Logo descriptions by Jason Jones, James Fabiano, Matt Williams, Ryan Mead, and Michael Bode
Logo captures and editions by Shadeed A. Kelly, Logophile, EnormousRat, and others
Video captures courtesy of lexingtonboy, JohnnyL80, mcydodge919,TheMultiKingWorld, and File Preserver
Background: Columbia TriStar Television was a merger of Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television (after branding Columbia TriStar Home Video). It was founded on February 21, 1994 and the same day, SPE renamed Columbia Pictures Television Distribution to "Columbia TriStar Television Distribution". With Columbia TriStar International Television (formerly "Columbia Pictures International Television") already in operation since the early-1990s, all three became part of the "Columbia TriStar Television Group". On June 4, 1994, CTT folded Merv Griffin Enterprises and took over the rights to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, and used a logo since the inception by September. However, CPT and TriStar continued producing their own series until TriStar Television became in-name-only in 1999 and CPT folded on January 1, 2001. Columbia TriStar Television was officially incorporated on July 12, 1996. On October 25, 2001, CTT and CTTD were merged into "Columbia TriStar Domestic Television" with CTIT remaining. On September 16, 2002, CTT was reincorporated as "Sony Pictures Television".
(September 1994-May 20, 2000)
Nickname: "CT Boxes"
Logo: On a solid blue background, we see two boxes, the left one contains the Columbia Torch Lady (90s version), and the right one contains the TriStar Pegasus (again, 90s version over Columbia cloud background). Above the logo, "COLUMBIA TRISTAR" is seen, with the words positioned over their respective logos, and on the bottom is the word "TELEVISION" and the standard Sony Pictures Entertainment byline.
Trivia: This is basically Columbia TriStar's home video logo, but "HOME VIDEO" is edited out to put "TELEVISION" in, the background is solid blue, both boxes have a very thin black border instead of a regular gold border, and a Sony byline is added.
FX/SFX: Just a simple fade in and fade out or none. On GSN, the logo fades out like the 1992 CPT logo, the names and bylines dims out first, then the background and logos fade out, and the names fade out.
Cheesy Factor: Same as the 1992 and 1993 CTHV logos.
Music/Sounds: A re-arranged version of the infamous CPT '93 theme done by Steven Kaplan.
- Like CPT, from 1994, the logo theme was re-orchestrated.
- From 1996-2000, the logo would fade out at the last note. This wouldn't happen on WOF or Jeopardy!.
- On some season four episodes of Early Edition such as "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", it uses the 1993 TriStar Television theme.
- A silent version appears on Jeopardy! for the Philips CD-i and the promo for Godzilla: The Series, as seen on the 1998 VHS of Godzilla (although non-USA releases have the logo theme).
Voice-overs: From September 1994-November 1996 on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, there were different announcements over the logo and fanfare:
- Wheel of Fortune:
- (September 1994-Early 1995): (on the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheeeeel of Fortune is produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television! (on the King World logo) Distributed by King World!
- (Early to summer 1995): Created by Merv Griffin. (On the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheel of Fortune is produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television! (on the King World logo) Distributed by King World.
- (September 1995-1996): This is Charile O'Donnell speaking. Wheel of Fortune was created by Merv Griffin. (Later turns to the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with drum roll by a page flipping effect. O'Donnell would sometimes announce on this card) (On CTT logo) Produced by, Columbia TriStar Television. (On the 1990 King World logo with the theme) Distributed by King World.
- (Johnny Gilbert) (November 1995) (on the Wheel of Fortune/Califon card with the drum roll) Wheeeeel of Fortune was created by Merv Griffin! (on the CTT logo) Produced by Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 King World logo) Distributed by King World.
- Jeopardy! (Johnny Gilbert):
- (September 1994-1995): (On the credits) This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. (Later turns to the Jeopardy! title card) (on the CTT logo) Jeopardy! is a production of Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 King World logo) Distributed by King World.
- (1995-November 1996): (On the credits) This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin. (on the Jeopardy! title card) Produced by (on the CTT logo) Columbia TriStar Television. (on the 1990 King World logo) Distributed by King World.
This was the time when both game shows were taken over by Columbia TriStar Television.
Voice-over Variant: A rare variant just like the 1997 logo. Charlie O'Donnell says "Columbia TriStar Television" over the fanfare. This is also presumably done to blend in with the spiel at the end of the program and cover up the end reference to King World. This happened in 1997.
Availability: Actually quite rare. It appeared on GSN up until their infamous "Dark Period", then it was replaced with the then-current CTT logo. It was spotted on Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune (both until spring 1997), Men in Black: The Series (until 2000), Channel Umptee-3, Jumanji: The Animated Series, several S1 episodes of Godzilla: The Series, and some network shows. Usually during this time, however, whatever logos the shows were always using were used; "C-Tmania" did not start until 1997. It was last seen back in 2002 on reruns of Men in Black: The Series on Nickelodeon's short-lived "SLAM!" block, and although the show was last seen on The Hub, the CTT logo was replaced by the SPT logo there. Was also last seen on several early season 4 episodes of Early Edition on FamilyNet and Malcolm & Eddie. When GSN reran the 1994-1995, 1995-1996, and 1996-1997 seasons of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune over a decade ago, this logo was plastered by the 1997 CTT logo and keeping the voice-overs from the '94-'95 and '95-'96 seasons intact.
Scare Factor: None. You either love it or hate it.
Nicknames: "CT Boxes II", "The Sliding Boxes", "The Boxes of Boredom"
Logo: It's almost the same as the second 1995 Columbia TriStar Home Video logo, except "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" replaces "HOME VIDEO" and the Sony byline is intact. Plus, the cloud background in the TriStar box is replaced with the one from its movie logo and the text has a shadow effect.
Standard Variants: Depending on the unit that the show originated (Television, Television Distribution, or Domestic Television), the logo was modified accordingly.
- In February 1997, the word "TELEVISION" is seen. In this version, the word "TELEVISION" along with the Sony byline, do not have the shadow effect while the words, "COLUMBIA TRISTAR" still have the shadow effect intact. Plus, the logo has the red-pink tint and the Sony byline is in a different font (as Helvetica).
- There is a version used for CTTD, where a darker box with the animation of the clouds zooms back and then splits to form the logo. This version was seen on Walker, Texas Ranger, Seinfeld, and Born Free: A New Adventure.
- On widescreen international versions of some programs such as season 2 of The King of Queens, there is a widescreen version of the CTT logo.
- A silent version existed for the short version of CTTD.
- On 1997-2002 episodes of Jeopardy!, there would be a freeze frame effect at the end of the logo. The logo would sometimes fade-out instead of disappearing.
- Starting in late 1999 on some series, the logo was expanded in ratio size in observance to High Definition programming. This version has been nicknamed "Enhanced Boxes of Boredom". The animation here is a bit cheaper and is filmed, the Torch Lady along with her cloud background both have a zooming out effect as the box splits, the TriStar Pegasus animation is slowed down a bit, the boxes have a thin white border and the text doesn't have the shadow effect and are in blue color. The studio's name was changed entirely to Columbia TriStar Domestic Television on October 25, 2001 with "DOMESTIC TELEVISION" below the boxes with the SPE byline a bit smaller.
- There are three versions of the "DOMESTIC TELEVISION" variant of the logo. The first version was where the logo is up close and looks like the boxes are almost touching the screen. The second version is where the logo is in the letterbox format, stretched to fit the screen. The third version is where the logo is in the far-distance known as the "Open Matte" boxes and the SPE byline is a bit bigger and not bold.
- There also was a variant featuring an "in association with" on the top left corner of the logo on CTTD.
- There are also black and white variants of all three logos.
- On some TV movies like Rag & Bone, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest and Double Platinum, there is a filmed version of the logo for CTT.
- On German shows such as Powder Park and Ritas Welt (translated as Rita's World), there is a still in-credit version of the CTTD logo superimposed into the credits. Plus, "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" is replaced with "FILM UND FERNSEH PRODUKTIONS GMBH" (translated in English as "FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS LTD") and it doesn't have a shadow effect.
- On the short-lived series, The $treet for CTTD, the words, "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" is in a different font (as Eurostile) and the SPE byline is in a different font (as Futura Medium). Plus, the words (except for "COLUMBIA TRISTAR") don't have the shadow effect.
- An extremely rare filmed variant for CTDT exists and appears on the TV movies, Blood Crime and Breakaway (also known as Christmas Rush). Both movies can be found on DVD.
- An extremely rare enhanced variant for CTTD was recently discovered on the TV movie The Linda McCartney Story. It is said that this had also appeared on the TV movie First Shot when it aired on the Sony Movie Channel.
FX/SFX: The boxes fading in and sliding, the animation of Columbia and TriStar theatrical logos in the boxes.
Music/Sounds: Same as the last logo. Starting in 1999 with CTT (and later CTDT), the first note is cut off.
- Sometimes a shorter version of the jingle is used, only about the second half of the long version. This version of the music sounds like a re-orchestration and not a truncation of the regular logo. This is mostly seen on the "TELEVISION DISTRIBUTION" variation of the logo. However, it was also used on the "DOMESTIC TELEVISION" variant of the logo on season four (and possibly second half of season three) episodes of V.I.P.
- On some TriStar produced shows (especially Mad About You and Early Edition), the 1992-1993 or 1993-1999 TriStar Television themes were used. However, some shows produced by CTT such as Cupid used the 1993 TriStar Television theme as well. This was started in 1997.
- The 1988 CPT theme was also heard on this logo on several Three Stooges shorts part of Stooge TVon The Family Channel. Short version of CTTD only.
- The 1993 CPT theme was also heard on the CTTD logo on 1996-2001 episodes of Ricki Lake and the 1999 CTT logo on Phantom Investigators.
- On several 2001-02 episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures, high and low tone versions were used, and alternated depending on the theme song. On the short-lived series, Secret Agent Man, it used the standard, high, low, and very low tone variants.
- On Married... with Children: The Most Outrageous Episodes: Volume 2, at the end of the episode "If Al Had a Hammer", the Sony Pictures Television logo music is heard on the third version of the CTDT logo.
- On some Game Show Network reruns (mostly old episodes of Wheel of Fortune, excepting the 1988-1990 seasons, and Jeopardy!), Charlie O'Donnell says "Columbia TriStar Television" over the fanfare. This is presumably done to blend in with the spiel at the end of the program and cover up the end reference to King World. On the 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 seasons on both shows, the original voice over is intact, but plastering the 1994 logo with this logo. This even happened on reruns of game shows where this situation was not needed, such as the 1976 network version of Break The Bank, and on a rerun of The 25,000 Pyramid finale on New Year's Eve 1999, as there was no voice over in the end.
- On the CTT logo in 1999, it sometimes play the last half (2 1/2) notes of the short CTTD theme and was heard on Dilbert. One variant is even higher.
- A silent version appears at the end of the promo for Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, which can be seen on the 2002 VHS of Spider-Man.
- On The $treet, only the final note of the logo music is heard on the CTTD logo.
- In other cases, the ending theme of the show plays over it.
Availability: Common, but not very common as in years past. However, this logo is still not hard to spot, although it's mainly on near-recent prints of shows reran on cable, like Walker Texas Ranger on Cloo, the first season of The Guardian on TV Guide Network, most of the final season episodes of Early Edition last seen on FamilyNet and Syfy, occasionally on Sony owned programs on GSN like Russian Roulette, seasons 1-5 of Hollywood Squares, and The $100,000 Pyramid on GSN. However, the CTDT logos can also be seen on the DVD releases of season two of All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, and a couple episodes on the season 4 DVD release of Punky Brewster, and was last seen on reruns of Mad About You on Antenna TV (plastering the 1992 TriStar Television logo), among others. CTTD or CTDT can also be spotted on several Sony classic movies on TCM occasionally. As for the high and low tones, they're extinct and were last seen on most season 2 episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures when it was reran on Cartoon Network, and although it had been reran on Disney XD, it was plastered there. The low tone variant was also seen on the short-lived series, Secret Agent Man when it was aired on UPN (now The CW). CTTD can be found on Sleepless in Seattle and The Quick and the Dead on TBS and TNT, The Jeffersons episode "Lunch With Mama" on TV One, and Swamp Thing on This TV. The latter title was followed by the SPT logo. CTDT was spotted (followed by SPT) on the Married... with Children episode "Have You Driven a Ford Lately" on TBS. The short version was commonly seen on the animated version of Dilbert (also on UPN). It was also last seen on 1998-2002 episodes of Dawson's Creekon The N (now "Teen Nick"). However, it's preserved on the first two season DVDs of said show. The "open matte" version was seen at the end of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on Centric. The first filmed version appeared on some TV movies like Rag & Bone, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest and Double Platinum. However, it's preserved on the DVD releases of latter TV movies. The black-and-white variant of CTT can be seen on several episodes of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin on Antenna TV, and the episode "Yo-o Rinty" used the 1993 TriStar Television theme with it. It also appears on several episodes of Gidget on Antenna TV, which happens to be TV Land's prints plastering the Screen Gems "S From Hell". On Netflix, this can be found on most episodes of The Tick. CTDT can also be found on S1 episodes of The Shield. The CTTD logo first appeared on Stooge TV, an hour-long Three Stooges program aired on The Family Channel in 1995. This can also be found on the Seinfeld 100th Episode VHS tape released in 1995 as part of a promotion with General Mills. The enhanced variant of CTTD is ultra rare as most shows using kept using the standard variant until CTDT took over in 2001.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- None with the standard, long, short version, and high tone themes. This is a good logo, but it was also wildly hated by many people for several years due to its over-common presence and use of plastering old logos, until the Sony Pictures Television logo came around in 2002 and in an ironic twist, began plastering over logos in a much worse manner than this.
- Minimal with the 1992 and 1993 TriStar Television themes.
- Low with the 1988 CPT theme. Some may still have bad memories with the 1988 CPT logo and fanfare.
- Low with the Colex Enterprises theme.
- None with the 1993 CPT theme.
- None with the Sony Pictures Television theme.
- None for the silent version.
Copyright Stamps: Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the CTT series and TV movies:
Note: During the formation of CTT on February 21, 1994, all series were merged under the CTT banner. However, both CPT and TriStar studios still used their respective copyright stamps on their series from 1996-1999:
- 1994-1998, 1999-: Copyright © [YEAR] Jeopardy Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used onJeopardy!)
- 1994-1998, 1999-: Copyright © [YEAR] Califon Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Wheel of Fortune)
- 1996-1998, 1999-: Copyright © [YEAR] Adelaide Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on animated shows)
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- 1996-1997: Copyright © [YEAR] ELP COMMUNICATIONS (Used on the final season of Beakman's World)
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. All Rights Reserved.
- 1996-1998, 1999-2002: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Ricki Lake)
- 1998-1999: Copyright © [YEAR] Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG. All Rights Reserved.
- 1998-2001: Copyright © [YEAR] Trackdown Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!)
- 1999-2000: Copyright © [YEAR] TriStar Television, Inc. and CBS Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(Used on the final season of Early Edition)
- 2001-2002: Copyright © [YEAR] CPT Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Used on The Young and the Restless)
- 2001-2002: Copyright © [YEAR] CORDAY PRODUCTIONS, INC. All Rights Reserved. (Used on Days of our Lives)
- 2001-2003: Copyright © [YEAR] Columbia TriStar Domestic Television. All Rights Reserved.
Final Notes: In 2002, CTT became Sony Pictures Television. Despite this, the third version of the CTDT logo (also known as the "Open Matte" boxes) was used until 2003 on the 5th season of The New Hollywood Squares in syndication. The first two versions ended in 2002.