King World Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

King World Productions, Inc. was a television company established in 1964 by Charles King when they gained the distribution rights to the Our Gang (later re-titled The Little Rascals) shorts. Years later, after King's death, the company was ran by his children, Roger, Michael, Robert, Diana, Richard, and Karen King. In 1982, King World joined forces with Merv Griffin Enterprises to handle all of Griffin's nightly syndicated programming, including a syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune that premiered on September 19, 1983, acquiring the syndication rights to The Merv Griffin Show from Metromedia Producers Corporation, and producing two syndicated pilots of Jeopardy! until the series officially launched on September 10, 1984. King World later formed an ad-sales barter division "Camelot Entertainment Sales", which would become "King World Media Sales" (and later "CBS Television Distribution Media Sales") in 1997. In 1987, King World and Camelot entered into an ad-sales barter partnership with Buena Vista Television. In 2000, King World was acquired by CBS and was made part of "CBS Enterprises" under Viacom, Inc. (now "Paramount Global"). On September 26, 2006, King World merged with CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Television (later "CBS Studios International" and "ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group", now "Paramount Global Content Distribution"), and CBS Home Entertainment to form CBS Television Distribution. Today, King World remains as an in-name-only unit of CBS Television Distribution (now "CBS Media Ventures") known as "KWP Studios" on Rachael Ray, a unit of CBS Corporation (later "ViacomCBS", now "Paramount Global"). The name "King World Productions, Inc." is still used on properties such as The Little Rascals with a co-ownership by CBS Media Ventures. Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa is now owned by WildBrain, via Greengrass Productions and DiC.



1st Logo (1977-1984)


Visuals: On a black background, a grey abstract crown motif zooms in. Then two grey letters, a "K" and a "P", slide towards the crown from the left and right of the screen and connect to it, after which the bottom part of the crown fades out, turning it into a "W", and the text "A KING WORLD PRODUCTIONS Release" fades in.

Variants:

  • At the start of The Little Rascals, the company name and the "Presents" text appears on a title card, the KWP logo isn’t seen however.
  • A version exists, where the logo stays on screen longer.

Technique: 2D motion-controlled animation.

Audio: So far, the logo’s only known to have used the ending theme to The Little Rascals.

Availability:

  • It was mostly seen on syndicated prints of The Little Rascals from the late '70s-early '80s, but has been replaced by the 3rd logo.
  • It was also possibly seen at the end of Merle Elli's The Butcher and on House Call, a 90-second program, starring Dr. Lendon Smith.

2nd Logo (September 10, 1984-1991)


Visuals: Over a violet space background with lots of stars are tons of thin light rays in shades of blue and green coming from a source of light in the center, as an azure star comes out from the source of light and flies up and the words "KING" and "WORLD" (in the same color of the star) in Serpentine Bold Italic, slide in from the left and the right, respectively, as the entire logo begins to zoom out. The star moves to the bottom of the "W" in "WORLD", then a set of 3 blue bars start forming below the star and the "W", eventually extending through the length of "KINGWORLD" and being perfectly positioned with the ends as the stars fade out. The logo shines in the end.

Variants:

  • A variant on the first season of Jeopardy! features a white version of the logo with "Distributed By" above on a navy blue background.
  • At the beginning of some programs, "PRESENTS", in white and in a font similar to the company name's font, fades in under the company name.
  • A B&W variant of the logo exists, which appears on classic shows, including Branded.
  • A version with a red background exists, likely due to film deterioration.
  • A version with a black background also exists, likely due to film deterioration.
  • On most episodes of Super Jeopardy! and Monopoly, the logo freezes at the near finish.
  • A shortened version of the normal logo with "DISTRIBUTED BY" above it exists. This appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show until at least 1991.
  • Another shortened version without "DISTRIBUTED BY" above exists.
  • A still variant exists on some early episodes of Inside Edition.
  • One 1990 episode of Inside Edition has this logo superimposed over the background of the moon as well as scenery of Hawaii. Animation and all.

Wheel of Fortune Variants: There is an superimposed in-credit logo onto the closing.

  • 1984-1985: White in-credit King World logo on the spinning wheel. Later episodes have the in-credit logo superimposed on the set.
  • 1985-1986: Baby blue in-credit King World logo.
  • 1986-1989: Maya blue in-credit King World logo.
  • November 1988: Dark gray in-credit King World logo. Used only for the two days at Radio City Music Hall. The remainder of the episodes at Radio City Music Hall used a yellow in-credit King World logo.
  • 1989-1990: Pale cerulean in-credit King World logo.

Technique: Motion-controlled computer animation that was produced by Calico.

Audio: An orchestral fanfare that starts out with an ascending roll-up, then a four-note tune ending in an orchestral warbling. Sometimes, the end title theme from the show plays over.

Audio Variants: On the closings of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Headline Chasers, this logo is accompanied by a voice-over saying "(and is) distributed by King World" announced by Jack Clark, M.G. "Machine Gun" Kelly, Don Pardo, Charlie O'Donnell, and Johnny Gilbert. On The Merv Griffin Show, Carol Bilger says "Distributed by King World and Camelot Entertainment Sales".

Availability:

  • Seen on Jeopardy!, Super Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Headline Chasers, and Monopoly, among others.
  • This logo is plastered on broadcast reruns of Jeopardy!, such as the summer 2020 reruns of classic episodes, but is preserved on select releases, most notably on Pluto TV, and the copy of the 1984 premiere on the 2005 DVD release of Jeopardy!: An Inside Look at America's Favorite Quiz Show.
  • The animated logo is also preserved on the DVD releases of Branded and The Guns of Will Sonnett, and on Me-TV's prints of those shows.
  • This was also seen on the first two seasons of Inside Edition with David Frost and Bill O'Reilly.
  • The "Presents" variant was seen on TCM's prints of Under Capricorn and Night in Paradise.
    • The "Presents" variant also made an appearance at the end of The Guns of Will Sonnett episode, "The Natural Way", on a Decades airing.
  • This logo is phased out on Get TV reruns of The Merv Griffin Show from episodes between 1984 and 1986.
  • The B&W variant of this logo also made an appearance on a TCM UK airing of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), as most Holmes films on TCM use the 1995 CBS Broadcast International logo instead.
    • It was also seen on an August 12, 1989 KOIN 6 airing of the Sherlock Holmes movie "The Scarlet Claw".

3rd Logo (October 1990-1999)


Visuals: On a backdrop of vertical bars that resemble a doorway (with four brown bars on both sides of the screen, one red bar inside each of them, and a blue gradient resembling the open "door") is "KINGWORLD" in silver and in the same font as the previous logo, on the center of the screen, with 2 sets of 3 silver bars that switch sides below. At the same time, a silver triangle rotates as it moves towards the 2 sets of lines and settles between them, with the negative space between the triangle, lines and "W" forming a star. After the space is formed, a white star briefly flashes inside and fades out.

Variants:

  • An extended variant of the logo exists, where the background appears with colorful stripes and a large tan star shaped like the one in the logo, and the doorway background animates into place and the spotlights shoot up from the bottom of the screen as the words "KING" and "WORLD" in 2-D fly into the screen a la the MGM/UA Home Video logo (with "KING" going from right to left, and "WORLD" going from left to right). A long version appears as the rest of the logo proceeds as normal as the words "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY" fade in at the top. This was seen on episodes of Jeopardy! (October 1990-October 1992), Inside Edition, a news magazine called Instant Recall from 1990-1992, and the 1991-92 version of Candid Camera (also known as The All-New Candid Camera).
  • A short variant exists where the logo starts as the silver bars switch sides. This was most commonly seen only on season 9 and early season 10 episodes of Wheel of Fortune until October 1992.
  • A shorter version of the logo also exists, where "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY" already appears at the top and the logo is already formed. It starts at the place where the star flashes in the star space.
  • A B&W variant of the shorter version also exists, which appears on The Little Rascals.
  • On earlier episodes of the 1998-04 Hollywood Squares, the copyright stamp "Copyright (Year) King World Studios West, Inc." is seen below the logo.
  • On Wheel of Fortune from November 1996-1998, this logo would appear in as a graphical effect, such as a page turning effect like the 1988, 1991, 1992, and 1993 Merv Griffin Enterprises logos or a flipping effect.
  • Sometimes, the logo freezes before the synth fanfare finishes. This was most commonly seen on 1994-1996 episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
  • The logo fades to black early on some season 9 episodes of Wheel of Fortune and sometimes before the words "DISTRIBUTED BY" fade in.
  • There is a variant tacked onto the end of early Wheel of Fortune Online promos where the star flashes twice in the star space.
  • A "slowed down" variant exists.
  • A still version of this logo exists, which was seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show until least 1992.
  • An in-credit version also exists, which was seen on the UK version of Jeopardy!.
  • At the beginning of some movies, the long version plays with "PRESENTS" in silver fading in as the logo is forming.
  • One January 1994 episode of Inside Edition has a copyright notice on the logo. This was due to a special tribute episode to the victims of gun violence of that episode as well as the rushed closing from same said episode.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A six-note synth fanfare from Robert Douglas, none, or the closing theme of the show. Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa had a shorter version of this theme on season 2 of the show. This theme is also used for the 1993 Camelot Entertainment Sales logo.

Audio Variants: On the closing of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, the logo is accompanied by a voice-over saying "(and is) distributed by King World" announced by Johnny Gilbert and Charlie O'Donnell until November 1996.

Availability:

  • Seen on several Jeopardy! reruns on GSN before that network stopped airing episodes on a regular basis; this logo is still intact on Pluto TV's prints of older episodes.
  • This logo was also seen on season one of Hollywood Squares, Wheel of Fortune, and Inside Edition, among others with "Distributed By" or "Produced & Distributed by" above.
  • The version with "Produced & Distributed by" was also seen on the short-lived Instant Recall, as well as Rolanda.
  • The variant without "Distributed By" was seen on Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa and the 1991-92 Candid Camera.
  • The long version can be seen on at least one episode of The Guns of Will Sonnett on Me-TV.
  • In black and white form, it was seen on The Little Rascals when the shorts were shown on AMC, as well as in syndication.
  • This logo was also seen on the final two seasons of Geraldo (renamed as The Geraldo Rivera Show) when King World co-distributed the show with Tribune Entertainment.

4th Logo (1998-2007)


Visuals: Over a golden cloudy sunset backdrop, the "KINGWORLD" wordmark, which is in a different font this time, scans through the sky. As it pans backward, a shooting star glides by the logo, revealing a paint streak and a star shape in the center. The sun shines from behind the logo, revealing either "DISTRIBUTED BY", "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY", or nothing at all above the logo.

Trivia: The logo was designed and animated by Pittard Sullivan, who also did the 1995 Buena Vista Television logo, and the 1998 CTV logo. The logo was animated in 1998 by SIMEX (in association with Pittard Sullivan) on an SGI computer running Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator (read the press release here).

Variants:

  • A more common short version exists, which cuts out the close-up panning of the logo.
  • On post-1999 episodes of Hollywood Squares, the copyright stamp "Copyright [YEAR] King World Studios West, Inc." appears below the logo.
  • On Inside Edition, the logo is revealed by a peeling effect.
  • On the Filipino version of Wheel of Fortune, a copyright stamp for the Associated Broadcasting Company appears.
  • On The Vault, underneath the blue paint streak has the white paint streak with the words "INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS" on it, and the logo also shares the screen with the 1999 Carlton logo with the blue Carlton star background.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Various streaking sounds followed by a booming sound of a thunderclap, accompanied by an "airy" musical backdrop. Composed by Timothy Crickard.

Audio Variants: There are three music variations:

  • The first one is the long version from the longer animation.
  • The second is the second half of the long version.
  • 1999-2006: Starts with the thunderclap sound only for game shows.
  • On Hallmark Drama airings of Touched By An Angel, depending on the episode, the logo is slowed down and can also be sometimes low pitched as well.
  • Sometimes, this logo may also have the ending theme playing over it.

Availability:

  • Seen on Jeopardy! (it used the "Distributed By" variant until 2006 and began using the non-"Distributed By" variants), Wheel of Fortune, Inside Edition, The Oprah Winfrey Show (until 2003), and Dr. Phil (until 2007) among others.
  • This logo also used to appear on old syndicated prints of Everybody Loves Raymond (although CMT Canada airings and one episode on Channel 4 in the UK retain it, followed by the 1995 CBS Broadcast International logo) and the CSI franchise, but nowadays, the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo is shown instead.
  • It can still be seen on pre-2007 episodes of Dr. Phil on OWN.
  • This logo is also seen on Start TV's airings of Family Law and the last two seasons of Early Edition.
  • A spiffier version used to be seen on various CBS-produced TV movies on Lifetime and LMN.
  • This logo was also seen on 2000 TNN (now Paramount Network) airings of Martial Law and Syfy reruns of PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal (plastering the Eyemark Entertainment logo).
  • Some Dr. Seuss TV specials re-ran on ABC Family (now Freeform) had this logo shown before the (compressed) credits.
  • GSN doesn't rerun Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune at the moment, although Netflix and Pluto TV prints of both shows retain the logo.
  • The distribution variant was seen on a Movies! airing of Hound of the Baskervilles (1939 version).
  • This logo is also left intact on Hallmark Drama airings of Touched By An Angel and Pluto TV prints of the H2-era Hollywood Squares.
  • It was also seen on a TCM airing of My Fair Lady.
  • This logo is also intact on the Caroline and the City episode "Caroline and El Niño" (S04E21) on CBS All Access (now Paramount+), and also used to be seen on later syndicated prints of the show.
    • Caroline reruns on the newly-launched Rewind TV also retain this.

5th Logo (December 25, 2006-September 2007)


Visuals: Over a blue sky, above the clouds is the "KINGWORLD" wordmark in the same font as the previous logo, but tilted up and redone in 3-D with a silver trim. It flies outward and settles itself in the center, and a shooting star flies under the text, leaving the same blue paint streak with a star-shaped gap in it from the previous logo. The text "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "PRODUCED & DISTRIBUTED BY", or nothing at all, appear above the wordmark, in a smaller font this time.

Variants:

  • A longer version exists and can be seen on pre-2007 episodes of Inside Edition.
  • The text "PRODUCED AND DISTRIBUTED BY KINGWORLD" is seen below the logo on the sizzle reel of the short-lived game show Combination Lock.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: An ominous wind sound followed by a "glittery" sound, accompanied by synth beeps with a helicopter-like sound. A long version also exists.

Audio Variant: On Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land and seasons 23 & early 24 of Jeopardy!, it uses the 1998 logo themes. For the latter, the first part of the long version of the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo music plays after the thunderclap, which continues into the short version of said logo. On the sizzle reel of Combination Lock, "The Power" by SNAP! plays during the logo.

Availability:

  • It debuted on Christmas Day in December of 2006 and could be seen on local Saturday reruns of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
  • It was also seen on Inside Edition.
  • This logo can also be seen on episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land, followed by the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo.
  • It can also be seen on some Season 24 episodes of Jeopardy! on PlutoTV, followed by the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo.
Eyemark Entertainment
King World Productions
CBS Television Distribution