Group W Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Group W Productions, also known as Westinghouse Broadcasting, was a division of Westinghouse Electric Company, which was named after its founder, George Westinghouse. Westinghouse Broadcasting was established in 1920 with the introduction of the world's first commercially licensed radio station, KDKA Pittsburgh. This company did not have a standard animated logo until 1980. In 1995, Group W Productions was renamed and reincorporated as "Eyemark Entertainment" after the merger between CBS and Westinghouse.



1st Logo (June 1962-1980)

Visuals: Chryoned over the series' end credits is the text "Produced by WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY" (in Group W's corporate font) with the abstract Westinghouse "W" logo, consisting of two slanted wedges and a small triangle, positioned either above or below the company name after 1967.

Variants:

  • There is a version with the word "GROUP" at the top of the "W", and "in association with" at the very top of the screen. "Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, Inc." is written below.
  • A Group W print logo with "GROUP" on the side of the "W" appeared in end-credit rolls around 1970.
  • There is a theatrical in-credit variant with the world "FILMS" below the logo.

Technique: A still, printed image.

Audio: The ending theme of the show.

Availability:

  • The standard Group W print logo was used as an in-credit logo on programs such as The Steve Allen Show, The David Frost Show, and The Mike Douglas Show.
  • It is retained on Rhino Home Video's VHS set of the run of November 1971 Mike Douglas Show episodes co-hosted by John Lennon.

2nd Logo (September 8, 1980-1984)


Visuals: On a plain black background, the abstract "W" from the previous logo in red zooms in, similar to Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Big W" logo from the 1970s. As the logo stops into its place, the text "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS" (in the Group W font) appears underneath the logo with the Westinghouse Broadcasting byline below the text in a white Impact font.

Bylines:

  • 1980-1982: "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING COMPANY"
  • 1982-1984: "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING AND CABLE, INC." (the company was a leading cable TV operator in the early-to-mid 1980s)

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: None.

Availability:

  • This appeared on Hour Magazine.
  • A still version also appeared on the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (syndicated by Group W in the US).
  • The in-credit version was last seen on The John Davidson Show (which replaced The Mike Douglas Show, Group W's syndicator).

3rd Logo (September 5, 1983-1987)


Visuals: On a black background, three rows of about 20 blue-silver lasers come from the top, left, and right sides of the screen, meeting in the center to form the abstract "W", which now sparkles and shines. The words "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS" fade in underneath.

Variants:

  • On some shows, there is a copyright stamp fading in underneath.
  • In other cases, it's superimposed.
  • A version with ivory text exists.
  • On Every Second Counts, an in-credit notice can be seen at the end before the actual logo is seen.
  • A variant where the lasers are cut, picking up from the "W" forming, also exists.

Technique: Camera-controlled/cel animation produced by Calico.

Audio: A low nine-note synth flute tune.

Audio Variants:

  • A short version with only three notes of the logo theme exists.
  • On the syndicated series Hot, the logo theme is a majestic sounding orchestral variant of the nine-note synth tune.
  • Sometimes, the logo is silent.

Availability:

  • This logo originally appeared on Hour Magazine and Every Second Counts.
  • It was last seen on a Netflix print of the TV movie Lost In London, followed by the Fries Distribution Company logo.
  • Reruns of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe on the USA Network in the late 1980s also had this logo (in both silent and short versions).

4th Logo (September 14, 1987-November 16, 1991)


Visuals: Over a blue background, red-orange laser lights shoot towards a blue rectangle with cut corners, forming a "W" outline out of it. As the rectangle zooms up and swings around towards the camera, it zooms up out of view, and the "W" is fully revealed, shining a bit and glowing in red. The text "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS", again in the Group W font, fades in below.

Variants:

  • A short version of the logo which only plays the last half of the animation exists.
  • On The Wil Shriner Show and Hour Magazine, a copyright notice appears under the logo.
  • On Bob Vila's Home Again and the 1988-89 version of Life's Most Embarrassing Moments, the words "Distributed by" appear above the logo.
  • On Russian-dubbed prints of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the logo is still and stays onscreen for twenty-six seconds.[1]

Technique: CGI by Calico.

Audio: A fast-paced warbling synth tune ending in a single synth horn note. Composed by Robert Boress.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, the logo is silent (like on Bob Vila's Home Again) or uses the closing theme of the show.
  • On The Wil Shriner Show, a woman voiceover is heard saying "The Wil Shriner Show is a Charles Colarusso production and a Bonnie Burns production, in association with Group W Productions."
  • On Russian-dubbed prints of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it uses the closing theme of the show with the voiceover finishing reading the dub credits, then the logo is silent.

Availability:

  • This originally appeared on Hour Magazine, Couch Potatoes, and Missing: Reward.
  • It also appears on the first five seasons of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and is intact on the DVD boxsets.
  • The distribution variant can be found on the first two seasons of Bob Vila's Home Again, which are available for viewing on YouTube.
  • A failed 1990 pilot for a syndicated run of the NBC game show Scrabble also had this logo; it can be seen on Wink Martindale's YouTube channel.
    • The same channel also uploaded another failed pilot, Tricky Business (a reworking of Every Second Counts), which featured this logo; said pilot's slate indicated a tape date of July 27, 1986, but it's not clear if the logo was ready then and simply didn't get used for a year, or if it was edited in after the fact to replace the previous logo.

5th Logo (August 31, 1992-November 4, 1995)


Visuals: Over a black background, CGI crimson wedges flip into place and form the abstract "W" logo. The text "GROUP W PRODUCTIONS" in the Group W font fades in below.

Variants:

  • A variant which is used for international distribution with the text "WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL" instead exists.
  • A variant with "MEDIA SALES" underneath the company name also exists.
  • A short version exists.
  • A sped-up variant exists.
  • On a few shows like Marilu, a copyright stamp fades in when the logo forms.
  • Certain episodes of Bob Vila's Home Again have "DISTRIBUTED BY" superimposed at the top.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: There are two musical versions used interchangeably: A three-note ascending chime tune or a dramatic orchestral/synth theme.

Audio Variants:

  • On some occasions, both themes are shortened.
  • Sometimes, it's the closing theme of the show or none.
  • A low-tone version of the orchestral theme exists.

Availability:

  • The Group W version appears on the 1992-1995 seasons of TMNT, and the 1994 international prints of Speed Racer (whenever any network airs it).
    • It was also seen on several talk shows of the time: Vicki (with Vicki Lawrence), Marilu (with Marilu Henner), and Paget (with Paget Brewster, although it was only a local show on Group W's San Francisco station KPIX-5).
  • As for the WBI variant, it appears on international prints of TMNT (and also sometimes even plasters the previous logo on earlier episodes too), as well as the "Vacation in Europe" side-season of TMNT, the 1993 remastered version of the original 1967 version of Speed Racer on DVD and internationally (Speed (now FS1)'s prints plastered WBI with DIC Entertainment), and on various episodes of Skeleton Warriors on DVD.
    • Dinobabies had this logo too, and it is also retained on both UK VHS releases, and when released for Video Buddy (an interactive VHS system released in the late 90s).
    • However, Fox Family (now Freeform)'s prints plastered WBI with The Program Exchange instead.
  • The Media Sales variant is so far only seen on old VHS releases of Budgie the Little Helicopter.

References

Group W Productions
Eyemark Entertainment