TriStar Television

From Audiovisual Identity Database

 Main Logos Logo Variations 

Descriptions by
Nicholas Aczel and Michael Bode

Captures by
Eric S., Shadeed A. Kelly, and V of Doom

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

Video captures courtesy of
Eric S., Michael Bass, mcydodge919, Broken Saw and External Galaxy.


Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. launched its own television arm as "Tri-Star Television" in March 1986 after the formation of TeleVentures with Stephen J. Cannell Productions and Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions suggested by Stephen J. Cannell. Their first official series was Downtown. After HBO (its last partner) dropped out of the venture the same year, Coca-Cola owned 100% of Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. Tri-Star Television was folded into the newly-formed Columbia Pictures Television on January 4, 1988 along with Columbia/Embassy Television after Coke sold its entertainment business to Tri-Star and renamed the company to "Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc." on December 21, 1987. Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. was later spun-off as a reorganized company in 1988. On October 7, 1991, TriStar Television was relaunched under Sony Pictures Entertainment and renamed to its current name after acquiring several television shows from New World Television. On February 21, 1994, TriStar Television merged with CPT and became Columbia TriStar Television. Both studios still produced its series independently, but in 1999, TriStar Television was folded into CTT (now Sony Pictures Television) before The Nanny and Mad About You ended on CBS & NBC, but kept its name in credit until 2000 on Early Edition. However, Malcolm & Eddie used the CTT credit. During that time, TriStar Television operated as in-name-only under Sony Pictures Television. On May 28, 2015, SPT resurrected TriStar Television as its boutique production label with the television series The Good Girls Revolt, which made its debut on Amazon Prime Video on November 5, 2015.

1st Logo (September 27, 1986-March 1988?)

Logo: The same triangle from the movie logo (a triangle with a gold border, a dark blue/purple sky background, and the words "TRI STAR" stacked on each other inside) zooms-out and plasters itself on a black background, right below the logo's Pegasus drawing. The word "TELEVISION" appears below.


  • On an episode of Buck James, the word "TELEVISION" is outlined in white.
  • On the TV movie Danger Down Under (aka Reed Down Under), the logo is still.

Technique: Primitive computer effects.

Music/Sounds: An edited version of the last seven notes of the 1984 TriStar Pictures theme composed by Dave Grusin. The TV movie Danger Down Under uses the film's ending theme.

Music/Sounds Variant: On an episode of Buck James, the theme music is slightly lower in pitch.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • It appeared on Downtown, Take Five, Nothing in Common, My Two Dads, and Werewolf.
  • Werewolf reruns last aired on Chiller deleted this logo and was replaced by the 2005 Sony Pictures Television logo.
  • However, this is seen on three episodes on S1 of My Two Dads from Shout! Factory under license by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and on Antenna TV.
  • This also appeared on Danger Down Under, a made-for-TV movie.
  • On a couple of episodes of Werewolf, this had the actual TriStar Pictures logo in place of the TV version. Chiller reruns kept this.

2nd Logo (November 9, 1991-March 2, 1993)

Logo: On a dark gray or dark blue marbled background, the following text in a silver version of the Didot font used in the movie logo zooms out from the bottom of the screen to the center:

TRI -------------

Then, the "Pegasus Over Pyramid" logo is formed out of light streaks next to "TRI".

Trivia: This logo is based on the 1991-1993 theatrical logo of TriStar Pictures as seen on trailers, TV spots, and the end of films.


  • On Forever Knight, the phrase "produced in association with" in white is seen above the logo.
  • The Fifth Corner has the logo fading out rather than cutting to black as normal.
  • On the 1992 TV movie Stormy Weathers, a filmed version of this logo is used.

Technique: Early CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: The end-title theme from any show, TV movie, or none.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The Boys of Twilight unsold pilot and two episodes of The Fifth Corner had the last 7 notes of the 1984 movie logo theme.
  • On Get A Life, the sound clips from the end of the episodes are heard.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • Appeared on the 2nd season of Get a Life starting with episode 2, Charlie Hoover, The Fifth Corner, early S1 episodes of Forever Knight, and the 1992 NBC mini-series Trial: The Price Of Passion.
  • It also appeared on the TV movies Rapture, Stormy Weathers, Split Images, and Silent Cries. Amazon Prime's prints of the latter three titles, which were provided by Samuel Goldwyn Films under license from Sony, retain this at the end, as did a mid-2000s Encore Mystery airing of Split Images.
  • Can be seen on Rhino Home Video's VHS and DVD releases of Get a Life season 2 episodes.

3rd Logo (September 19, 1992-June 23, 1999)

Logo: We see the white Pegasus from the 1993 movie logo with its wings spread out, posed on a sun-lit, cloud-filled sky (which is a similar background to that of the Columbia Pictures logo, but the middle part is a bit shorter). "TRISTAR" appears on the top of the screen in giant bold, white chiseled text like the "COLUMBIA" text from the 1992 Columbia Pictures Television logo and the text "TRISTAR TELEVISION" (in the same Bank Gothic MD BT font as the 1992 CPT logo) appears on the bottom of the screen with the byline "a SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT company" below it.


  • This logo was painted by artist Alan Reingold. The cloud background was presumably painted by Michael J. Deas.


  • On the 1992 TV movie A Child Lost Forever, the 1995 TV movie Annie: A Royal Adventure, and the series Hudson Street, the logo appears enhanced. Sometimes, on some shows and TV movies like the 1995 TV movie Sahara, the logo fades out like the 1992 CPT logo.
  • On a French print of the miniseries Dead By Sunset, the logo is superimposed but most of it is invisible due to a poor chroma-key effect.
  • On original NBC airings of Mad About You, a different version of this logo was used within the split-screen credits: The TriStar logo is in the middle on a blue background with "TRISTAR TELEVISION" and the byline below in the Bank Gothic font.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: Depending on the logo years:

  • 1992-1993, 1994-1995: The last 7 notes of the 1984 movie logo theme, with part of the first note cut off. Used again for first 3 season 2 episodes on Mad About You. From 1994-1995, this was used on the Michael Moore TV series TV Nation aired on NBC and Fox.
  • 1993-1999: A 5-note majestic orchestral fanfare with bells composed by Jay Asher.
  • 1994-1997: A 6-note majestic theme.
  • 1996-1999: A short version of this has 4 notes based on the 1994 logo theme and is sped up and revamped.
  • In other cases, it used the closing theme of the show, original NBC and CBS airings would use generic music starting in 1994.
  • There is a silent version of the logo as well.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the first episode of Mad About You on the series' DVD release by Mill Creek Entertainment, while the regular English audio track has the 1992 theme, the commentary audio track has the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo's music instead. This could be due to the commentary being sourced from another print that does have the SPT logo plaster the TriStar one.
  • There is a high tone variant of the last 7 notes of the theatrical theme on the Mad About You S1 episode "Neighbors From Hell".
  • On Mad About You season 2 episode "Natural History", the 1993 theme has a reverb at the end.
  • On a Mad About You Christmas episode the music plays over it.
  • On the series TriBeCa, it's the last 5 notes of the 1984 theatrical theme.
  • At least one episode of the Designing Women spin-off Women of the House has the logo starting off silently, then playing the last three notes of the 1993 theme.
  • On one episode of the sitcom A League of their Own (based on the 1992 Columbia Pictures movie), the 1992 theme is low-pitched.
  • On current prints of the 1995 TV movie Abandoned and Deceived, the short 1995 Columbia TriStar Television Distribution theme is heard.

Availability: Uncommon. Thanks to Sony's habit of plastering over former logos with their more recent ones, this logo isn't quite as easy to find as the CPT logo at the time, but it's still not too hard to find on certain sources.

  • It originally appeared on The Edge, Mad About You, season 1 and early season 2 episodes of Early Edition, Malcolm & Eddie, TriBeCa, The Nanny, Hudson Street, Ned and Stacey, and the remaining seasons of Forever Knight, among other shows and TV movies, but recent broadcasts of most series plaster this logo over with the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo.
  • This logo is seen on Annie: A Royal Adventure on most current prints (VHS, DVD, TV broadcasts, digital prints), the first two seasons of Mad About You on DVD, a surprise appearance on the pilot episode of My Two Dads (plastering the 1986 logo) seen on the DVD release of the first season from Shout! Factory, the first season of Malcolm & Eddie on DVD also from Shout! Factory with seasons 1-3 on Fuse retaining the logo, the first three seasons of Early Edition last aired on FamilyNet and Syfy, the VHS release of the 1994 TV movie Next Door (the Amazon Prime print has it cut alongside the Showtime Networks credit notice that followed), the first season of Mr. Show on DVD, all but five episodes (those having the CTTD logo) of The Edge on DVD, and HBO Max prints of The Nanny.
  • It appeared on episode 8 of The Jeff Foxworthy Show on TBS , and it was also retained on Crackle's print as well. It was also seen on original broadcasts of the show, but current prints may have it plastered with the CPT logo.
  • It appeared on From the Files of Joseph Wambaugh: A Jury of One, and is retained on Sony Movie Channel's broadcast and digital prints.
  • This is retained on Sony Movie Channel airings and the Crackle/Amazon Prime prints of the 1997 TV movie, Home Invasion.
  • On Blu-ray, this can be seen on the Australian release of To Sir, With Love II, in which it's also intact on the US Sony Pictures Choice Collection DVD-R release and iTunes/Amazon/Google Play/Vudu digital prints. However, the Sony PAL DVD and a True Movies UK broadcast has it plastered by the 2003 Sony Pictures Television International logo.
  • The Sony Pictures Choice Collection DVD-Rs of Dead By Sunset and Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story (alongside digital prints of the latter) retains this as well. It may also be preserved on the Sony DVD-R of The Disappearance of Vonnie (this is however plastered by the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo on Amazon Prime's print from Samuel Goldwyn Films under license from Sony Pictures Entertainment).
  • International airings of TriStar series/TV movies may maintain this logo, but others will have the SPT (or SPTI) logo.

Legacy: Like with Columbia, this logo appeared about a year before movies had their own version of this then-new Pegasus in 1993.

4th Logo (November 5, 2015-)

Logo: It starts with the 2014 Sony Entertainment logo, just like Sony Pictures Television. It very quickly zooms in to reveal the end of the current TriStar logo with the Pegasus just beginning to spread its wings. "TELEVISION" then fades in underneath in the Bebas Neue font and with the letters spaced out. The byline "A SONY COMPANY" fades in a moment later, in small letters and in a different font than in the regular logo. All of the text appears to be made of solid gold.

Technique: CGI animation, designed by JAMM VFX.

Music/Sounds: The 1993 theme from the previous logo.

Availability: Current. It's seen on the shows The Good Girls Revolt, Shut Eye, and The Last Tycoon all on Amazon Prime Video. Also seen on the Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Don't expect this to appear on The Afterparty despite being produced by it; however, it uses the Sony Pictures Television Studios logo instead.

Copyright Stamps

Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the TriStar Television series and TV movies:

  • 1986: Copyright © (year) by Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
  • 1987-1988: Copyright © (year) by Tri-Star Television - A Division of Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
  • 1989: Copyright © (year) Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. (used on My Two Dads season 2)
  • 1988, 1989-1990: Copyright © (year) 12 Year Old Productions, Inc. (used on My Two Dads seasons 1 (last few episodes) and 3)
  • 1991-1998, 1999-2000: Copyright © (year) TriStar Television, Inc.
  • 1993: Copyright © (year) ETC Productions, Inc. (Used on Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson)
  • 1994: Copyright © (year) TriStar Television, Inc./Showtime Networks Inc. (used on the TV movie Next Door)
  • 1996-1998, 1999: Copyright © (year) Tri-Star Television, Inc. (used on Malcolm & Eddie)
  • 1998-1999: Copyright © (year) Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG
  • 1999-2000: Copyright © (year) Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. (used on the final season of Malcolm & Eddie)
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