ABC Circle Films

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Not to be confused with Circle Films, an unrelated film distribution company.


ABC Circle Films was the made-for-TV motion picture division of the ABC Television Network (later part of "Capital Cities/ABC", now "ABC, Inc."), later reincorporated as "ABC Productions" in 1989. Today, most of the ABC movie library and all television series are currently held by The Walt Disney Company.

1st Logo (March 6, 1972-March 20, 1977)

Visuals: There are the words "AN ABC CIRCLE FILM" in an pink Peignot font (similar to the one used on Viacom's first production logo around this time) over a black background, curling forward on the edges. Then, the words begin to rotate in a circular motion, as though they are about to circle around the screen's middle. However, the exact same phrase in the exact same font, outlined, is seen going across the screen in an outward curve, as if it was the other half of the circle. Meanwhile, the phrase is seen going back to its original position, and when the logo stops, it is in the same position.


  • Most of the time, especially as a closing logo, it's only a still shot. The logo is also straightened out.
  • Also used as in-credit text.

Technique: None on the still and in-credit variants. For the animated variant, 2D Scanimate.


  • A Christmas-like orchestral tune, complete with bells.
  • The short version uses a similar, yet different tune.
  • Most of the time, it's silent.

Availability: It was seen on Trilogy of Terror and Murder at the World Series, the latter of which was released on VHS by Heron Home Entertainment and its opening counterpart was last seen on a DVD of Love Among the Ruins. The in-credit text appeared on The President's Plane is Missing.

2nd Logo (November 5, 1976-September 16, 1977)

Visuals: On a black background, there are the cream-colored words "AN ABC CIRCLE FILM", set in an Helvetica-esque font, moving in a circular motion (more or less like in the 1st logo). A few seconds later, the camera rotates, revealing that the words are actually on the side of a disc. Being on top of the disc is the gold-colored text "abc" in the middle, in its corporate font, with the smaller words "an" and "circle film" (also in the abc corporate font) above and below the "abc" respectively, surrounded by a thick, cream-colored ring. We turn to face the top of this disc, which shines as we do so. Once finished, the logo stops rotating into an upright position, then flashes once, turning the ring, the "an" and the "circle film" orange and the "abc" white. The logo shines.

Variant: An early variant exists where the logo doesn't flash at the end, instead fading to a shiny 2D version of it with a red drop-shadow. The sparkling is also slightly different.

Trivia: This logo is the work of Dan Perri, the designer of many film titles such as Star Wars and The Exorcist, as well as the logo for The Samuel Goldwyn Company.

Technique: Live-action effects.

Audio: A synth-esque sounder which plays throughout the logo, followed by a three-note trumpet fanfare, with drums and a piano note accompanying the third note. On at least Dan Perri's Vimeo account, the logo is silent.

Availability: Spotted at least on Nightmare in Badham County, Young Pioneers' Christmas, and Disaster in the Sky. It is also preserved on Dan Perri's Vimeo account.

3rd Logo (September 16, 1977-February 17, 1978)

Visuals: On a space background, there is a 3D transparent ABC logo, at an angle and in multiple colors. The logo then turns to face the camera and comes closer, ending up with "abc" in neon blue, and the circle in neon pink. Below, the neon orange text "circle films" in the same font as the "abc" letters, pans from the right.

Technique: Motion controlled animation.

Audio: Originally silent. However, there was also a version with a disco-like tune (a snippet of the 1977-1978 version of the "Still The One!" jingle).

Availability: Seen on Superdome and VHS releases of Curse of the Black Widow and Three on a Date.

4th Logo (May 14, 1978-February 14, 1983)

Visuals: Against a black background, six multicolored circles scroll into the near-top of the screen while five multicolored circles scroll into the screen below them. Once the two are aligned in the middle, they become the orange letters "CIRCLE FILMS", in a font reminiscent of the Terminator film title. The ABC logo then drops from the top of the screen and lands on the "I" in "CIRCLE".


  • On some ABC Weekend Specials such as "Mayday! Mayday!", the still logo is placed on a blue background with copyright info below it.
  • One version has the circle animation sped-up drastically, with the "morphing" of the circles into words conversely slowed-down.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A dramatic fanfare with an ending similar to Paramount Television's 1969 "Closet Killer" music.

Audio Variant: On the ABC Weekend Specials, the end theme plays over it.


  • Can be found on a VHS release of the miniseries IKE.
  • Also seen on Who Will Love My Children?, The Comeback Kid (1980), and Pray TV (1982).
  • It might be retained on the KL Studio Classics/Kino Lorber DVD releases of the latter two titles.
  • It also appeared at the end of an October 7, 2019 UK airing of the 1980 TV movie The Comeback Kid on Talking Pictures TV.
  • The sped-up/slowed down version has been sighted at the end of the Kino Lorber 2-disc BD of The Day After, specifically at the end of the TV cut (implying it was originally used, before the next logo was edited over prior to broadcast).

5th Logo (November 20, 1983-May 14, 1989)

Visuals: On a black-blue background, there are the stacked words:


in the same crystal lettering as the text in the ABC Motion Pictures logo, zoom-in upward from the bottom of the screen. The logo "shines".


  • There is another variant of this logo with a red background, and one with a black-teal one.
  • Another variant appears in the end credits.

Technique: Computer animation.


  • It's usually the closing theme of the show.
  • On the TV movie The Day After, the 1978 logo's music was used at the end.

Availability: Seen on Moonlighting, as well as on some TV movies from the era, like Love Lives On. The in-credit version can be found on War and Remembrance.

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