National Educational Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

""NET" redirects here. For the PBS affiliate in Nebraska currently using the same acronym, see Nebraska ETV.


Background

National Educational Television (NET) was an American educational and public television network founded in early 1952 and incorporated in November of that year. Among their original affiliates were WNET 13 New York, KCET 28 Los Angeles, WGBH 2 Boston, KQED 9 San Francisco, WQED 13 Pittsburgh, WETA 26 Washington D.C., KUHT 8 Houston, KERA 13 Dallas-Ft. Worth, and WYES 12 New Orleans. It was originally named The Educational Television and Radio Center, a name it used until 1959, when it was renamed The National Educational Television and Radio Center; the radio portion was dropped in 1962. PBS succeeded NET in 1970, the result of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation having pulled funding for NET. It merged with WNDT to become the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WNET, in 1972.



1st Logo (October 8, 1954-1955)

Visuals: There are the typewriter letters "NET", each in a segmented rounded square, on a white map of the U.S. inside a black circle on a white background, with what looks like an antenna on the map. "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION" and "EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION AND RADIO CENTER" are shown above and below, respectively, in tiny print.

Variants:

  • On WQED-produced programs such as Parents and Dr. Spock, the text "PRODUCED FOR THE EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION AND RADIO CENTER" is superimposed over the NET logo, then wiping into an opening credit for WQED with the slogan "First in Community Television" below is superimposed over the NET logo, then fading out.
  • On The Great Ideas, on the opening variant, the "NET" letters appear to be outlined. The white text "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION" in a serif font then fades in over the logo, which then fades into "presents" in the same font. The closing variant had "FOR THE Educational Television and Radio Center" superimposed on the logo, which later faded into "This is NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION".

Technique: A hand-drawn graphic.

Audio: None.

Audio Variants: On WQED programs such as Parents and Dr. Spock, over the ending theme, a male announcer says "Produced for the Educational Television and Radio Center. From WQED, First in community television." After the WQED credit fades out, he then says "This is National Educational Television."

Availability: This logo appears on Window Watchers and showed up three times on Because of You: 50 Years of Channel 9. Also seen on Parents and Dr. Spock, early epsiodes of The Finder, some episodes of The Great Ideas, and Children's Corner.

2nd Logo (1955-1958)

Visuals: There is a close-up of the letters "N", "E", and "T", each in a black box, positioned along the coast of California on a gray background. The camera zooms away from the letters, revealing a complete map of America, with a white line along the West Coast and Northernmost states. The boxes shoot to the right, revealing "National", "Educational", and "Television". Then, the text fades into the words "EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION AND RADIO CENTER".

Closing Variant: The logo plays in reverse.

Variants:

  • There is a still variant and a variant where the ETRC card does not show up.
  • Another variant features an inverted color scheme.
  • A still variant with only the ETRC card exists.

Technique: A mix of camera-controlled and cel animation, or a still image.

Audio: Just an announcer saying "This is National Educational Television."

Audio Variants:

  • The announcer varies by film.
  • On many films (until sometime in 1957), the announcer says "A program distributed by the Educational Television and Radio Center" (opening) or "Produced for the Educational Television and Radio Center" (closing) when the ETRC card is seen.

Availability: The animated variant can be seen on most programs from 1955-early 1958 on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website. This also appeared on the 50th anniversary special for KVIE in Sacramento. The still variant can be found on The Born Criminal, The Exceptional Child: Blind, and On The Shoulder Of Giants. The variant with the announcer saying "Educational Television and Radio Center" can be spotted on Religions of Man. The inverted variant appears on KUHT-TV's Mexicana, and The Art of the Theater.

3rd Logo (October 24, 1957-1959)

Visuals: On a gray background, there is a white circle with "NET" in the Futura Bold font written in black.

Variants:

  • A variant where the background is black, and the circle is black with a white outline, exists.
  • An opening variant exists on Decision: The Constitution in Action, with no announcer.
  • On Ordeal by Fire: Comet of Fire, the closing theme of the episode is played as the credits fade into the logo.

Technique: A hand-painted graphic.

Audio: Just an announcer saying, "This is National Educational Television."

Availability: This logo appears on Search for America, Community of the Condemned, Sing Hi, Sing Lo, The Exceptional Child, episodes 10-28 of The Criminal Man, Sense of Poetry, and Ordeal by Fire. The inverted variant appears on From Capitol Hill. The opening variant appears on Decision: The Constitution in Action. This logo can also be seen on Discovery at the Brookfield Zoo, formerly available for viewing on the Museum of Broadcast Communications Archives website.

4th Logo (January 1958)

Visuals: Over a black background is multiple copies of "ETV" in gray. In the middle is the text "NET" in white.

Variant: An inverted variant exists.

Technique: A hand-painted graphic.

Audio: The ending theme of the program, with an announcer saying "This is National Educational Television."

Availability: The regular variant exists on Ten For Survival and Adventuring in the Hand Arts. The inverted variant appears on The Subject is Jazz: Swing. All three these productions are in collaboration with NBC.

5th Logo (April 2, 1958)


Visuals: On a carpet-like background, the letters "NET" appear in black boxes across on a black line, resulting in a design similar to the NBC's "Chimes" logo.

Technique: A hand-drawn graphic.

Audio: The ending theme of the program.

Availability: This was known to have appeared on an episode of The Subject is Jazz titled “Performance”. It is currently unknown if this logo appeared on any other program.

Legacy: This logo is an oddity, as this logo's existence was practically unknown until Kennedy Center Education Digital Learning uploaded The Subject is Jazz: Performance on October 29, 2018. Its similarity to the NBC "Chimes" logo may or may not be a coincidence, as The Subject is Jazz was a co-production with NBC.

6th Logo (7th logo prototype) (October 1959-November 20, 1960)


Visuals: On a gray background, there is an early version of the NET House logo, which is a black house with the letters "NET" inside in a wide font and an antenna on the roof. Unlike other house logos, the "T" isn't connected to the roof.

Technique: A hand-painted graphic.

Audio: An announcer says either "This is National Educational Television" or "This is N-E-T, National Educational Television."

Availability: It appears on That Free Men May Live and The American Mind. The logo can also be seen on episodes 101-106, 108 and 203 on Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt, available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website. It can also be seen on Anatomy of a Revolution.

Legacy:: An introduction of the iconic house motif, marking the start of NET's recognizable association with said logo/motif. However this is most likely a prototype logo as the design does seem rough.

7th Logo (April 17, 1960-November 1964)

Visuals: On a dark background with little white "stars" (looks somewhat like a carpet, but is supposed to represent TV static), there is a redesigned version of the "House" logo in white (The letters "NET" with the "T" connecting to a roof that hangs over the "N" and "E", with an antenna sticking out of the roof, making the "N" look slightly squished). The style of this "House" logo would be used later on.

Variants:

  • A version of the logo had the background smooth and colored entirely dark gray.
  • An inverted variant appears on a 1960s episode of Perspectives. In the same episode, an opening variant (also inverted) appears with the text reading "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION presents PERSPECTIVES", replacing the NET House logo while the static background is retained.

Technique: A hand-drawn graphic.

Audio:

  • Until October 1962, an announcer (Edward R. Murrow) said, "This is National Educational Television."
  • An alternate version of the logo featured the announcer saying, "This is N-E-T, National Educational Television." It is unknown what year this began being used, but it outlived its predecessor, being used until November 1964, when it was replaced with the 10th logo.
  • Another variant has a voiceover which says, "This is N-E-T, the National Educational Television network."
  • There is a variant with the announcer saying "Produced for the National Educational Television and Radio Center".

Availability: Appeared on most AAPB programs by NET during the period. The smooth variant first appeared on Conversation with Dean Rusk and last appeared on Of Broccoli and Pelicans and Celery and Seals. This logo also appears on Pathfinders.

Legacy: An introduction of the iconic house motif, marking the start of the most recognizable NET logo. While it is not as widely remembered as the later logos and future PBS logos, this is one of the first to be recognized more widely than the previous logos.

8th Logo (What's New? Variant) (1961-1970)


Visuals:

  • Opening: On a blue cloth-like background, "NET" appears in big, bold letters, with "presents" underneath and sparkles appearing.
  • Closing: On a rough sepia background, three children appear marching backward, forming the words "National Educational Television", all stacked on top of each other.

Variant: This logo debuted in black and white.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: An announcer saying "This is National Educational Television." along with the closing theme.

Availability: Appears on What's New?.

9th Logo (Perspectives variant) (1962)


Visuals: After the closing titles of the show, the spinning globe on the credits suddenly folds out to a 2D model of the globe, and then the letters "N", "E", and "T", appear vertically at the left side of the globe, then rearrange to appear horizontally, slide to the middle, and then the roof is drawn over them, with the "N" slightly shrinking to make room for the roof.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: The closing theme of the show.

Availability: Appears on Perspectives.

10th Logo (November 1964-June 1967)

Visuals: On a black screen, several dots flash near the center of the screen. Then a circle is drawn in a counter-clockwise direction. A line is drawn through the circle going downwards, where it quickly vanishes. A small fire can be seen starting within the circle. Another line is drawn through the center of the circle from left to right. Two lines similar to a Worldvision-like globe are drawn. Another pair, closer to the circle, are drawn, like that of the first lines, and then two horizontal lines above the first horizontal line. The camera zooms backward, and we see a thick line (the top of the "T") being drawn under the ball of fire, which later connects to the ball of fire. A vertical line (the beginning of the "N") is then formed. The "T" then finishes, and then the diagonal part of the "N" appears. Lastly, the "E" is formed. The fire continues blazing until the screen fades out.

Variant: A still, opening variant of the last shot of the logo with "NET" replaced by "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION presents" appears on Great Decisions 1966.

Technique: A mix of cel animation and live-action footage.

Audio: Pinball-like dings to start, which turns into a bombastic but brief brass piece. Almost immediately afterward, an announcer can be heard saying "The following program is from N-E-T, the National Educational Television network." (opening) or "This is N-E-T, the National Educational Television network." (closing).

Audio Variants:

  • A Portuguese-dubbed variant of this logo exists.
  • A variant exists in which the soundtrack is played in a jazzy style, with a different announcer.

Availability: This can also be seen on over 45+ programs available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website. The tail end can be seen early on in Mr. Soul!.

Legacy: One of the most recognizable NET logos, only rivaling the 1960-1964 house logo and the latter house logo.

11th Logo (June 1967-November? 1970)

Visuals: First, the left section of the screen fills with red from the bottom, the middle section fills with yellow from the top, and the right section fills with blue from the bottom. Each colored section flips to form the letters "NET" on a black background one by one. Then either one of two things would happen:

  • 1967-1968: The text "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION" appears above the NET logo and morph into a line, which bends to form a gable roof with an aerial antenna on top, which is connected to the "T". You can see the fourth logo for seeing about the style of this logo.
  • 1968-1970: A blue line is drawn above the letters, which bends to form the aforementioned gable roof with the aerial antenna on top (still connected to the "T").

Variants:

  • Both black and white and color versions exist for this logo.
  • In early shows, the logo had lighter colors ("NET"), likely due to film/tape deterioration.
  • On the first three seasons (1968-1970) of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood the NET logo was built into a building that was part of the toy neighborhood in the show’s opening and closing (it was in black on B&W broadcasts to stand out better). This feature remained in reruns until 1989. A copyright notice to “National Educational Television and Radio Center” continued to be used on the show through 1971.
  • The closing variant in Black Journal has the animation for the logo (during the part when the right section of the screen fills up with blue) fade in a few seconds after the music begins.
  • At the end of Black Journal, an alternative closing variant can be seen after the regular closing logo. It is just the words "NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION" in gray stacked on top of each other on a black background. The ending result is quite similar to the first PBS logo.
  • In The Warren Years, a black version of the logo appears on a white background with a copyright notice below.
  • A still variant was used for special programming that preempted regularly scheduled shows.
  • Oddly enough, the closing Fall 1968 variant was used as the opening logo variant for a 1968 Black Journal episode.

Technique: Cel animation or live-action for the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood variants.

Audio: A mellotron tune edited from "Plenipotentiary" by Eric Siday (similar in style to his Screen Gems "S from Hell" and CBS "In Color" jingles) with what sounds like a bee buzzing at the end and an announcer saying his part below depending on the variant:

  • July 2, 1967-Fall 1968: The announcer says "The following program is from N-E-T, the National Educational Television network." (opening) or “This is N-E-T, the National Educational Television network." (closing).
  • Fall 1968-Summer 1970: Announcer Fred Foy says "The following program is from N-E-T, the public television network." (opening) or "This is N-E-T, the public television network." (closing).
  • 1968, Summer-Fall 1970: The announcer says "This is N-E-T, National Educational Television."

Audio Variants:

  • On A Hand Up, the announcer says, "The following program is distributed by N-E-T, the National Educational Television network." while the 1967-1968 variant plays.
  • On The Assessment of Cambodia, the announcer says, "The program scheduled for this time will not be seen so that we may bring you the following N-E-T special program." It is a still variant, and no music plays during this variant.

Availability:

  • The B&W 1967 logo made an appearance on the VHS release of Our Neighbor, Fred Rogers, but has been cut from TV rebroadcasts of the documentary since 2003.
  • It can be seen on several shows available for viewing at The Paley Center for Media, including the series premiere episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1967 version, B&W), Black Journal (1967 version, color), and Sesame Street (1968 version, color).
  • Though the videocassette release of the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episode "Death of a Goldfish" plasters the standard version of the 1968 logo with the 1971 PBS logo, the show's in-credit variant remains.
  • The 1968 opening and closing versions can also be seen on the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2 DVD set on the test pilot episode.
  • The 1968 closing version can be found on a handful of 1969-70 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes on Twitch (most plaster it with the 1971 PBS logo), as well as early on in the documentary Mr. Soul!.
  • The 1967 closing version can be found on all 1968 black and white episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, including episodes streaming on Twitch as well as episodes 1-5 on Amazon.
  • The 1968 alternative closing logo is seen on Black Journal (1967 version, color).
  • Since 1969, it was often either accompanied or outright replaced in its function by the 1969 CPB logo.
  • Its last confirmed new appearance was on Realities; the 1970 PBS logo plasters it on repeats, as seen on the series premiere (this logo can be found on a film print of the same show).
  • The special program variant appears on Assessment of Cambodia. This logo first appeared on Conversations 1967.
  • All variants, color and B&W, can be seen on over 100+ programs available for viewing on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

Legacy: This is by far the most well-known NET logo. With its mellotron fanfare, the announcer, the dark background, and the low audio and grainy film quality, it gained a reputation for frightening children who grew up with Mister Rogers' Neighborhood or Sesame Street.

12th Logo (October 5, 1970-March 1972)

Visuals: On a dark purple background, several distorted white shapes spin around the center of the screen, which appears to be letters spinning and rolling around each other and larger copies made of lines forming around them. The letters then unwrap from each other. The copies also absorb themselves into the letters revealing the word "net" in a Bauhaus 93-like font.

Variants:

  • Beginning on October 3, 1971, the logo was enhanced. It is now on an ultramarine background, the lines are now yellow, and the "n" is orange, the "e" is yellow, and the "t" is green. Here, the animation has the spinning shapes are significantly altered to be a more consistent spinning motion (in the opposite direction) while it zooms in, and the letters are thinner and spaced further apart.
    • An alternate variant on the Civilisation episode, "The Frozen World Filler: Interview with Joseph Campbell" has the mass animated similarly to the original variant as it zooms in, before it unfurls into slightly larger letters. The animation is also slower.
    • Another alternate variant on some Realities episodes and Surveillance: Who's Watching...? has the logo also animate like its original counterpart more, but the letters are closer together.
  • The logo exists in filmed and videotaped forms.
  • Sometimes, certain programming would have the logo fade to a unique titlecard or brand. Here's all of the following variants:
    • Realities: A large white mass of fuzzy lines zooms in from center right as "real" slides in from the left in a Bauhaus font. As the mass morphs into the text "ities", the 2 combine together into ""realities". A filmed variant exists of it on Mind Of Man.
    • Fanfare: The odd-looking text "FanFaRE" slides in from the left side of the screen as color bars fill it. The "a"'s have their holes filled with circles, and the "E" has a horn-like shape coming off the middle stem.
    • Special Events/News Special: The text "news special"/"special events" is seen in a modified version of Arial and in 2 lines. The 2nd line is seen constantly moving right and slicing back to its normal position.
    • Children's Theatre: The large text "CHiLDREN'S THEATRE" is seen in a large blob, stylized in a unique font with several curled ends. The blob is, like the Fanfare variant, colored with color bars as the text ripples a bit before stopping. This is seen on The Boy and the Turtle.
    • Opera: A unique variant, this has a simplified version of the NET logo animation play before its surrounded by a circle. It then zooms out to the left as it flips a copy to the right and a tall line appears beside it, forming a "p". Another circle slides out of the letter, a line grows in it, and a "R" grows out of it, forming an "e". Finally, an "a" grows into place, forming "OpeRa". The entire logo is colored gold.
    • Playhouse: Another unique variant, this has the text "PLAYHOUSE" in a odd font made of shapes and dots, slide in from the right as the NET logo drops down from the top left, and a wave of lines wave into existence, all of which is zooming out. The lines eventually form copies of the dots, which remain in place as the "PLAYHOUSE" text blinks on and off.
  • A B&W variant exists, which mostly is just the logo on a black background.

Technique: Scanimate.

Audio:

  • Regular: A four-note keyboard tune which is repeated four times, the last over a synthesized drone. The announcer says "The following program is from NET." or "The following program is a presentation of NET."
  • Custom: A low analog synth with a background scaling, which saturates over time. This is extended on the Opera and Playhouse variants. Sometimes, this is replaced by a fast synthesized piano with an uprising note that changes note momentarily and lowers back.

Availability:

  • The regular logos also appears on Black Journal, The Great American Dream Machine (retained on most episodes on Volumes 3 and 4, with the first variant appearing on Volume 3 and the later variant appearing on Volume 4), President's Report on Indochina, and Soul!. Both of the regular variants are known to have appeared on Civilisation.
  • The custom variants appeared on the respective shows, being retained on a 1987 rebroadcast of the series premiere of Fanfare, "Welcome to the Fillmore East", and the official DVD release of "Go Ride the Music". The black and white variant appears on the Realities episode "Soldiers Who Search and Dissent".

Legacy: The logo was debated for a while to be either for WNET or NET, as it was widely believed that NET was replaced in 1970 by PBS. However, recent discoveries have shown that it was for the latter.

13th Logo (October 5, 1970-Early 1972)

Visuals: Just an in-credit logo with either "NET PRESENTS" (opening) or "A PRODUCTION OF NET EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING CORPORATION (Copyright year)" (closing).

Technique: A printed card.

Audio: None.

Availability: This was used briefly by NET as an in-credit logo. [Examples?]

Final Note

NET was fully absorbed into WNET in early 1972. PBS took over what NET left behind, while WNET took control of all still-airing programs aired by NET.

External Links

National Educational Television
WNET
PBS