Tri-Star Television (1986-1988)

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. launched its own television arm as "Tri-Star Television" in March 1986 after the formation of TeleVentures with Stephen J. Cannell Productions and Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions suggested by Stephen J. Cannell. Scott Siegler was hired as president of the studio. Their first official series was Downtown. After HBO (its last partner) dropped out of the venture the same year, Coca-Cola owned 100% of Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. Tri-Star Television was folded into the newly-formed Columbia Pictures Television on January 4, 1988 along with Columbia/Embassy Television and its distribution business Coca-Cola Telecommunications after Coke sold its entertainment business to Tri-Star and renamed the company to "Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc." on December 21, 1987. Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. was later spun-off as a reorganized company in 1988. The name was reused in 1991, minus the hyphen, when Sony bought out some assets from New World Television.

Logo (September 27, 1986-March 1988?)

Visuals: The same triangle from the movie logo (a triangle with a gold border, a dark blue/purple sky background, and the words "TRI STAR" stacked on each other inside) zooms-out and plasters itself on a black background, right below the logo's Pegasus drawing. The word "TELEVISION" appears below.


  • On an episode of Buck James and the TV movie Three on a Match, the word "TELEVISION" is outlined in white.
  • On the TV movie Danger Down Under (aka Reed Down Under) and Take Five, the logo is still.

Technique: Computer animation, with the word "TELEVISION" superimposed via chroma key.

Audio: An edited version of the last seven notes of the 1984 Tri-Star Pictures theme composed by Dave Grusin.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, the end theme of the TV movie or show is used.
  • On older TV prints of White Water Summer, it uses the last ten notes of the fanfare.
  • On an episode of Buck James, the theme music is slightly lower in pitch.


  • It appeared on Downtown, Take Five, Nothing in Common, My Two Dads, and Werewolf.
  • Werewolf reruns last aired on Chiller plastered this logo with the 2005 Sony Pictures Television logo.
  • However, this is seen on three episodes on S1 of My Two Dads from Shout! Factory under license by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and on Antenna TV.
  • This also appeared on Danger Down Under, a made-for-TV movie.
  • On a couple of episodes of Werewolf, this had the actual 1984 Tri-Star Pictures logo in place of the TV version. Chiller reruns kept this.

Copyright Stamps

Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the TriStar Television series and TV movies:

  • 1986: Copyright © (year) by Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
  • 1987-1988: Copyright © (year) by Tri-Star Television - A Division of Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
  • 1989: Copyright © (year) Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. (used on My Two Dads season 2)
  • 1988, 1989-1990: Copyright © (year) 12 Year Old Productions, Inc. (used on My Two Dads seasons 1 (last few episodes) and 3)
Tri-Star Television (1986-1988)
Columbia Pictures Television
TriStar Television (1991-1999)
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