Filmways Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Filmways, Inc. was originally founded in 1958 by Martin Ransohoff. It was acquired by the Orion Pictures Company in 1982; the same year, Filmways Television was renamed as Orion Television and Filmways Pictures was folded into "Orion Pictures Corporation" in June. Today, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction (both were distributed by Viacom Enterprises but are now owned by CBS Media Ventures, while Orion Television retains the copyright on all episodes that have not gone into the public domain), Thundarr: The Barbarian and Fangface are both owned by Warner Bros. Television after Turner Broadcasting acquired the pre-1991 Ruby-Spears Productions library. Eye Guess, The Face is Familiar and Personality are owned by Sony Pictures Television via Stewart Television; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman/Forever Fernwood is also owned by SPT through ELP Communications. The remainder of the Filmways Television library is currently owned by MGM Television with Orion Pictures owning the copyright.

1st Logo (July 2, 1958-March 6, 1974)

Visuals: The sequence starts with a small globe of Earth, horizontally stretched out in the center of the screen. The globe has longitude (left to right) lines on it, and the equator extends beyond the globe, with little Richter-scale like lines on part of it. The globe is on a blue, starry background, with most of the stars clumped in the upper left and right hand corners. From behind the globe, the text "A FILMWAYS", in a 3D font and arched to match the globe's position, zoom-in a north-forward direction. Shortly after, the text "TELEVISION PRESENTATION" fades-in below the globe. Sometimes, the Seal of Good Practice appears below. You can see clouds in the background flying to the right.


  • On the 1962 to 1964 seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction, the Filmways logo would fade to the text "Produced in association with the CBS TELEVISION NETWORK" and has the Seal of Good Practice near the text. The clouds are flying to the left direction.
  • On the 1964-1965 season of the shows mentioned above, the logo is still with the Filmways on the top left of the background, and the CBS mention on the bottom right.
  • A variant with "VIDEO LTD. PRESENTATION" just below and the standard CBS notice at the bottom right exists, which only appears on The Face is Familiar.
  • Another variant, contains both color and another still version. Similar to the second variant above, but however, on the bottom right of the screen, the text "In Association With PhilDil Productions" is seen. This only appears on The Pruitts Of Southampton.
  • On the pilot episode of Mister Ed titled "The Wonderful World of Wilber Pope" from 1958 the logo was superimposed in the credits, without animation. Other than that, everything else (the text and the globe) is the same as usual.
  • On Eye Guess, the logo appears as an in-credit on the game board all in white. Also features both latitude and longitude lines. However, the continents nor the long radar equator line were not featured. The in-credit also appeared on the game show Personality.
  • For the color version in 1965, the stars are sparkling while the animation takes place. The clouds remains still.
  • On Ozzie's Girls, the logo cuts into the first half of the 1971 Viacom logo (which itself ends when "Viacom" is revealed).
  • On Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, there's an in-credit mention saying "A T.A.T. COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH FILMWAYS". When it was later known as Forever Fernwood during season 2, the text said, "PRODUCED BY T.A.T. COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AND PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH FILMWAYS, INC."

Technique: Camera controlled/cel animation.

Audio: At least on Filmways' more successful shows, there would be a voice over saying "This has been a Filmways (television) presentation". Those who uttered the phrase are listed below. The in-credit variant uses the end theme of the show. Several voice-overs who said the phrase on this logo on the shows they appeared on:

  • Petticoat Junction: Kate Bradley (played by Bea Benaderet). There was a male announcer's voice-over on season one.
  • Green Acres: Lisa Douglas (played by Eva Gabor) says it with "Dahhling".
  • The Beverly Hillbillies: Bill Baldwin (announcer of the show's sponsors, seasons 1 to 3) and Ellie May Clampett (played by Donna Douglas, seasons 4 to 9).
  • Mister Ed: Roger Addison (played by Larry Keating, seasons 1 to 3) and Mister Ed (voice of Alan "Rocky" Lane, seasons 4 to 6).
  • The Addams Family: It usually had it silent, but on a few episodes, the usual phrase was said in a deep baritone voice. Sometimes, it was Ted "Lurch" Cassidy, but he used his normal speaking voice.
  • On the second episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, the same voice-over says "This has been a Filmways production".
  • Ozzie's Girls: Both Brenda (Jennifer Sykes) and Susie (Susan Sennett) announce excitedly in unison: "This has been a Filmways presentation, distributed by Viacom!" The logo then cuts into the following Viacom logo (see above). The show's closing theme is heard over all that.


  • It appears on The Beverly Hillbillies (although some 1970s prints of the show plastered this logo with the 1971 or 1976 Viacom logos, but have since restored the logo) on Me-TV (usually with either the 1986 or 1990 Viacom logos or the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo on restored prints following this logo), Green Acres on World Harvest Television and Antenna TV and MGM DVD releases, The Addams Family last aired on Hallmark Channel around the Halloween season and its MGM DVD releases, and Mister Ed on ThisTV and Antenna TV and also on Shout! Factory DVD releases.
  • The in-credit variant was last seen on Eye Guess and Personality on GSN.
  • When The Beverly Hillbillies was shown on Nick at Nite in the early 2000s, this logo was followed by the 1995 Paramount Domestic Television logo.

Legacy: A nifty logo from the '50s that remains well-remembered and a favorite by many as it was involved in some classic television shows from the time period.

2nd Logo (1975-1976)

Visuals: A small Filmways logo, which appears in a stretched Bauhaus 93 font, is seen on a blue background. Another Filmways logo appears behind it, which is larger than the logo that appeared first. This effect repeats four times, making the logo looks like it appears in a Droste effect. The additional logos disappears piece by piece, in order of appearance, leaving a much larger Filmways logo isolated. A copyright appears on the bottom.

Technique: Analog computer animation.

Audio: Telephone chimes that change in pitch as the logo forms.

Audio Trivia: The telephone beeps, when translated to numbers, spell out "345-9989". If one goes by the letters that go with each number on a telephone dial, this spells out "FILMWAY".

Availability: This surfaced on a pilot for ABC titled Mason.

Legacy: A rather intriguing logo, for its early Scanimation, telephone beeps, and the first appearance of the familiar Filmways logo, which would be kept and refined in the following years.

3rd Logo (November 7, 1976-1977)

Visuals: On a black background, "FILMWAYS", colored blue and in a rounded font called Bauhaus 93, fades in and out.

Variant: The logo may appear in-credit on some programs.

Technique: A printed image created with traditional ink-and-paint.

Audio: None or the closing theme of the program.


  • Its only known appearance is on theatrical prints of the TV movie 21 Hours at Munich (which was released theatrically overseas).
  • This is also retained on current prints such as on the German Blu-ray release and MGM HD airings of the aforementioned film.

4th Logo (1977-March 21, 1981)

Visuals: On a black screen, many orange and cream-colored "FILMWAYS" zoom up from the bottom of the screen toward a white "FILMWAYS". All the multicolored "FILMWAYS" merge into the white "FILMWAYS". They are all in the same font as above.


  • In 1980, the registered trademark symbol appears next to the name.
  • A variant exists where the trail animation is much slower than usual.

Technique: Camera-controlled/cel animation.

Audio: A seven-note descending bell tune with guitars playing (which was done by Jack Elliot and Allyn Ferguson) or the closing theme of the show.

Audio Variants:

  • A variant which includes a synth orchestra exists.
  • On 240 Robert, two musical variants were heard. One had the music in a psychedelic mood, while the other had a deep sounding brass/woodwind ensemble.
  • A slowed-down version of the fanfare is heard on the series Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.


  • It appears on Fangface (with the closing theme finishing over it) and the first season of Thundarr the Barbarian (with the logo theme).
    • Boomerang U.S. reruns of both also preserved the logo, but the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of the latter removes it.
  • It also appeared after the original Hollywood Squares (with the theme music played over it).
  • The Paramount+ streaming print of Disaster on the Coastliner also has this logo intact (which is followed by the 2008 MGM Distribution Co. logo).
  • The slowed-down music variant was only seen on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson which only aired on WGTE Toledo in 1982.
  • Paramount+ and Epix prints of Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love (as well as the MGM Limited Edition Collection DVD-R release) and Berlin Tunnel 21 also retain this at the end.

5th Logo (October 8, 1981-June 5, 1983)

Visuals: A shortened version of the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo, but with the text "FILMWAYS TELEVISION" instead.

Trivia: By this time, the company was also known as Filmways Enterprises.


  • A variant exists where only the text "FILMWAYS" is seen below the logo.
  • A variant which also only reads "FILMWAYS" also exists, but the text is green.
  • A still variant also exists.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A shortened version of the fanfare from the 1981 Filmways Pictures logo, the closing theme from the program or none.


  • It was used until it was renamed as Orion Television in 1983.
  • This was seen on The Best of Saturday Night reruns (60 minute syndicated cut downs) and appears on the first season of Cagney & Lacey.
    • However, on reruns of the latter shown a long time ago on TNN (now Paramount Network), the 1982 Orion Television logo plastered over all the first season episodes except for one episode (which in turn had the Orion logo right after this logo).
  • It also appears on the 2012 season 1 DVD release of Cagney & Lacey by VEI under license from MGM Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
  • It also appears on the television movies Return of the Rebels and Joe Dancer III: The Big Trade, the latter of which can be found on Epix and Paramount+.
  • It also appears at the end of the Paramount+ streaming service print of Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982) before the short version of the 2021 MGM logo.
Filmways Television
Orion Television
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