Prime Time Entertainment Network

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


The Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN) was an American television network that operated as a syndicated television block and was owned by the Prime Time Consortium, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Domestic Television and Chris-Craft Industries (later the co-owners of UPN). It was first launched on January 20, 1993, and mainly aired drama and sci-fi programs aimed at viewers between the ages of 18 and 54, including most notably Babylon 5. At its peak, PTEN's programming was carried on 177 television stations, covering 93% of the country. However, the network suffered from hurdles that would eventually bring it down. It faced issues from some PTEN-affiliated stations that took issue with the network's barter split, which gave nine minutes of advertising time per hour to the syndicator, leaving only five minutes for the stations to sell and program locally. PTEN also ran into difficulty when the studio was forced to let stations out of their back-end commitments for several series. Further complicating matters was both Warner Bros. and Chris-Craft eventually making their own TV stations (The WB and UPN); PTEN adopted a variable schedule for the 1995-96 season, for affiliates to schedule around The WB and UPN's programming on the night of their choosing. With Chris-Craft pulling out of the venture, PTEN essentially became a syndication service for its remaining shows before ceasing operations in 1997, with the popularity of Babylon 5 seemingly being the factor to it lasting as long as it did.

Ident (January 20, 1993-October 27, 1997)

Visuals: On a black background, the silver letters "PTEN" zoom in towards the screen one by one. After the "N" zooms in, the text "PRIME TIME", also in silver, spreads out, rotates, and zooms into place, as 4 silver squares fly in. A line is drawn below the words and "ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK" zooms out with "PTEN" above it. The logo then becomes blue and 2D, shining as it ends.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A 5-note heroic synth theme with the 5th note sustained as a synth whoosh plays with it.

Availability: Seen before broadcasts of their shows in the mid '90s on local stations, including Babylon 5.

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