TriStar Television (1991-1999)

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

On October 7, 1991, TriStar Television was relaunched under Sony Pictures Entertainment and renamed to its current name after acquiring several television shows from New World Television. Jon Feltheimer, who was the president of New World Television became the new president of TriStar Television.

On February 21, 1994, TriStar Television merged with Columbia Pictures Television and became Columbia TriStar Television. Both studios still produced its series independently, but in 1999, TriStar Television was folded into CTT before The Nanny and Mad About You ended on CBS & NBC, but kept its name in credit until 2000 on Early Edition. However, Malcolm & Eddie used the CTT credit. During that time, TriStar Television operated as in-name-only under Sony Pictures Television.



1st Logo (November 9, 1991-March 2, 1993)

Visuals: On a dark gray or dark blue marbled background, the following text in a silver version of the Didot font used in the movie logo zooms out from the bottom of the screen to the center:

TRI ---
STAR
TELEVISION

Then, the "Pegasus Over Pyramid" logo is formed out of light streaks next to "TRI".

Trivia: This logo is based on the 1991-1993 theatrical logo of Tri-Star Pictures as seen on trailers, TV spots, and the end of films.

Variants:

  • On Forever Knight, the phrase "produced in association with" in white is seen above the logo.
  • The Fifth Corner has the logo fading out rather than cutting to black as normal.
  • On the 1992 TV movie Stormy Weathers, a filmed version of this logo is used.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The original 1986 Tri-Star Television theme, which was the last seven notes of the 1984 movie logo theme composed by Dave Grusin.

Audio Variants:

  • Usually, the end title theme playing over it, or the logo is silent.
  • On Get A Life, the sound clips from the end of the episodes are heard.

Availability:

  • Appeared on the 2nd season of Get a Life starting with episode 2, Charlie Hoover, The Fifth Corner, early S1 episodes of Forever Knight, and the 1992 NBC mini-series Trial: The Price Of Passion.
  • It also appeared on the TV movies Rapture, Stormy Weathers, Split Images, and Silent Cries. Amazon Prime's prints of the latter three titles, which were provided by Samuel Goldwyn Films under license from Sony, retain this at the end, as did a mid-2000s Encore Mystery airing of Split Images.
  • It can also be seen on Rhino Home Video's VHS and DVD releases of Get a Life season 2 episodes.
  • The theme version appeared on the unsold pilot The Boys of Twilight and two episodes of The Fifth Corner.

2nd Logo (September 19, 1992-June 23, 1999)

Visuals: There is the white Pegasus from the 1993 movie logo with its wings spread out, posed on a sun-lit, cloud-filled sky (which is a similar background to that of the Columbia Pictures logo, but the middle part is a bit shorter). "TRISTAR" appears on the top of the screen in giant bold, white chiseled text like the "COLUMBIA" text from the 1992 Columbia Pictures Television logo and the text "TRISTAR TELEVISION" (in the same Bank Gothic MD BT font as the 1992 CPT logo) appears on the bottom of the screen with the byline "a SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT company" below it.

Trivia:

  • This logo was painted by artist Alan Reingold. The cloud background was presumably painted by Michael J. Deas.
  • Like with Columbia, this logo appeared about a year before movies had their own version of this then-new Pegasus in 1993.
  • A textless version, alongside the Merv Griffin Enterprises and Columbia Pictures Television logos, was shown as a Video Daily Double clue under the "Horses" category for $500 in the December 22, 1993 episode of Jeopardy: "This is the Merv Griffin logo, this is the Columbia logo, & the following is this company's". Dave Dixon, who found that Daily Double, wagered $700 of his $1,300 and gave the correct response, "What is TriStar?", brining his score to $2,000 and taking the lead. Dixon was eventually beaten by fellow contestant Jean Grewe, who became a three-day champion with $29,901 on hand, adding $4,000 to his $25,901 that he won in the previous two days.

Variants:

  • On the 1992 TV movie A Child Lost Forever, the 1995 TV movie Annie: A Royal Adventure, and the series Hudson Street, the logo appears enhanced. Sometimes, on some shows and TV movies like the 1995 TV movie Sahara, the logo fades out like the 1992 CPT logo.
  • On a French print of the miniseries Dead By Sunset, the logo is superimposed but most of it is invisible due to an inferior chroma-key effect.
  • A variant was spotted on the 1994 prototype reel of NBC's split-screen credits (known as "NBC 2000"); during the Mad About You demo[1], a different version of this logo was used within the credits: The TriStar logo is in the middle on a blue background with "TRISTAR TELEVISION" and the byline below in a wider Bank Gothic font.

Technique: A still image of a painting.

Audio: The following is a list of audio variations:

  • 1992-1993, 1994-1995: The last 7 notes of the 1984 movie logo theme, with part of the first note cut off. Used again for first 3 season 2 episodes on Mad About You. From 1994-1995, this was used on the Michael Moore TV series TV Nation aired on NBC and Fox.
  • 1993-1999: A 5-note majestic orchestral fanfare with bells composed by Jay Asher.
  • 1994-1997: A 6-note majestic theme.
  • 1996-1999: A short version of this has 4 notes based on the 1994 logo theme and is sped up and revamped.

Otherwise, the closing theme of the show or none. Original NBC and CBS airings use a generic network theme starting in 1994.

Audio Variants:

  • On the first episode of Mad About You on the series' DVD release by Mill Creek Entertainment, while the regular English audio track has the 1992 theme, the commentary audio track has the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo's music instead. This could be due to the commentary being sourced from another print that does have the SPT logo plaster the TriStar one.
  • There is a high tone variant of the last 7 notes of the theatrical theme on the Mad About You S1 episode "Neighbors From Hell".
  • On Mad About You season 2 episode "Natural History", the 1993 theme has a reverb at the end.
  • On a Mad About You Christmas episode, the music plays over it.
  • On the series TriBeCa, it's the last 5 notes of the 1984 theatrical theme.
  • At least one episode of the Designing Women spin-off Women of the House has the logo starting off silently, then playing the last three notes of the 1993 theme.
  • On one episode of the sitcom A League of their Own (based on the 1992 Columbia Pictures movie), the 1992 theme is low-pitched.
  • On current prints of the 1995 TV movie Abandoned and Deceived, the short 1995 Columbia TriStar Television Distribution theme is heard.
  • On the world premiere of Gettysburg, the logo is silent.

Availability:

  • It originally appeared on The Edge, Mad About You, season 1 and early season 2 episodes of Early Edition, Malcolm & Eddie, TriBeCa, The Nanny, Hudson Street, Ned and Stacey, and the remaining seasons of Forever Knight, among other shows and TV movies, but recent broadcasts of most series plaster this logo over with the 2002 Sony Pictures Television logo.
  • This logo is seen on Annie: A Royal Adventure on most current prints (VHS, DVD, TV broadcasts, digital prints), the first two seasons of Mad About You on DVD, the pilot episode of My Two Dads (plastering the 1986 logo) seen on the DVD release of the first season from Shout! Factory, the first season of Malcolm & Eddie on DVD also from Shout! Factory with seasons 1-3 on Fuse retaining the logo, the first three seasons of Early Edition last aired on FamilyNet and Syfy, the VHS release of the 1994 TV movie Next Door (the Amazon Prime print has it cut alongside the Showtime Networks credit notice that followed), the first season of Mr. Show on DVD, all but five episodes (those having the CTTD logo) of The Edge on DVD, and Max prints of The Nanny.
  • It appeared on episode 8 of The Jeff Foxworthy Show on TBS, and it was also retained on Crackle's print.
    • It was also seen on original broadcasts of the show, but current prints may have it plastered with the 1993 CPT logo.
  • It also appeared on From the Files of Joseph Wambaugh: A Jury of One, and is also retained on Sony Movie Channel's broadcast and digital prints.
  • This is also retained on Sony Movie Channel airings and the Crackle/Amazon Prime prints of the 1997 TV movie, Home Invasion.
  • On Blu-ray, this can be seen on the Australian release of To Sir, With Love II, in which it's also intact on the U.S. Sony Pictures Choice Collection DVD-R release and iTunes/Amazon/Google Play/Vudu digital prints.
  • The Sony Pictures Choice Collection DVD-R releases of Dead By Sunset and Never Say Never: The Deidre Hall Story (alongside digital prints of the latter) retains this.

Copyright Stamps

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

  • 1991-1998, 1999-2000: Copyright © (year) TriStar Television, Inc.
  • 1993: Copyright © (year) ETC Productions, Inc. (Used on Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson)
  • 1994: Copyright © (year) TriStar Television, Inc./Showtime Networks Inc. (used on the TV movie Next Door)
  • 1996-1998, 1999: Copyright © (year) Tri-Star Television, Inc. (used on Malcolm & Eddie)
  • 1998-1999: Copyright © (year) Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG
  • 1999-2000: Copyright © (year) Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. (used on the final season of Malcolm & Eddie)
Tri-Star Television (1986-1988)
New World Television
TriStar Television (1991-1999)
Columbia TriStar Television
TriStar Television (2015-present)
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