ABC Video (US)

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

ABC Video Enterprises, Inc. was a home video and cable television unit of the ABC Television Network, formed in July 1979. The group bought a controlling stake in ESPN in the early 1980s, as well as being partners in Lifetime, A&E, and a joint venture with Westinghouse to form the Satellite News Channel (SNC), which was later bought by Ted Turner to cut the competition with his CNN network. In 1993, a year after ABC's new home video unit ABC Video was formed, it was re-purposed as "Capital Cities/ABC Cable and International Broadcasting, Inc.", which later became Disney-ABC International Television. In 1996, Buena Vista Home Video began distributing ABC tapes after Capital Cities/ABC merged with The Walt Disney Company. ABC Video shut down in 1999; the ABC name would return to home entertainment releases of ABC shows in 2008 when distribution of ABC shows on DVD and Blu-ray were transferred from Buena Vista to Lionsgate Home Entertainment.



1st Logo (1980-1982)

Visuals: On a black background, a series of segmented stripes fly down from the top of the screen while flashing orange and white, shaped like a pseudo-3D rounded triangle. At the top of the triangle is the then-current ABC logo as well, as well as a large shadow trail effect above the entire thing. As the logo then settles, the trails disappear to reveal the text "ABCVideoEnterprises" in the format shown while in a heavy orange tint, and the triangle/"V" shape also stops flashing. After the trails fully disappear, the logo fades to blue while the ABC logo is filled with white for the text.

Variant: An ending variant has the logo still with the text "A Presentation Of" above the text. The logo is also much smaller.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: An dramatic brass fanfare, followed by an male announcer saying "ABC Video Enterprises presents!" The ending variant lacks the voiceover.

Availability: Seen at the end of The Miracle of Lake Placid and at the start of The Greatest Fights of the '70s.

2nd Logo (1982-1987)

Visuals: On a black background, the glass outlined words "ABC VIDEO" zoom out and come closer together to each other, all while the edges of which shine brightly on their edges. As they meet in the center, the left slant of the "A" and the right slant of the "V", which don't have any border to them, join together and flash a bright gold color around the area, causing the glass letters to become fully visible before wiping in a metallic gold shade over the letters. Below, a neon green line appears in the center and expands out, revealing "ENTERPRISES, INC." sandwiched by 2 lines. The "ABC VIDEO" text then sparkles all over.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A humming sound, followed by a loud synth trumpet crescendo, and closes with a single drumbeat. A silent version exists.

Availability:

  • At the time, ABC licensed its film and TV library to various companies for VHS/Laserdisc/Betamax release, such as Embassy Home Entertainment, Golden Book Video, Magnetic Video Corporation (as well as successors 20th Century-Fox Video and CBS/Fox Video), Warner Home Video, Vestron Video, and Republic Pictures Home Video (to name a few).
  • The best way to find this logo is to look for an ABC Video Enterprises print logo on the cover.
  • Re-releases put out via Promotional Concept Group Inc. in the late 1980s-early 1990s will most likely use the 3rd logo instead.
  • The silent version can be found at the end of the Playhouse Video release of Here Come the Littles!.
  • It's retained at the start of Echo Bridge Home Entertainment releases of ABC-owned titles, like Home for the Holidays and Huckleberry Finn.
  • The original VHS releases of Schoolhouse Rock released by Golden Book Video have this logo instead of the next one.
  • Outside of VHS releases, this appeared on Carlton Select airings of Moonlighting (this despite the Buena Vista International Television logo's presence at the end), True Movies airings of No Place to Run and The Kansas City Massacre, Talking Pictures TV airings of The Great Houdini, a January 23, 1996 AMC airing of The Wild Heart, and the last few frames of this logo were accidentally kept intact on a DHX Junior print of The Littles episode The Spirits of the Night.
  • It may also appear on older prints of ABC made for TV movies.

3rd Logo (1986-1993)


Visuals: The camera fades into a giant blue ABC logo zooming out at an angle, with the letters colored white and having a faint pink tint on the inside border, as well as a bumpy texture throughout the entire logo. The logo zooms out and tilts downwards to face the screen, revealing a space background filled with various lights that move slightly, as well as the text "Capital Cities/ABC Video Enterprises Inc." below. As the logo settles, a large yellow comet passes from left to right, changing the text into "ABC Distribution Group " as a Earth globe with yellow continents and blue oceans briefly wipes over the ABC logo via a scanline wipe, before it fully fades over the logo and rotates clockwise. The lights also glow brightly for a brief moment.

Trivia: At the beginning, the space background can still be seen on the side edges of the screen while the logo is close.

Variants:

  • A filmed version of this logo exists.
  • On some made-for-TV movies, there's a still variant that has the logo freeze-framed just before the comet comes in. Below that is "in association with" in yellow fading in. Lady Boss uses a filmed version of this, albeit with the IAW text already there.
  • A short version, seen on the TV movie My Son Johnny (and possibly others) starts with the comet streaking.

Technique: CGI. This logo uses bump mapping, something not commonly used in the time period.

Audio: A majestic, space-like synth fanfare. The ending theme of any show/movie may also be heard as well.

Audio Variant: On rare occasions, the logo is silent.

Availability: Can be seen on some old videotapes of TV shows and movies produced and distributed by ABC.

  • It made an appearance at the end of Sundance TV's airings of the My So-Called Life episode "Life of Brian" before the 1998 Buena Vista International Television logo. It also appears on a few episodes on the said show's DVD releases.
  • It also makes an appearance at the beginning of the 2006 Anchor Bay UK DVD release of The Secret Garden and also at the beginning of the Kino Lorber DVD release of Young Pioneers.
  • It may also appear on DVD releases of old ABC TV movies from Kino Lorber and Echo Bridge, such as Superdome.
  • This was seen at the end of a 2000s OMNI 2 Canada airing of an old America's Funniest Home Videos episode, before the 2006 BVIT logo.
  • Also appears at the end of some episodes of Wild West Cow-Boys of M.O.O. Mesa.
  • It was surprisingly seen on TubiTV's print of The Magic Flute, licensed by DHX/WildBrain, with the Cookie Jar logo at the end. This could be due to the fact that Tubi/WildBrain used a home video master of the film.
  • This was retained on Anchor Bay Entertainment's release of The Flamingo Kid.
  • It was also seen on the Echo Bridge 7 Action Film Pack DVD of The Kansas City Massacre.
  • The still variant appears on Crackle's print of Captive.
  • The filmed variant is seen on mid 80’s-early 90’s prints of TV movies, one of which is Notorious (1992).

4th Logo (1993-1996)

Visuals: On a white background, the ABC logo of the time is seen at the top center of the screen, followed by "Video" in a script font before angled diagonally towards the top right. A line is seen above the ABC logo, and 5 more are behind "Video".

Variants:

  • On tapes of children's programming, the ABC logo is replaced with a yellow version wearing a hat with red, green, and blue stripes all over it. The stripes are also missing.
  • A version where the logo stays on screen for 8 seconds, doubled from the regular 4 seconds, exists.

Technique: A still, computerized graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability:

  • The normal version appeared on ABC Video distributed tapes at the time such as New York Rangers: 1994 Stanley Cup Champions.
  • The kids' variant was seen on Schoolhouse Rock! tapes before Buena Vista Home Video took over, early Bump in the Night tapes, as well as the 1994 VHS release of The Secret Garden.
  • The longer eight second variant is only known appearance was on the 1995 laserdisc of The Day After Director's Cut.

5th Logo (1996-1999)

Visuals: On an animated blue background of a shimmering burst of light, the ABC logo, now in silver, flies in from the bottom right as a translucent copy flies across the screen from the left. As this happens, the same "Video" and 5 lines behind it, also in silver, swoop in from the bottom left and join together to create a similar result to the previous logo, but without the top line. The background continues to animate.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on ABC tapes distributed by Buena Vista Home Video, such as the VHS boxset series The Century: America's Time (w/ Peter Jennings).

ABC Video (US)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment