Desilu Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Desilu Productions was a production company founded in 1950 by then-husband-and-wife comedy duo, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (hence the name of the company), producing TV shows and films between the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960, Desi Arnaz sold the pre-1960 shows to CBS since Ball and Arnaz couldn't work with each other anymore. They later divorced the same year. In 1962, Arnaz sold his holdings of Desilu to Ball. In 1967, she sold Desilu to Gulf+Western Industries, which merged Desilu with Paramount Pictures. Desilu became the television arm of Paramount in July, renaming it to "Paramount Television" (now "CBS Studios") months later, while Lucille Ball formed her company "Lucille Ball Productions, Inc." and Desi Arnaz formed his own company named "Desi Arnaz Productions". Currently, all of the Desilu Productions television library is owned by Paramount Global through CBS Media Ventures.

1st Logo (September 15, 1952-March 11, 1968)

Visuals: Over a custom backdrop, there are the words "FILMED IN HOLLYWOOD BY" ("Filmed in HOLLYWOOD and MEXICO by" on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour). The word "Desilu" is written in a cursive font, either in black, white, or in a 3D-like appearance. Then, a round ball dots the "i". The copyright information appears at the bottom. This phrase was shortened to "FILMED BY DESILU" in 1957.

Trivia: The logo was designed by visual artist Howard Anderson Jr., who also designed the titles and effects works for I Love Lucy, among other shows.


  • A still in-credit variant exists, which appears on shows that were filmed on location.
  • Another in-credit logo has the Desilu script name between "A" and "PRODUCTION".
  • At the beginning of some programs, the word "Presents" is seen below.
  • For Desilu Sales, Desilu's distribution arm starting in 1962, the text "Distributed by Desilu Sales, Inc." is seen in a script font on a gray background.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: The end credit music. Some I Love Lucy episodes have an announcer saying, "I Love Lucy is a Desilu production.", while some others have "Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will return next week at the same time".

Availability: Appears intact on any shows that originally had it.

  • The superimposed version appears on shows like I Love Lucy on Hallmark Channel, the Star Trek pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (and the restored version of "The Cage", on the 2004 Season 3 DVD release at least), The Lucy Show, and The Untouchables (1950s version) on Me-TV.
  • The in-credit variant appears intact on some filmed on locations shows, such as The Andy Griffith Show, I Spy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and That Girl, among others.

Legacy: This and the next logo are fondly remembered for their presence on television shows during their lifespans.

Final Notes: This logo was used on the final two seasons of The Lucy Show, which used the 1966 Desilu logo and the 1968 Paramount Television logo at the end.

2nd Logo (September 8, 1966-March 15, 1968)

Visuals: On a black background, six multicolored (red, pink, and orange) circles surround a white one and then merge together with it to form a blue circle, which backs away upward as the word "Desilu" is written in a yellow cursive font. As the circle takes its place over the "i", it turns white.


  • When Desilu merged with Paramount Pictures in 1966, the Paramount copyright stamp and the 1916-1967 Paramount Pictures print logo would appear below it.
  • On Star Trek reruns from 1978, the Paramount copyright is chyroned in, and the logo then cuts to the then-current Paramount Television logo or the 2006 CBS Paramount Domestic Television "Eye in the Sky" logo afterward, which is seen on all episodes of the 2004 Season 1 DVD box set (as well some early episodes of Season 2), as an example. Some older prints will have the logo with the chyroned Paramount copyright, but it will not be followed by any Paramount logo. This appears on the 1980 Paramount Home Video releases of Star Trek: Television Classics, Volumes 1-5.
  • A red Desilu logo exists, which appears on Mission: Impossible.
  • Another variant where the year reads as "1967" appears instead of reading in Roman numeral style also exists.
  • Another version of the previously described variant where the copyright notice is partially on the Desilu text also exists. This oddity is known to have been on original prints (and also Sci-Fi Channel airings, as well as the Region 2 DVD set) of the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?". However, home media releases by CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment have this variant replaced by the standard version of the logo instead (with the Paramount Pictures and Norway Corporation copyrights).
  • A B&W variant also exists, which appears on 16mm prints of said colors.
  • On 1990s prints of seasons 5-6 of The Lucy Show, a Desilu Productions copyright notice which reads "Based on the LUCY SHOW property © 1962-1966 DESILU PRODUCTIONS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" has been chyroned in under the logo. These also plaster over the original Paramount copyrights, if any.
  • On recent prints of Mannix, a copyright notice that reads "COPYRIGHT © MCMXCVI by CBS STUDIOS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" appears below the logo.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: A five-note triumphant horn fanfare that starts on a light note as the circle forms. This would later be used on Paramount Television's 1st logo. Sometimes this music plays faster. Wilbur Hatch composed all variations.

Audio Variants:

  • 1966-1967 season episodes of Mission: Impossible sometimes have "bump" music (the basis for the "M:I" theme) as the fanfare. This was also reportedly seen on non-remastered versions of the Star Trek episode, "Charlie X".
  • Some 1967-1968 season episodes of Mission: Impossible episodes had a battling loud rendition of the fanfare. This would also later be used on Paramount Television's first logo in early 1968.
  • In other cases, the logo is silent.
  • On the remastered S3 Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome", the 1968-69 Paramount Television fanfare plays underneath the Desilu logo, which appears at the end of this episode as the result of botched logo plastering.
  • On the original effects version of the Star Trek episode "Return to Tomorrow" which appears on the "Roddenberry Vault” Blu-ray collection, the final note of the early 1968 Paramount Television logo's music can be heard for a split second after the Desilu logo finishes and just before the 2007 CBSTD logo begins. This is most likely an editing mistake made while inserting the Desilu logo over the original Paramount logo.

Availability: Appears on shows by the company from the time-period until 1968.

  • These include Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, The Lucy Show, and Mannix.
  • Currently appears on Star Trek on Me-TV (as of March 2016) and BBC America.
  • Appears on all episodes of Star Trek from "The Man Trap" through "The Gamesters of Triskelion" on their initial airings, and also appears on both "A Private Little War" and "Bread and Circuses" as those were produced before the renaming to Paramount Television.
  • This logo is also omitted (or plastered by Paramount Television's 2nd logo) on the Columbia House U.S. VHS releases of Mission: Impossible.
    • However, the Paramount Home Video U.S. VHS releases do retain it, as well as the Goodtimes Home Video U.S. VHS release of the episode "Memory."
  • It was also last seen on Star Trek reruns on TV Land and in local syndication and some Mission: Impossible episodes on the former ALN (now "YouToo TV").
  • When Star Trek is shown on Canada's Space: The Imagination Station, this logo is presumably kept with the Paramount copyright without the Paramount TV logo.
  • It is also intact on early episodes of Mannix, as well as The Lucy Show.
  • Currently, DVD releases of the first season of Mission: Impossible also retain this logo with the Paramount copyright byline, however, it's not followed by any Paramount logo.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 of the original Star Trek on Blu-ray also retain this logo (followed by the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo), with this logo also replacing the January-September 1968 Paramount Television logo.
    • This also applies to the 2004 Seasons 1 and 2 DVD releases in terms of the plaster on S2 (with two exceptions in Region 2). However, season 1 and some (mostly early) season 2 episodes instead have this logo followed by the 1995 Paramount Television logo.
    • The plaster is also present on the affected season 2 episodes on the 1993 Japanese season LaserDisc boxsets.
  • Early to mid-1990's prints of the entire 1st season and early season 2 episodes of the original Star Trek have also retained this logo (followed by either the later 1968 Paramount Television logo (of which it's beaten up and covered with scratches), or the 1975 Paramount Television logo with the 1979 music).
  • The Mission: Impossible version of the logo also made an appearance at the end of the LEGEND UK print of Mission: Impossible episode "Memory", which is the second episode of Season 1. It also appears on this episode on demand through WatchFreeUK, the catch up service for the UK CBS channels. This marks the first confirmed sighting of this variant since 1994, when GoodTimes Home Video released this same episode (mistakenly titled "Butcher of Balkans") on VHS.
    • However, other episodes airing on LEGEND use the standard theme instead, however the variant used is the bylineless version that would have originally appeared and not the Paramount byline variant that appears on remastered prints of Season 1 episodes.

Desilu Productions
Paramount Television (1967-2006)
Lucille Ball Productions
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.