WTVS (US/Canada)

From Audiovisual Identity Database

(Redirected from WTVS)

Not to be confused with the ITV owned affiliate, TVS.

Video captures courtesy of
theSameRetroWindsor and retronewfoundland


WTVS is a PBS affiliate located in Detroit, Michigan that also serves Windsor, Ontario.

1st Logo (Mid-Late 1960's)


2nd Logo (1978-1986)

Logo: We fly over a live-action shot of downtown Detroit as the text "From WTVS/Detroit" zooms away slowly.

FX/SFX: Simple, but OK animation for the text. Other than that, it's all live-action.

Music/Sounds: A warbling shuttle sound with an ascending whoosh and whistling sounds.

Availability: Rare. Seen on pre-1992 VHS prints of David Macaulay's Castle. On the 1995 PBS Video (and later PBS Home Video) release, expect this to be plastered by the WHYY-TV logo, which is then moved to the end.

3rd Logo (1986-1991)

Logo: Against a purple /tan BG, we see an abstract, light purple, multi-lined "56" arrange itself on a dark purple square as it zooms out to the top left. Then, the BG fades to a skyline of Detroit, and the text "WTVS/Detroit" slides out from the bottom left of the screen.

FX/SFX: The logo's arrangement and fading skyline.

Music/Sounds: A rising synth chord followed by a rather spacey three-note tune.

Availability: Extinct. Only used as a local ID.

4th Logo (1986-1991)

Logo: We fade into a close-up shot of the Milky Way before zooming away, passing by the Earth, then we arrive at the Detroit skylines. As soon as the zooming stops, the words "THE UNIVERSE", "THE WORLD", and "DETROIT" all zoom out, stacking on each other, and then the text "and you" is written in in cursive, and the WTVS logo of the time fades in below.


  • A production variant exists, where the background is seen without any text. "FROM" and "WTVS/DETROIT" slide in from the left and right respectively, and they fold down to straighten out.
  • There is a shorter version that just starts at the texts zooming out.

FX/SFX: The zooming of the camera and text, plus the writing of "and you". Decent animation for the 1980s.

Music/Sounds: A majestic eight-note synthesized orchestra tune, with a "ding" at the beginning. The shorter version uses a quicker, 10-note synth tune, and the production variant has a shorter version of this.

Availability: Extinct. Seen with the "Skyline" ID, this was used as a "You're watching..." ID on WTVS. It would then cut to a national program intro tag at the time.

5th Logo (1991-1998)

Logo: On an animated blurry background of different shapes (like the 1998 logo), we see a spinning Taijitu (used in representing yin and yang, but lacking the dots) with one half teal and the other pink. "A PRODUCTION OF" in a white Impact-like font fades in above. A gray sphere (kind of like the moon) with "WTVS" in the same font and in teal on it zooms in. "DETROIT" in the same font and in white fades in below.

Variation: There is a rare version of this logo without the "A PRODUCTION OF" header, this was commonly used as a local funding bumper from 1993 to 1994.

FX/SFX: The zooming.

Music/Sounds: A 4-note orchestral fanfare or silent with a voiceover for the local funding bumper from 1993 to 1994.

Availability: Extinct. Only known to appear on Club Connect.

6th Logo (1991-1998)

Logo: The camera pans through a hallway with a bunch of PBS program clips on the walls. When it reaches the exit, the hallway is revealed to be a circle that rotates, revealing the "56" logo. The logo shines as "QUALITY SHOWS" fades in below it, then fades into "WTVS DETROIT".


  • Sometimes this logo is abridged, starting as the circle rotates, and "QUALITY SHOWS" is omitted.
  • On signoffs, a still version of the finished ident is used.

FX/SFX: The panning, the circle rotating and the shining. Nice CGI for the time produced by Sage-3D.

Music/Sounds: A mild action news-like fanfare which then turns into harp music and the four notes from the previous logo on a flute followed by a bassoon. On the abridged variant, an announcer says "You're watching WTVS, Channel 56 in Detroit."

Availability: Extinct. Only used as a local ID.

7th Logo (2001?-2003?)

Logo: On a brown wooden background, we see a white piece of paper and a yellow crayon drawing on it, before zooming out to reveal a picture of the WTVS logo drawn with a blue crayon appearing and “Detroit Public Television” underneath drawn in blue crayon and “WTVS Detroit” written in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Variants: There's a longer version that consists of the blue crayon coming in first and drawing the logo before the yellow crayon joins it.

FX/SFX: All CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A lively instrumental theme with dialogue between a father and a son: "Hey, what are you doing?", "Watching Detroit public television", "That’s WTVS Detroit", "I knew that".

Music/Sounds Variants: Two additional voiceover variations of the short version have surfaced and are detailed below:

    • ”Wanna take a break?” “Sure!” “I think you’re gonna like this next work”
    • “I’m going to watch it” “So am I” “Detroit Public Television!”

Availability: Extinct. It only appeared during PBS Kids programming in the WTVS viewing area. Only three recordings of the short version and its variations have been found to this day. VHS recordings are the only way to view it.

Editors Note: This is a classic ID to those who viewed it back in the day.

8th Logo (2001-2002?)

Logo: On a blurry animated background similar to the previous logo, we see a blue box containing a stylized version of part of an eclipse. The texts "A Production Of" and "Detroit Public Television" in blue are above and below the logo.

Trivia: The "Eclipse" logo in this ident came from a public produced-organization company called LARK International, which is its parent original company, next to PBS. The company had also formerly owned KUHT/Houston Public Television (now HoustonPBS) until around 2003. The company, however also owns KCTS Seattle, who currently carries the "Eclipse" logo.

FX/SFX: The background, though amazing, is too simple, like NBCUniversal's "Silk of Shame".

Music/Sounds: 3 chime notes against a string background.

Availability: Rare.

9th Logo (2002?-)

Logo: On a dark blue tinted action background, we see "A Production of", "Detroit Public Television" and the eclipse logo between them zoom out, leaving trails behind. In the background, we see the transparent letters "Detroit Public Television". The eclipse in the square shines.


  • An enhanced version was introduced in the mid-late 2000's, where the background is lighter in color.
  • For the enhanced version, on season 3 of In the Frame: Exploring the DIA, the logo (and the credits) is now played inside a photo frame laid on a red cloth.
  • "Production" may be replaced with "Presentation".

FX/SFX: The trails and the shine.

Music/Sounds: The three notes from the 1998 logo on a piano and string, followed by two more notes. For the enhanced version, there is no string.

Availability: Common, as this is the current WTVS logo.

10th Logo (2002-2004)

Logo: On a filmstrip background, a box containing a stylized version of part of an eclipse (similar to the beginning of the 1994 Universal logo) zooms out from the center of the screen. As it zooms out, the words "Detroit Public TV" zoom out, with "Detroit" settling on top and "Public TV" settling below it. Suddenly, the background morphs into a "countdown" clock as the words "WTVS Detroit" and Detroit Public TV's web address scroll across the screen. The logo may be overlaid over the 2002 CPB background in 2:35:1. If not, it has "It's Worth Your Time" below.

FX/SFX: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: The same 3 notes but in a lower pitch played on a piano mixed with drums and what sounds like an organ, and then the sound of an old film projector.

Availability: Extinct. Was only used as a local ID.

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