Operation Prime Time

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Background

Operation Prime Time (OPT) was a syndication block of programming created by the Organization to Promote Television, which offered to independent stations in 1976 by what was then called MCA TV (now NBCUniversal Syndication Studios). It was MCA's desire to launch new television shows by having them run in first-run syndication. In 1980, after the Paramount Television Service failed to launch, Paramount Television joined OPT, bringing with it Solid Gold (which ran until 1988) and, in 1981, Entertainment Tonight (which is still on the air, though it's produced entirely by CBS Media Ventures now). OPT's slogan was "for better programming". OPT and its successor company, Television Program Enterprises (TPE) were formed by Al Masini.

Logo (May 9, 1977-1987)


Visuals: On a black background, four rainbow-colored lines, one coming from each side of the screen, come together to form the letters "OPT". The line from the left curves to form the "O", the lines from the bottom and the right combine together to form the "P", and the lines from the top and the right combine together to form the "T". When "OPT" is formed, the screen moves backward, as the words "Operation Prime Time" in a rounded font appear from the right side and place themselves next to each letter. When everything is in place, the words "for better programming" appear in the bottom right hand corner. At the same time, thin overlapping circles can be seen in the background.

Technique: Backlit cel art combined with a few rostrum camera effects.

Audio: A patriotic-sounding horn fanfare, similar to the last few notes of the Super Friends theme, performed by Hanna-Barbera music director Hoyt Curtin and the namesakes of the aforementioned company. In some cases, the last note of the jingle is very short, while sometimes it is longer.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, an announcer says "An Operation Prime Time presentation."
  • The Key to Rebecca has the end theme play over it.

Availability:

  • It was originally seen at the end of Solid Gold (last aired on VH1 in the 1990s) and various other syndicated programs and movies in the 1970s and 1980s, including pre-1987 episodes of Entertainment Tonight.
  • It was also last seen at the end of Yogi's First Christmas (1980) when WGN America last aired it.
    • However, VHS copies and recent Boomerang airings of the mentioned special do not have it (however, the Boomerang app print does), and it is also cut from Warner Archive DVD-R release.
      • Laserdisc prints of the film also plaster this with the 1989 Hanna-Barbera Home Video logo. This is why it appeared when 9Go! aired the film on Christmas Day 2011.
  • DVD prints of The Key to Rebecca also kept this logo intact, followed by the 1994 variant of the 1988 Worldvision logo (with the Blockbuster byline) and the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo.
  • It is also seen at the beginning and end of Sadat.