Logo descriptions by Jeffrey Gray
Logo captures by Eric S., V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly, and snelfu
Editions by V of Doom and Shadeed A. Kelly
Desilu Productions was a production company founded in 1950 by then-husband-and-wife comedy duo, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (hence the name of the company), producing very successful TV shows and films between the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960, Desi Arnaz sold the pre-1960 shows to CBS since Ball and Arnaz couldn't work with each other anymore. They later divorced the same year. Until 1962, Arnaz sold his holdings of Desilu to Ball. In 1967, she sold Desilu to Gulf+Western Industries, which merged Desilu with Paramount Pictures, the company became the television arm of Paramount in July renaming it to "Paramount Television (CBS)" months later, while she formed her then-new company "Lucille Ball Productions, Inc." and Desi Arnaz formed his own company named "Desi Arnaz Productions". Currently, all of the Desilu Productions television library is owned by CBS Corporation through CBS Television Distribution.
1st Logo (1951-1963)
Logo: Desilu did not use a logo until 1952. As superimposed or scrolling on the end credits, we see the text:
From 1951-1952, the copyright stamp fades-in below. From 1952-1963, this would fade to the "script" logo.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme from any show.
Availability: Seen intact on all I Love Lucy episodes on Me-TV and DVD. This was also seen on The Untouchables (1959) and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
Scare Factor: None.
2nd Logo (1952-March 11, 1968)
Nickname: "Desilu Script"
Logo: Over a specialty backdrop, we see the words "FILMED IN HOLLYWOOD BY" ("Filmed in HOLLYWOOD and MEXICO by" on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour). The word "Desilu" is written in a cursive font, either in black, white, or in a 3D-ish appearance. Then, a round ball dots the "i". The copyright information appears at the bottom. This phrase was shortened to "FILMED BY DESILU" in 1957.
- There is a still in-credit variant appeared on filmed location shows.
- Another in-credit logo has the Desilu script name between "A" and "PRODUCTION"
- At the beginning of some programs, the word "Presents" is seen below.
- For Desilu Sales, Desilu's distribution arm starting in 1962, the text "Distributed by Desilu Sales, Inc." is seen in a script font on a gray background.
FX/SFX/Chesy Factor: The "drawing effect", made with primitive animation.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Music played during the end of the show. Some I Love Lucy episodes have an announcer saying I Love Lucy is a Desilu Production". Sometimes, it's even followed up with "Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will return next week at the same time".
Availability: Found superimposed on shows like I Love Lucy, the Star Trek pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", The Lucy Show, and The Untouchables (1959). The in-credit variant was seen intact on some filmed-on-location shows, such as The Andy Griffith Show, I Spy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and That Girl, among others.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- None to low. The '50s-style script could give some the shakes.
- None for the in-credit variant.
Final Notes: This logo was used on the final two seasons of The Lucy Show, which used the 1966 Desilu logo and the 1968 Paramount Television logo at the end.
3rd Logo (1966-December 1967)
Nicknames: "Merging Circles", "Multi-Colored Circles", "Color Desilu Logo"
Logo: On a black background six multicolored (red, pink, and orange) circles surround a white one and then merge together with it to form a blue circle, which backs away upward as the word "Desilu" is written in a yellow cursive font. As the circle takes its place over the "i," it turns white.
- When Desilu merged with Paramount Pictures in 1966, the Paramount copyright stamp and print logos would appear under it.
- On Star Trek reruns from 1978 onward, the Paramount copyright is chyroned in. Then they would cut to the then-current Paramount Television logo or the 2006 CBS Paramount Domestic Television "Eye in the Sky" logo afterward. Some older prints will have the logo with the chyroned Paramount copyright, but will not be followed by any Paramount logo. This has been seen on the 1980 Paramount Home Video releases of Star Trek: Television Classics, Volumes 1-5. A version with a pink tint, due to film quality, can be found on the 1984 Laserdisc release of The Menagerie: Parts I & II under the Television Classics collection.
- There was a red Desilu logo seen on Mission: Impossible.
- There's another variant where the year appears as "1967" instead of its Roman numeral equivalent.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The circles merging in a kaleidoscope fashion, moving, and changing colors, the "drawing" effect. Again, primitive animation.
Music/Sounds: A five-note horn fanfare; starts on a light note as the circle forms. Would later be used on Paramount Television's 1st logo. Sometimes this music would play faster. All were composed by Wilbur Hatch.
- Season one episodes of Mission: Impossible would sometimes have "bump" music (the basis for the "M:I" theme) as the fanfare.
- Some season two episodes of Mission: Impossible episodes had a battling loud rendition of the fanfare. This would later be used on Paramount Television's first logo in early 1968.
- In other cases, it's silent.
Availability: Uncommon. It was last seen on Star Trek reruns on TV Land and in local syndication and some Mission: Impossible episodes on the former ALN (now "YouToo TV"). Also intact on early episodes of Mannix, as well as The Lucy Show. When Star Trek is shown on Canada's Space: The Imagination Station, this logo is presumably kept with the Paramount copyright while Paramount's logo is cut. Season one of Mission: Impossible on DVD retains this logo with the Paramount copyright byline. The first two seasons of Star Trek (1966) on Blu-ray have retained this logo (followed by the 2006 CBS Paramount Television logo), with it strangely replacing the January-September 1968 Paramount Television logo on the second half of season two.
Scare Factor: Low to medium for the original variant, and medium for the battling loud M:I series variant. The fanfare might scare some, although the Mission: Impossible music was funny to this logo.