ITC Entertainment Group

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

The Incorporated Television Company (ITC) was a British television distribution company founded by Lew Grade in 1954 as the distribution unit of ATV (Associated TeleVision), one of the ITV franchises; it later branched out into TV series and feature film production. In 1995, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment acquired ITC Entertainment Group, resulting in the company being renamed into a new incarnation of PolyGram Television two years later. PolyGram was later acquired by Seagram and Sons on 10 December 1998, resulting in PolyGram TV being folded into Universal Television (which serves as the legal successor of the company).

Most of the ITC library, with certain exceptions (The Dark Crystal is held by Universal Pictures with Sony Pictures Entertainment handling video rights; the Muppets franchise is now owned by the Walt Disney Company), is now owned by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, a subsidiary of ITV plc.



1st Logo (25 September 1956-1960)

Visuals: On a black background, there are the letters "ITC" each appear inside three rounded diamonds shapes horizontally. The word "AN" appears above it and "RELEASE" or PRODUCTION" appears below it.

Variant: Sometimes, the logo is shown in-credit.

Technique: A printed card.

Audio: None or the closing theme.

Availability: Appears on early ITC shows like Ding Dong School, Fury, The Gale Storm Show, The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, Interpol Calling, and The Four Just Men, as well as reruns of Lassie.

  • Still kept on any public domain DVD releases of ITC shows, however.
  • It also appeared at the end of a September 27, 2022 airing of the Interpol Calling episode "The Angola Brights" on Talking Pictures TV.
  • It also appeared at the end of the January 7, 2023 and January 14, 2023 airings of The Four Just Men episodes "The Battle of the Bridge" and "The Prime Minister", on Talking Pictures TV, respectively.

Legacy: This is the only logo where the diamonds are arranged horizontally, rather than the more familiar vertical formation.

2nd Logo (1960-21 May 1975)


Visuals: On a grey background, a compass appears. It zooms up really close, and then "flips" to reveal a black diamond-like shape. A map of the world is wiped into the diamond from left to right as a white outline appears. The diamond's interior once again turns black as it zooms out as the background fades to black. When it reaches the top, a line is drawn through the middle as an "I" appears in the middle as well. Two more diamonds appear below the "I" diamond, reading "T" and "C", and appearing as the line "connects" them. The word "presents" appears below.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, "Distribution" replaces "presents", and sometimes, there is no text under the logo.
  • A variant which has "Distributed by" above the logo exists.
  • A variant also exists, where "DISTRIBUTION" is in a different font and is slightly at the bottom right instead of being in the centre below the ITC logo, an ATV Copyright date can also be seen.
  • The earliest uses of the logo have the diamond zoom out to the middle, having all three diamonds appear at once (including the line), and the letters appear in them as usual.
  • In the colour version of the logo, the background is red, and turns to green during the map part, the compass is silver, and the map's continents are blue on the opening variant and green on the closing variant.
  • Certain programmes will have an in-credit logo that appears with "AN" to the left of the ITC logo and "WORLD WIDE DISTRIBUTION" either to the right (such as Gerry Anderson's UFO and Thunderbirds, among others) or directly under it.
  • On Diver Dan, the text "AN" and "RELEASE" appear above and below the ITC logo.
  • An in-credit variant had the words "FOR" above the ITC logo and "WORLD WIDE DISTRIBUTION" either below or by the sides of the logo, respectively. This appears on Baffled!, This is Tom Jones, The Englebert Humperdinck Show, and the 1973 Sesame Street special Julie on Sesame Street, which guest-stars Julie Andrews and Perry Como.
  • An in-credit variant had the words "A BAMORE PRODUCTION FOR" above the ITC logo. This logo appears on colour episodes of The Saint from 1966-1969.
    • This is also localised in the French dub.
  • Another in-credit variant had the logo sandwiched in between the text "in association with INDEPENDENT TELEVISION CORPORATION". It appears next to Barbra Streisand in the end credits of her special Barbra Streisand and Other Musical Instruments.
  • On Return of the Pink Panther (1975), the logo is pink and shares a credit with Jewel Productions Ltd. and Pimlico Films Ltd. All of the text is given a glitter effect.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: A ten-note bombastic brass score. Composed by Jack Parnell.

Audio Variant: A high tone variant also exists.

Availability: The animated version appears on some shows from the company such as The Saint, but due to rampant plastering with later ITC or other distributor logos, the in-credit version is easier to find than its animated counterpart.

  • It might appear on some ITC shows from the period, most notably The Saint and many of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation shows (such as Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons), but it is definitely plastered by the 4th logo on IVE's VHS releases of The Saint.
    • Current prints of the Supermarionation shows on Tubi preserve the in-credit logo, but have no logo following; some episodes of The Saint (also on Tubi) have the 2013 ITV Studios Global Entertainment logo at the beginning.
  • It was also recently spotted on an Australian TV airing of The Baron and is preserved on the show’s DVD release.
  • It also turns up as a hidden Easter egg on the region 2 DVD release of The Persuaders! (1971-72).
  • The in-credit logo appears on reruns and DVD releases of The Prisoner and Thunderbirds among others, as well as at the start of the Magnetic Video, Embassy Home Entertainment, and Avid Home Entertainment releases of The Tamarind Seed, the latter release where it's preceded by the 6th logo.
  • This also appears at the start of B&W prints of colour ATV programming from the era, such as The Golden Shot (this logo was intact when it was shown on Challenge a few years back).
  • The logo is also preserved on all home media releases of Return of the Pink Panther (1975), where the logo is in-credit.
  • After the introduction of the next logo, it was mainly used as a in-credit logo until its last appearance on Return of the Pink Panther (1975).

3rd Logo (16 April 1973-1988)

Visuals: On a dark blue space background, there are three diamonds, red, green, and blue respectively, "interlocked" within each other and spinning around like a top. From the centre of the screen, a white ITC logo, designed much like last time but now turned slightly upward, zooms out and quickly moves to the left side, as the word "ENTERTAINMENT" appears alongside. After a bit, the logo fades out to make room for the word "Presents".

Trivia: The spinning diamonds on this logo are filmed in a way that, depending how you look it, you see the three diamonds spinning above you, or under you.

Variants:

  • When introduced in 1973, the ITC logo zooms into the centre of the screen after which either the word "PRESENTS", "PRODUCTION", or "DISTRIBUTION" pop up under it before the sequence fades out. Also, the space background is a bit different, and it moves as the logo animates. It was replaced with the more familiar version by 1977.
  • A variant of the 1973-77 version exists where after the ITC logo appears, there's a freeze-frame before any text below appears.
  • A version of the post-1977 animated logo appears at the end of movies and programmes, with "FROM" to the left of the ITC logo, and no "Presents".
  • On other ITC programmes of the era, a still logo appears in the show's end credits.
  • The second version of this logo and the still in-credit counterpart have either no byline, an ATV byline, or an ACC (Associated Communications Corporation) byline.
  • One variant has the ITC logo in gold with "PRESENTS" appearing below.
  • An in-credit version appeared on older prints of The Muppet Show, which showed the ITC logo in between "FOR" and "TELEVISION". Below that are copyright dates for ITC and Henson Associates. This was typically displayed over a shot of Zoot blowing his saxophone, though this was sometimes customized for a specific episode.
  • The logo appears in-credit on films produced by ITC Entertainment Group and the trailers for the films (such as Capricorn One).
  • There is also a standalone in-credit version of the logo that was shown on either a red-orange, red, pink, blue, dark blue, green, or black blackground.
  • Sometimes, the word "FROM" is omitted.
  • On All Star Soccer, "PRESENTS" appears below, in the same font as the show's title card.
  • Another in-credit variant where the word "ENTERTAINMENT" is replaced by either "PRODUCTIONS" or "PRODUCTIONS, INC." exists.
  • An animated in-credit version exists with zooming animation.
  • On some TV movies like Jane Doe and The Scarlet and the Black, another animated version was seen. First, the ITC logo appears, then "PRODUCTIONS(, INC.)" appears via a wipe effect.
  • The animated version of the one above superimposed to the credits appears on a few TV movies. The wipe effect is a bit quicker on this variant.
  • A similar animated version exists, which appears on Clinton and Nadine; on a red-orange background, the ITC print logo is seen and underneath is the text "ENTERTAINMENT GROUP" slowly wiping in one by one.

Technique: Live action and cel animation.

Audio: Same as the previous logo.

Audio Variants:

  • Like the previous logo, a high tone variant also exists.
  • In very rare instances, the end theme plays over the logo.
  • In rare cases, this logo would use the ITC Film Distributors audio, possibly due to sloppy plastering. This specific version was found on a Super 8 excerpt reel of The Muppet Movie.

Availability: Appears on the company's programmes from the time-period until 1988, but newer prints may delete the logo or plaster it with the 1987 logo; the in-credit versions of the logo are usually kept intact.

  • The ITC library was, at the time this was first compiled, in the hands of Carlton Television, a company not known for preserving logos or even other corporate identities (it also renamed two of its UK television stations, Central (the former ATV) and Westcountry under the Carlton name in September 1999; the names of those stations were reinstated after Carlton merged with Granada in 2003), and some shows which had the logo have been updated with the 1987 ITC logo or other company logos.
    • On The Muppet Show, originally an ITC/ATV-Henson Associates co-production, the scene with the ITC in-credit notice was re-shot to update the in-credit notice with a newer one. However, the first season's variant was surprisingly kept on the Peter Ustinov episode on a German DVD releases of The Muppet Show, and the variant used from the second season appears on VHS releases of "Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff" in Spain ("Gonzo y sus extrañas aventuras"). All modern prints of the show remove this logo completely.
      • 1980s and 1990s reruns replaced it with Jim Henson Productions logos (or Hit! for international broadcasts).
      • Late-1990s broadcasts (ie. on the Odyssey Network, or Kermit Channel in Asia) plastered over the scene with the Jim Henson Television logo. This same replacement was made on some DVD releases from the time (e.g. the bonus episodes and all episodes on The Very Best of the Muppet Show UK DVD releases). The prints of seasons 4 and 5 on Disney+ use this logo at the end.
      • The bi-volume "Best of the Muppet Show" releases from Time-Life Video plaster the sequence with a variation of the 1998 Jim Henson Home Entertainment logo that contains a copyright notice.
      • The first two volumes of the UK-exclusive The Very Best of the Muppet Show also keep the sequence, but replace the logos with a Jim Henson Company copyright notice. On these releases, the reedited sequence is followed by the Jim Henson Home Entertainment logo.
      • The boxsets of the first three seasons from Buena Vista Home Entertainment replace the ITC logo with a copyright notice for the The Muppets Holding Company. This notice remains intact on Disney+ prints.
    • This was routinely plastered over by the 4th logo on newer prints of older ITC series (when Sci-Fi Channel reran Space: 1999, the second version {with and without the ATV byline} and the 4th logo plastered over the original 1973 ITC Presents logo on all episodes except the show's finale, "The Dorcons"). IVE releases of The Saint in the 1980s (and subsequent re-releases by Avid Home Entertainment) also plastered the 4th logo over this one.
    • Most in-credit versions are usually left alone (see below for more information).
  • It also appears on the MST3K episode "Cosmic Princess" (which is just really episodes of Space: 1999 edited together into a film).
  • This may also appear on a few tapes from Magnetic Video and its later incarnations, as well as those from USA Home Video/International Video Entertainment and their various sublabels (ThrillerVideo, The Video Late Show, Family Home Entertainment, and King Bee Video), particularly if the tape is of a TV movie. For example, the original centered variant kicks off the Magnetic Video release of The Dancing Years, and the 1977 closing variant makes a surprise appearance at the start of the Magnetic Video release of March or Die.
  • This logo also showed up on some syndicated prints of non-ITC movies, including a 1991 Citytv Toronto airing of All of Me, as well as mid-1990s USA Network airings of Halloween (1978); one rerun of the 1985 film Sweet Dreams on WGN America circa 2010 retained the ITC logo (minus the drumroll, presumably an audio error) followed by the 2004 Granada International logo.
  • This logo also appears on Amazon Prime's print of The Ann Jillian Story, in PAL pitch, oddly enough, as the rest of the movie is in NTSC.
  • This logo may be intact on some episodes of Space: 1999 on the most recent Network season and complete series BD sets thereof. It's believed to appear specifically on the alternate/textless openings on some of the discs, as well as the TV episodic versions of the Space: 1999 movies Destination: Moonbase Alpha and Journey to the Black Sun.
  • The first standalone in-credit variant is left intact on Billionaire Boys Club, with the 2004 Granada International logo following it; the "PRODUCTIONS" variant appears at the end of the 1986 Walt Disney Home Video release of The Girl Who Spelled Freedom, followed by the Walt Disney Television logo.
  • Another variant with zooming animation appears at the end of the 1988 IVE release of Sunset Limousine.
  • The dark blue standalone in-credit background variant appears in the 1981 movie From a Far Country.
  • The black standalone in-credit background variant appears on the 1977 TV movie The Man in the Iron Mask and the first season of Lovejoy from 1986, although it is replaced by a still version of the 2001 FremantleMedia logo on the DVD releases, and also on a rerelease of Vendetta for the Saint (1969).
  • The animated superimposed variant appears on the TV movies like Secret Weapons and Malice in Wonderland (also known as The Rumor Mill).
  • The green variant appears on The Munch Bunch.
  • The 1977 version of the logo also appears at the start and end of Captain Scarlet: Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars (1981) on the 1992 UK VHS release thereof from PolyGram Video.

Legacy: Perhaps the most famous logo from the company in modern day, due to its psychedelic aesthetic and bombastic fanfare that was carried over from the previous logo.

4th Logo (20 November 1987-11 October 1998)

Visuals: On a black background, there are three gold interlocked ITC diamonds but with no letters in them, spinning around. They now appear to be made with a single "ribbon" of metal facing at an upwards angle, appearing that they overlap each other. As they spin around, the letters "ITC" slide out from the right of it one-by-one, and then shine as the diamonds stop spinning.

Variants:

  • This comes with or without a registered trademark "®" symbol next to the "C".
  • A variant that features "Presents" underneath exists. This appears at the beginning of some ITC productions/releases.
  • The closing variant of this logo is bylineless.
  • A variation of the logo that appears at the end of ITC content exists. In it, the logo is sped up, the three notes accompanying the ITC letters sliding out are not heard, the letters do not shine, there is no shimmering sound heard, "Entertainment Group" appears under "ITC" once the diamonds stop spinning, and a different "THUD!" sound is heard at the end. The music for that logo has also been heard on the standard version as well.
  • A variation of the logo in which "Entertainment Group" wipes in after the ITC letters shine also exists.
  • Another variation of the logo in which "Entertainment Group" wipes in after the diamonds stop spinning also exists as well. Again, the logo is sped up, the three notes accompanying the ITC letters sliding out are not heard, the letters do not shine and there is no shimmering sound heard.
  • The later version of this logo has a byline reading "A PolyGram Filmed Entertainment Company", which appears on the Artisan DVD releases of Sophie's Choice, The Boys from Brazil, some TV airings of Volunteers, and a 1997 syndicated print of Halloween (1978).
  • On the 1996-98 USA Network series The Big Easy, the ITC Entertainment Group version is seen sped up (after the Grosso-Jacobson Productions logo) and cuts away to the PolyGram Filmed Entertainment logo (joined in progress; the final part of that logo is seen).
  • Sometimes, it is superimposed over the ending credits. The size of the logo may vary in some cases.
  • A variant with "In Association With" superimposed over the logo exists.
  • A copyright date can appear under the logo in rare cases.
  • Occasionally, the logo is still.
  • On Julie & Carol: Together Again, the text "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appears above the logo and then the logo fades out once it finishes.

Technique: CGI by Craig Clark.

Audio: A dramatic bass sounder, followed by a three-note synth tune that corresponds to the sliding out of the letters, a shimmering sound accompanying the letters shining, and a "THUD!" synth sound. The music on this logo was done by John O'Kennedy.

Audio Variants:

  • A modified version of the tune appears on Deadlock (aka Wedlock) (1991), and a February 10, 2023 Virgin Media Three airing of the 1989 TV movie Love and Betrayal (aka Throwaway Wives), respectively.
  • High tone and low tone variants also exist, with the low tone variant of the tune appearing on the Scorpion Releasing DVD release of Whispers (1990).
  • Sometimes, the music for the ITC Entertainment Group logo can be heard over the standard logo; conversely, the standard logo's music has also been known to play over the ITC Entertainment Group logo.
  • A variant on the ITC Entertainment Group logo where the three notes play (although faster than usual) and a "THUD"/drum roll sound effect plays exists.
  • A variant of this without the "THUD" also exists.
  • Sometimes, the logo is silent, or it can have the opening theme of the movie play over it.
  • The mini-series People Like Us has a three-note harp theme.
  • Some TV movies and most episodes of Space: 1999 have the 1959 logo theme playing over the logo.
  • The 1990 revival of Tic-Tac-Dough has the theme playing under as Larry Van Nuys announces (following the Barry & Enright Productions logo) "... distributed by ITC!"

Availability: Appears on the company's films and programmes from the time period; it was also typically used for plastering older ITC logos (including the ITC Film Distributors logos) on prints of its television and film library. Newer prints may delete it or plaster it with different logos, but it's still intact on prints that may still be in use.

  • The logo first appeared on the UK and international releases of The Brave Little Toaster (1987).
  • It is also spotted on other international VHS releases when the company held the distribution rights at the time.
  • In recent years, this has fallen to removal or plastering by other companies (under Carlton and Granada/ITV ownership for example), but still appears on a number of titles released by IVE, Live Entertainment, or Artisan Entertainment, as well as older TV prints of ITC material.
  • This appears on Artisan DVD releases of films such as The Last Unicorn, The Boys from Brazil, and The Eagle Has Landed, among others.
  • This logo was also spotted on various episodes of The Saint on ITV4 in the UK and at the start and end of one episode thereof on Me-TV titled "The Best Laid Schemes".
  • Edited reruns of Thunderbirds that aired in 1994 on Fox Kids also had the animated logo with copyright; the infamous Turbocharged Thunderbirds, which aired in syndication the next year, had a still variant with no copyright.
  • The silent version appeared at the start of a September 4, 1999 airing of Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael on the Lifetime network, plastering the 1990 version of the 1986 Paramount Pictures logo. ITC had originally released the film through that studio, which released it theatrically and on home video. However, ITC retained the television rights to the film, and ITV Studios Global Distribution has expanded these rights to streaming services, whose prints of the film retain the silent version of this logo and have the 2013 ITV Studios Global Entertainment logo follow it at the end. Home video releases also have the silent version of this logo intact, preceding the closing variant of the 1990 version of the 1986 Paramount Pictures logo.
  • The "Entertainment Group" variant appears at the end of most ITC material on DVD by Artisan Entertainment, such as The Eagle Has Landed and Jesus of Nazareth among many others as well as an Australian airing of Danger Man. Syndicated prints of some CBS Theatrical Films releases also had this at the end when they were shown on TV years ago.
  • This logo is also intact on some ITC films released by different companies, such as the Columbia/TriStar DVD release and a Netflix print of Fear of a Black Hat, the Scorpion Releasing DVD release of Whispers, and the Synapse Films DVD release of Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy.
  • It also appears on Amazon Prime Video prints of Dogpound Shuffle, Doppelganger, and Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (the latter in place of the 1990 version of the 1986 Paramount logo, which suggests the international master was used).
  • On Blu-ray, this appears on the German BD release of Wedlock, and the Scorpion releases of Trouble Bound, The Last Seduction (including the Network UK BD and SE DVD releases) over the film's opening theme, though the U.S. Artisan DVD release has it plastered with the Barnholtz Productions logo.
  • This also appears on ITC catalogue releases by Avid Home Entertainment, where it usually (if not always) plasters earlier ITC logos or those of the films' distributors (e.g. Associated Film Distribution, 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios), Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Avco Embassy Pictures); on the Avid release of The Tamarind Seed, it plasters the Avco Embassy logo but still retains the in-credit ITC opening logo.
  • Recent prints of some of these replace this with either the Carlton, Granada, or ITV Studios Global Entertainment logos.
  • This logo also made an appearance on recent Australian airings of the Thunderbirds episodes "Lord Parker's Holiday" and "Path of Destruction", respectively (and also appears on 9Now's prints of those episodes).
    • It also appeared at the end of Syfy UK airings of the aforementioned show's last ever episode titled "Give or Take a Million", which is then followed by the 1999 Carlton International logo.
    • It also appeared at the end of current prints of at least two episodes of The Prisoner ("A Change of Mind" and "Fall Out", respectively), followed by the 2013 ITV Studios Global Entertainment logo.
  • The superimposed variant was seen on the 1990 revival of Tic-Tac-Dough, and was last seen when it was rerun on the USA Network more than 20 years ago, as well as on 1991-95 episodes of The George Michael Sports Machine (presumably to help distinguish the national version of the show from the one seen on NBC's O&O stations {the show was produced by NBC's Washington D.C. station WRC-TV 4}, certain promos included the ITC logo and the ITC diamonds were seen on certain set pieces; beginning fall 1995, Group W Productions took over distribution and were in turn succeeded by Eyemark Entertainment, King World, NBC Enterprises and NBCUniversal Television Distribution).
  • It is unknown if this was seen on late 1980s/early 1990s prints of The Buccaneers.
  • Like with ITV4 airings of the fifth and sixth seasons of The Saint, it is also retained on various episodes on Britbox, with some of them even having the logo at the start as well as the end.
  • It also appears at the end of the Father Brown Complete Series DVD set of the 1979 TV movie Sanctuary of Fear from Via Vision Entertainment, following the 1979 Marble Arch Productions logo.
  • It also appears at the start of the ITVX print of Vendetta for The Saint (1969).
  • It also appears at the start of a 1991 U.S. VHS release of Robin Hood: The Movie from GoodTimes Home Video.
  • It also appears at the start of The Last Unicorn (1982) on the 2003 UK VHS re-release thereof by Carlton Visual Entertainment.
  • It also appeared at the end of a 2006 WeTV airing of Sweet Dreams (1985), which is then followed by the 2004 Granada International logo.
  • It also appears at the end of a mid-2000s print of SO1E05 of Edward the Seventh, after the 1969 ATV Colour Production endcap and before the 2004 Granada International logo.
  • It also appears at the start and end of a later print of the 1981 TV movie Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective.

5th Logo (7-9 February 1988)


Visuals: On a brown smoke-like background, 2 gold diagonal lines start to draw a diamond. They curve and intersect at the top to draw the second and third diamonds. "ITC" appears letter-by-letter inside the diamonds. The text:

I. T. C. E N T E R T A I N M E N T
G R O U P

in white zooms in below the diamonds.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The end theme of the series.

Availability: This only appears on the miniseries Windmills of the Gods.

References

ITC Entertainment Group
PolyGram Television
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