Belisarius Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Belisarius Productions is the production company of television producer Donald P. Bellisario. It produces Bellisario's TV shows, including Airwolf, Quantum Leap, and JAG, as well as that show's spin-off, NCIS.

Logo (January 22, 1984-)




Visuals: There is a wretched stone with sand on it, which blows off to reveal "BELISARIVS". Then, a flash suddenly appears, causing the background to turn black, the name to turn into "BELISARIUS" and become steel bluish-silver gradient, and the word "P R O D U C T I O N S" to appear under "BELISARIUS"; the text is arranged like this:

BELISARIUS
P R O D U C T I O N S

"BELISARIUS" is in a steel blue-silver gradient serif font, while "P R O D U C T I O N S" is in a smaller, spaced-apart font in silver. The finished logo shines.

Variants:

  • On JAG and NCIS, the words "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" in all-caps or sometimes, "in association with" appears under the logo; this is removed on DVD prints of JAG starting with season 3.
  • On HD prints of the two-part Quantum Leap episode "Genesis" (which is the show's pilot movie), the logo's animation is zoomed in. Part 2 is also in zoomed-in widescreen. (It is unknown if this also appears on the 2017 Mill Creek Blu-ray release.)
  • On post-1999 episodes of JAG and all episodes of NCIS, another widescreen version of it exists; however, it merely stretches the logo to 16:9 while keeping the proportion of the IAW text intact, and also appears to be an upscale of a taped copy (despite a native HD version being available). Also, the logo is presented with far brighter colors.

Technique: A mix of live-action, motion-controlled animation and computer effects.

Audio: A breeze of air is heard in the background as the dust blows off the stone. Then there's a synth drone, which segues into a dramatic synthesized chord during the "flash". The chord continues throughout the remainder of the logo.

Audio Variants:

  • On some shows, the logo is silent.
  • Original NBC and CBS airings of JAG and CBS airings of NCIS use generic network music.
  • On HD prints of the Quantum Leap episode "Genesis Part 2", a low-tone version is used.

Availability:

  • Seen on all shows produced by this company from 1984 onward (except for the original Magnum P.I., which just used an in-credit notice instead), including Airwolf (where it debuted) on DVD, Quantum Leap (original series only; the reboot never used the logo) in syndication and both DVD and Blu-ray, JAG on Heroes & Icons and occasionally on Cloo and Decades and on DVD, and NCIS (a spin-off of JAG, as explained above) on CBS and syndication.
  • It also appeared on First Monday, but that show is long-gone and will probably never be seen again outside of off-air recordings.

Legacy: Being one of the longest-running television logos, this remains a well-known logo among JAG, Quantum Leap, and NCIS fans.

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