Lionheart Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Lionheart Television International, Inc. was formed on May 1, 1981 as a joint venture primarily consisting of Western World Television and Public Media, Inc. Lionheart took over the US distribution rights to the BBC's television output after a previous deal with Time-Life Television expired, as well as that of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC eventually bought Lionheart outright by 1987, making it their North American distribution arm, which was renamed to "BBC America" in 1994.

Lionheart Television

1st Logo (February 15, 1983-1987)

Visuals: On a black background, a white drawing of a lion zooms in before stopping, taking up a good portion of the screen. The lion is drawn in an "ornate" style with its tongue sticking out, a collar-like mane, and rather "fluffy" appearance. It's also holding a spectre in its front right paw, with 2 wing-like attachments at the top and emitting lightning bolts off of it. From the bottom of the spectre, the text "A BBC TV PRODUCTION" zooms in and settles below the lion, with "BBC" in a larger, "3D"-styled font. A few seconds later, it "flips" around to reveal "Distributed By" in a small print, as well as "LIONHEART TELEVISION INTERNATIONAL, INC." in a larger print. "LIONHEART" is also presented in a similar "ornate" style.

Trivia: The lion in the logo is part of the BBC's Coat of Arms.


  • For shows produced by ABC, the text will instead read "AN ABC PRODUCTION" with "ABC" larger than the rest.
  • A different version of this logo had the lion and "LIONHEART" text on a chrome silver plate, flying up from the bottom of the screen. After it settled, the regular text fades in.
  • A still version exists where the logo is colored in orange.

Technique: Scanimate animation.

Audio: A Moog synthesizer tune that starts with what sounds like a "winning" sound effect on a slot machine or a video game, which is followed by a fanfare.

Audio Trivia: This logo's soundtrack is perhaps more notable nowadays for its use on the outro for some videos by Everything Is Terrible!


  • Usually replaced with the 2nd logo. It may or may not appear on the original U.S. VHS release of The Home Whovian.
  • It was also seen on some episodes of the Blackadder series when last seen on New York's WLIW 21 in the 2000s.
  • It may appear on older prints of The Good Life.

2nd Logo (1987-1991)

Visuals: On a black background, many tiny particles scatter in from all over the screen, eventually meeting in the top center to form a abstract red drawing of a roaring lion head, the face represented by an outline and glowing white. As the head forms, the stacked text "LIONHEART TELEVISION THE BBC IN AMERICA" swoops in and angles itself straight under the lion head with a good chunk of blank space between them, which is then filled by a segmented grey line wiping in. The line has a red and blue shadow on the left and right sides of it respectively, and a odd V-shaped dip below the lion head.

Variant: On the short-lived U.S. adaptation of Top of the Pops, the animation begins superimposed over the end scene before the background daded to black, and a copyright date fades in below the logo.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: None, or the ending theme of the show.


  • Can still be seen at the end of Are You Being Served? episodes when seen in certain markets (WLIW 21 in New York and East Tennessee PBS in Knoxville, for instance).
  • It is also seen at the end of some Fawlty Towers reruns.
  • The version with the superimposition and the copyright date was seen at the end of the short-lived U.S. adaptation of Top of the Pops, which aired briefly Friday late-nights on CBS in the 1987-88 season.

BBC Lionheart Television

Logo (1991-1995)

Visuals: Over a larger version of 1985-1991 BBC1 "COW" globe, the parallelograms of the 1988 BBC logo, colored black with silver letters, swoop down one-by-one over the globe and settling in the middle of it. Once it settles, the three lines below them in red fade in, along with "LIONHEART TELEVISION" with gradient shade and set in the same position as all other BBC divisions during the time period. Below, the byline "A BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION COMPANY" fades in at the same time in white.

Variant: A still in-credit variant in white exists, which is seen on The Wrong Trousers.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A synthesized fanfare that sounds vaguely like the one in the 1st logo.

Audio Variants:

  • On Madison's Adventures: Growing Up Wild, it uses a modified version of the 1987 ITC Entertainment Group "Gold Diamonds" fanfare, slightly slowed down and double-layered to make it in sync with the animation.
  • On The Wrong Trousers, the ending theme to the short is used.

Availability: Seen a good deal on A&E (Lovejoy, A Touch of Frost, Pole To Pole with Michael Palin) and PBS until the mid '90s.

  • Its first appearance appears to have been on original PBS prints of Keeping Up Appearances, first broadcast on PBS stations in late 1991/early 1992.
  • This was also used to replace the older Lionheart (and Time-Life) logos on reissued BBC library shows (i.e. Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served? (other/later episodes, including “The Hero”), Good Neighbours, 'Allo, 'Allo, To The Manor Born).
  • It is also preserved on some of the CBS/FOX-distributed BBC Video tapes (Blackadder's Christmas Carol; Shada), as well as the original VHS releases of Growing Up Wild.
  • It was also seen at the end of a TLC airing of The Storm From The East episode "The Last of the Khans".
  • It was also seen at the end of a 2000s Maryland Public Television airing of an episode of All Creatures Great and Small.
Lionheart Television
BBC America
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