio on Antenna TV, but is obscured due to the network's credit crunch.

Legacy: Some argue that this logo is not nearly as iconic as the previous logos, based on its simplified animation and music.

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