Sony Pictures Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


On September 16, 2002, Japanese giant Sony Corporation decided to retire the Columbia TriStar name and logo from its television division, rebranding it into Sony Pictures Television.

For the first time since 1974, the Torch Lady, Pegasus or anything resembling Columbia or TriStar's emblems are nowhere to be seen; instead, the corporate 1991 "bar" logo for Sony Pictures was introduced to television viewers for the first time.

On July 25, 2017, SPT launched a new in-production name called Sony Pictures Television Studios, in order to further make use of production in the SPT library and rolls out for current and future titles starting on January 7, 2020. The SPT name and logo will continue to be used in media sites, film on television reruns and international broadcasts, as well as current and future titles starting in 2022, in order to phase out the SPTS name.

Sony Pictures Television

1st Logo (October 22, 2002-)

Visuals: There is an extreme close-up of the words "SONY PICTURES TELEVISION" (in the Sony corporate typeface), stacked word-by-word with "SONY" being the largest, emerge and zoom away downwards from the screen. The three words are not directly stacked at first, but as the animation progresses, they slide into place. A horizontal line is drawn between the "PICTURES" and "TELEVISION". While this happens, there is a bright white light on the left side of the screen that later reveals the names; as the light dies down, the lines in the background themselves back away as well, eventually moving back to the upper part of the screen and into a diagonal pattern to form the logo. The flash dissipates and there is an oblong orange-white glare surrounding the logo and words, which shrinks into the bars to give it a shine. The finished logo, which is a striped parallelogram, appears against a shaded navy blue background.

Trivia: This logo first appeared as a print logo on broadcasting ads in magazines such as Variety in fall 1991, around the time when SPE was founded.


  • A rare filmed variant of this logo exists, which is seen on the 2003 TV movies Red Water and Lucy.
  • A more common short version exists, where the stacked words simply zoom out.
  • An even shorter version of this logo also exists, which starts from where the 3rd-to-last note of the theme plays. This version began appearing in July 2003.
  • In 2004, the phrase "DISTRIBUTED BY" appears above the logo, it was still until it fades in above the logo on the 2006 version of Chain Reaction and season 4 of The Newlywed Game both on GSN, but the font is in Times New Roman on those said game shows. Early shorts on Crackle also have the phrase above the name rather than the logo. For the rest, the phrase was placed on a black screen, which later fades to the 2002 SPT logo, which also appears on web shows on websites like MySpace, YouTube, and Hulu, among others such as C-Spot or Penn Says.
  • In 2005, an updated widescreen version was introduced. It consists of just a solid blue lighting effect in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, where the reflection of the Bars would usually be. Sometimes, this version is squashed to fit a 4:3 TV, and features on several movies, first-run production, and classic series on television and DVD.
  • A B&W variant also exists, which can be seen on classic shows by Screen Gems.
  • On pre-2011 episodes of Watch What Happens: Live, the logo is a still shot on a gray-like background.
  • In 2010 on The Three Stooges short "The Sitter Downers", the 2005 logo is in black & white.
  • Starting on the 4th season of The Newlywed Game, the text reads as "DISTRIBUTED THROUGH" above the logo.
  • Sometimes, the logo can appear a little up-close.
  • A version with extra brightness on both the 2002 and 2005 versions in color exists.
  • On seasons 6-10 of Robot Chicken, Houdini and Doyle and the TV movie Grave Halloween (albeit with a fade-in/fade-out), there is a still version of the logo. On the 2021 Lifetime TV movie The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice, a still shot of the Sony Entertainment logo is seen first, then cuts to this.
  • A superimposed in-credit variant exists. This can be found on international shows like Niñas Mal.
  • Starting in 2014, the Sony Entertainment logo is seen first. Then, the light flashes to reveal the short SPT logo. Some shows, such as The Young and the Restless, syndicated reruns of Seinfeld, and shows co-produced by SPT subsidiary Embassy Row still do not use this variant.
  • On a PAL release of The Real Ghostbusters, the long version is used but the normal music is heard.
  • On an April 16, 2017 HBO Signature Caribbean airing of Pixels, the logo is silent, but the music plays 5-6 seconds after the logo cut to black.
  • On a 2007 TBS airing of Fools Rush In and a Peacock print of Resident Evil: Extinction, the logo is slowed down.
  • A scoped version exists. This can be similar to 21:9, or letterboxed 4:3 being stretched in widescreen 16:9.
  • Sometimes on shows such as the 2018 reboot of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, this logo shares the screen with other logos.
  • In 2017, the logo is enhanced for 4K-produced shows. The glare is slightly bigger and has a more yellowish tone, and the background is darker. The logo is also sharper, and the bars' reflections are permanently removed.
  • On a Starz print of the movie Matilda, the 2014 version appears, but before the logo appears, the Sony logo fades out, and then the 2002 version plays.
  • On a format sales sizzle reel to Jeopardy! and Live in Front of a Studio Audience, the logo is shown without the Sony Entertainment logo. However, for a second, a part of said logo can be seen.
  • Starting in 2022, an updated version of the 2017 logo exists, with the 2021 Sony Entertainment logo being used, it then transitions to a still shot of this logo.
    • Starting in 2024, there is an animated version of this variant. The animation was remade here and it is noticeably different from the previous versions of the logo as a zoom out has appeared to have been added. The background also has a mirror effect as well when shown in scope, and the bars' reflections were also brought back.

Technique: CGI by Rick Scott at Tigar Hare Studios (also known for their work on the 2010 Technicolor logo).

Audio: A descending piano tune and a majestic 5-note orchestral theme composed by David Kurtz, which sounds vaguely similar to the Habanera section of Bizet's opera Carmen and the 1993 TriStar Television theme (specifically the long version).

Audio Variants:

  • The short version just has the five-note orchestral theme (which is re-orchestrated).
  • Another music variation has only the last three notes of the theme re-arranged. This version began in July 2003. The 2022 version of this logo also sometimes uses this variant.
  • In later years, the music has become a bit more orchestrated.
  • The 2022 version of this logo either uses the 2003 shortened theme, or the Sony ding.
  • In 2005, there is another short version with the last half of the animation of the standard animation of the logo, which is seen on the series Sit Down, Shut Up, and several final season episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • Sometimes, when used along a co-production or co-distributor ID, the first few notes of the music for this logo will play over the last few seconds of said ID before going into this visual logo. This has happened on such syndicated shows as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, back when King World Productions (now "CBS Media Ventures") was still in operation. But now until October 2007, the CBS Television Distribution music plays on the CTD logo, and the SPT theme plays on the SPT logo.
  • Sometimes, the logo used the Columbia TriStar Television theme until 2014. The theme can still be heard on some syndicated airings of Good Times via TV One.
  • Two more versions exist by having a high and low tone starting in 2003.
  • Another version exists having a bell-type twinkle mixed into the standard theme.
  • A double-pitched (very high tone) version of the music can be found on some S4 episodes of Married... With Children on its DVD release. It could also sometimes be seen on certain TV airings of theatrical films, possibly due to the NTSC versions being in high tone.
  • On some shows like The King of Queens (2002-2007 episodes) and other shows, the end theme plays over this logo.
  • Middle season local reruns of Good Times and Sanford and Son would have the first four notes of the standard theme playing first, followed by the finishing of the final notes from the 2002 SPT long version theme.
  • Up until 2012, the 2003 Sony Pictures Television International sounder was sometimes used, particularly on the Mill Creek DVD release of the Nickelodeon original movie The Last Day of Summer (although the original DVD release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment does not have it), DVD releases of shows like Married... With Children, on Antenna TV's print of the Sanford and Son episode "Sanford and Gong", and on DVD releases of The Berenstain Bears (1985) that SPHE released.
  • On a Nine Network airing of season 2 episode 11 of The Guardian, the final five notes of the long version's theme is heard on the standard logo, with the last note being abridged.
  • On an episode of People: The TV Show!, the last three notes of the long version's theme is used on the 2017 logo, with the last note being shorter.
  • ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC airings have a generic theme and occasionally a voiceover.
  • A silent version exists (sometimes on movie networks like Starz and Encore).
  • Another variation would have the 1993 Columbia Pictures Television theme. This happened on several reruns of Just Shoot Me! on TV Land. Region 2 DVD releases of T.J. Hooker and the 2nd season of Party of Five also have this variation if the French audio track is selected.
  • A variant exists that has the 1993 CPT theme overlapping the 2002 SPT theme. This was spotted on an Antenna TV airing of the Good Times S4 episode "Michael's Great Romance".
  • A few episodes of The Jeffersons from the 1980-1981 season last aired on TV One have the SPT and the short CTTD themes playing at the same time.
  • A 2005 low tone version exists, which is seen at the end of The Three Stooges short "Cash and Carry".
  • On Antenna TV's print of the All in the Family episode "The Jeffersons Move Up", the short Columbia TriStar Television theme is heard.
  • One S1 episode of That's My Mama! on DVD ("Clifton's Con") has the 1982 CPT music play over this logo.
  • On the CTHE DVD print of the S3 Married... with Children episode "The Gypsy Cried", it has the first note of the 1988 CPT theme before going into the 2003 SPTI theme.
  • On several international prints of May-June 2013 episodes of Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, the 1994 TriStar Television theme is heard.
  • On the Mill Creek Season 4 DVD release of Married... with Children, the episode "Hot Off the Grill" has the 1988 CPT theme playing over this logo.
  • One 4:3 airing of the TV movie Breakaway has the Columbia TriStar Domestic Television music play over the logo.
  • On the Me-TV print of The Facts of Life S5 episode "Brave New World Part 2", a sloppy plaster job results in the theme playing before the logo itself appears.
  • On the NTSC DVD print of the mini-series Comanche Moon, the first 2006 CBS Paramount Television logo's music plays (and vice-versa), due to an editing error.
  • On current prints of the 1931 film Arizona, the movie's score finishes over the logo after the end title fades out, as the music originally ended over a black screen.
  • One S2 episode of The Guardian on Russian airings has the 2007 CBS Television Distribution theme played over this logo.
  • On The Substitute, the music is sped-up and also played in a different tone.
  • On a 2007 TBS airing of Fools Rush In, the music is slowed down and is also in a much lower pitch.
  • On the end credits of the episode "It's a Wrap" in Mad About You, Paul Buchman (played by Paul Reiser) is arguing to Lou (played by Larry Miller) on the phone about the closing credits of the episode. As it gets to the end of the credits, Paul says "Show the guy on the phone. All right? Then you have the sound of the racetrack, the thing with the hand..." on the In Front Productions and Nuance Productions logos. The audience later laughs and as the logo is formed, Paul says "That'll work.". The "...and then the stupid horse with the wings." line was cut to the audience laughing, in which the end of the 1994 TriStar Television music plays out, plastering the logo in the process.
  • On Amazon Prime's prints of the Mad About You episodes "The Parking Space" and "The Sample", a snippet of the short version of the 1995 Columbia TriStar Television theme is heard before the 2002 SPT theme.
  • On an international print of Into the Dark, the 2016 Hulu Originals logo's music plays, due to an editing error.
  • On Street Art Showdown, the music is carrying it from the Embassy Row and Ugly Pretty Productions logos. It also happens on Angry Angel where the shortened version of the music is carrying it from the Olive Bridge Entertainment and Freeform Originals logos.
  • At the end of a Sony Channel (now Great! Movies) airing of one episode of T.J. Hooker, a split second of the 1982 Columbia Pictures Television theme can be heard before getting cut off by this logo due to sloppy plastering.
  • On Ai là triệu phú (the Vietnamese version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), the theme of the 2waytraffic logo plays over this logo.
  • On an September 27, 2013 NBC airing of The Michael J. Fox Show episode "Neighbor", a generic theme plays and also leaves the logo's theme intact, due to an editing error.

Availability: Seen on its then-new shows and many later prints of classic shows, off-net syndication series, TV movies and theatrical films on television. The only four pre-2002 shows that do not have this logo are Walker, Texas Ranger on USA Network and the defunct Cloo, All in the Family on GetTV and Sony Crackle, the original One Day at a Time on Antenna TV and The Jeffersons on Me-TV.

  • This logo is also seen on shows produced by Adelaide Productions (such as the final season of Dragon Tales, seasons 3-5 of Jackie Chan Adventures, The Boondocks and The Spectacular Spider-Man), Sony's now-dormant television animation studio that was founded in 1993, as they did not use their own logo.
  • The long version is not as common as the standard version, but it was seen on every episode of Jeopardy! from 2002-2007, The Nate Berkus Show, and is also preserved on the DVD release of All in the Family: The Complete 3rd Season, and the DVD release and Crackle prints of Odyssey 5 (except for "Astronaut Dreams", which uses the normal version instead), but it may appear on some classic and off-network shows.
    • It is also seen at the end of every episode of The Three Stooges DVD Collection volume sets, beginning in the second volume, and can also be found on many other TV on DVD releases from 2002-04 (from 2005 onward it went to the standard version).
  • This logo with the low tone theme was last seen on early episodes of Stuart Little: The Animated Series on HBO Family and and is preserved on the 1976 TV movie Banjo Hackett on DVD, while this logo with the high tone theme (both 2002 and 2005 versions) is preserved on The Boondocks on Adult Swim and Netflix, many Three Stooges shorts on IFC, among other shows and certain films on television.
  • The scoped version can be seen on CBS airings of S.W.A.T. and some theatrical films on TV.
  • The short version is fairly common and it was seen on The Shield on local syndication and Spike (now Paramount Network), Sit Down, Shut Up on Fox, and reruns of Joan of Arcadia and Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.
  • The version with the 2003 SPTI theme was spotted on the 1971 film The Anderson Tapes on TCM.
  • It can also be seen on Sony Movie Channel in widescreen.
  • For series outside the U.S., this logo is seen on the series incarnation of the 2007 movie Niñas Mal (translated as Bad Girls) on MTV Latin America and nuvoTV, and Bienvenida Realidad (translated as Welcome Reality), and on Voroniny (Voronin's Family), replacing the 2003 Sony Pictures Television International logo since 2009.
  • This logo was seen at the end of an episode of The Jeffersons on Antenna TV before the show's credits, with the CTT logo after the credits.
  • This logo is also seen at the end of most TV airings, a Roku Channel print (and Sony Movie Channel and ThisTV airings) of Lake Placid.
  • This logo is also seen at the end of shows that's its units produced such as Bromans, among others.
  • It also appears before or after the Left Bank Pictures on some shows that they co-produced such as The Crown and Outlander, among others.
  • As of 2023, this is used in tandem with the SPTS logo, as it still appears on The Dr. Oz Show, Days of Our Lives (which uses the 2022 version), The $100,000 Pyramid, Superkitties (except on Disney+ versions, which use the Silvergate Media logo instead), Alex Rider, Crossing Swords, The Good Dish, The Crown, Three Pines and also on international prints of Sony films and shows they didn't produce. It also made an appearance in the 2021 Globo co-production Passport to Freedom, and the first four episodes of season 6 of Better Call Saul. It also appeared on Wheel of Fortune on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
  • The logo also returned on season 41 of Wheel of Fortune and season 40 of Jeopardy!, replacing the Sony Pictures Television Studios logo. Their celebrity counterparts on ABC also began usage of this logo beginning with their fourth and second seasons, respectively, as did season 15 of Shark Tank, the seventh and final season of The Good Doctor, and The Young and the Restless starting in February 2024 (using the 2022 version).
    • The 2024 animated version first debuted on season 2 of Them, and later seen on season 4 of The Boys and Sausage Party: Foodtopia.
  • It is also seen on Raid the Cage.
  • This logo was spotted at the end of an HBO Asia airing of Darrow & Darrow: In the Key of Murder with the ending theme playing over it.
  • This logo may or may not appear at the end of TV airings of Revolution Studios titles.
  • It can also be seen after the end of Screen Gems cartoons when they air on MeTV's Toon In With Me programming block since 2021, as well as on Sunday Night Cartoons on MeTV+.
  • It is also seen at the end of a Crackle streaming service print of the Jeannie episode "Surf's Up", following the 1993 CPT logo.
  • It is also seen at the end of a Tubi streaming print of Jason and the Argonauts (1963).
  • On official YouTube prints of The Nanny, this plasters over the TriStar Television logo on most episodes.
  • 15 (including the first 13) episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters on prints after 2009 contain this logo (used on both the 2009 PAL Extreme Ghostbusters: Volume 1 release and the 2024 U.S. Complete Series release), while the other 25 episodes retain their original logos (including the original 1995 CTT logo).

Legacy: The logo (mainly the standard variant, which uses very simple animation) gained a reputation as one of the most hated closing logo of all time due to its large-scale plastering and omnipresence, earning the unofficial nickname the "Bars of Boredom". Additionally, it is widely regarded as the most common logo to find among the community.

2nd Logo (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie custom variant) (October 11, 2019)

Visuals: On a blue gradient background, a purple flash appears onscreen, covering the whole screen. When the flash dies down, the print version of the Sony Pictures Television logo appears. The logo zooms back for a few seconds before stopping completely.

Variant: A 16:9 open-matte version exists on TV airings of the film.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Availability: This made its only appearance on El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie on Netflix, as a one-off logo produced for the film.

Sony Pictures Television Studios

Logo (January 7, 2020-)

Visuals: On a black background is the corporate Sony logo. It then either fades, blurs out, or uses the 2014/2021 Sony transition (either slow or fast on the former), as the text "SONY PICTURES TELEVISION STUDIOS" appears.

Opening Variants:

  • August 28, 2020: The logo zooms in, with text that says "A SONY PICTURES TELEVISION STUDIOS PRODUCTION" (in the font called Clarendon from the Sony logo) while it flashes. The Sony logo does not appear in the beginning.
  • January 1, 2021-: The logo is updated to be similar to the regular logo, but without the flash.
  • On The Afterparty, the text reads "A SONY PICTURES TELEVISION STUDIOS/TRISTAR TELEVISION PRODUCTION", with the two lines next to "PRODUCTION" being removed. Although the former only appears at the end of season 1 while the the latter is seen at the end of season 2.

Other Variants:

  • A three-second version exists starting on December 28, 2020. Here is the Sony logo zooming out forming from the transition, then it fades out as the company name appears with the light behind it. This is used on Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and streaming-only shows.
  • A still version exists.
  • Like the previous logo, it shares the screen with other companies logos.
  • An in-credit variation exists, in which the logo is cropped in a rectangle and inverted.
  • On the YouTube Originals show Copy That!, the logo appears within the credits of the episode. When the logo starts, the credits show a copyright notice for Sony Pictures Television.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The same "ding" sound in G major used in the Sony logo.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, the ending theme plays over it or none.
  • The three-second variant has a swish followed by a dreamy synth fanfare after the ding sound. A longer version also exists. Composed by Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin.
  • On DVS (Audio Descriptive) prints of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, a male voiceover (heard over the audio) says "Sony. Sony Pictures Television Studios."
  • On the pilot episode of The Afterparty, the ding sound plays over the fanfare.
  • On Platonic and Gen V, the three-second audio plays over the 2021 Sony transition version.
  • On Ai là triệu phú (the Vietnamese version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), the theme of the 2waytraffic logo plays over the ding sound.
  • On the animated Good Times reboot, the ding sound is removed and the fanfare is only used.


  • It debuted on One Day at a Time: Promo Special. It started appearing on existing and returning shows (except Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless) from 2020 onwards, such as Jeopardy! from season 37 to its November 18, 2022 episode (which was part of season 39), seasons 38 and 39 of Wheel of Fortune, seasons 12 and 13 of Shark Tank, and seasons 4 and 5 of both The Good Doctor and S.W.A.T. (the 2017 TV series).
  • The opening variant debuted on the Netflix prints of Cobra Kai, then later in the updated version for the show's third season, as well as on The Afterparty.
  • This is also seen on new and future shows such as The Wheel of Time and season 1 of The Afterparty.
  • It is also seen on the Lifetime TV movies Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer and Salt-N-Pepa.
  • It is also seen on the remainder of season 6 of Better Call Saul, starting with the episode "Black and Blue".
  • This logo was also seen at the end of FX's print of Holmes & Watson (a 2018 Columbia Pictures film), and may also appear on future airings of old and new Sony theatrical films on television.
    • On OWN reruns of Underground, this logo appears after the Tribune Studios logo, but the 2002 SPT logo follows afterwards as a failed reverse-plaster attempt.
    • It also plays before the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo (whether retained or added) on some shows.
    • Comedy Central, Nick at Nite and TV Land reruns of Seinfeld also feature this logo (albeit with the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo (from the show's pre-2021 prints) being shown on the latter network's on-screen credits).
    • Furthermore, this logo can be found on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC.
  • This logo also does not appear on the eleventh season of Robot Chicken, as Sony pulled out of co-producing the series after The Bleepin' Robot Chicken Archie Comics Special.
  • The version with the 2021 Sony logo debuted on the Better Call Saul episode "Nippy" (albeit using a variant), while the normal version later debuted on the series finale of said show (that being "Saul Gone").
    • It also started to appear on returning shows during the 2022-23 season, such as Wheel of Fortune (season 40 only), the tenth and final season of The Goldbergs, season 6 of The Good Doctor and season 14 of Shark Tank, among others. It is also seen on The Young and the Restless starting with its October 18, 2022 episode, and the rest of Jeopardy!'s 39th season starting with its November 21, 2022 episode.

Legacy: This logo is considered to be very bland by the logo community, with many considering it an example of the simplified logo trend that started in the 2010s and some even comparing it unfavorably to the first SPT logo at the time of its debut. In fact, it was first thought to be a placeholder logo when it debuted, which ultimately was proven otherwise.

Copyright stamps

  • 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Sony Pictures Television (Inc.) All Rights Reserved.
  • 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Califon Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Wheel of Fortune)
  • 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] Jeopardy Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Jeopardy!)
  • 2002-: Copyright © [YEAR] CPT Holdings, Inc. (Used on The Young & the Restless and international series)
  • 2002-2003, 2005: © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Judge Hatchett and Dragon Tales)
  • 2002-2004: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Domestic Television. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Pyramid)
  • 2002-2007: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. and CBS Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on The King of Queens)
  • 2002-2014: Copyright © [YEAR] Adelaide Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on animated shows)

External Links

Columbia TriStar Television
Gemstone Studios
TriStar Television (2015-2024)
Sony Pictures Television
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