Background: MTE is an abbreviation for "MCA Television Entertainment" (or in some cases, MCA Television Enterprises), the production division of and in partnership with Universal Television and a sub-division of MCA Television (commonly known as "MCA TV") established in 1988, which produced TV movies, cable TV movies, and television shows, more than likely financed independently by outside producers and production companies. Even in its initial existence as MTE, finding (or, for that matter, paying attention to) its logo was rather rare even while Dream On was on the air. In December 1996, MCA was reincorporated as Universal Studios, and as a result, MTE was renamed to "Universal Television Entertainment" (a.k.a. "UTE"), and was later renamed to "Studios USA Pictures" (not to be confused to "USA Pictures") in 1998.
Nicknames: "The Nightmare Globe", "CGI Globe", "CGI Zooming Globe"
Logo: From a dark outer space background with stars moving forward in medium speed, a colorful, more physically-correct earth than its Universal predecessor at the time (now with greener land, a bluer-looking body of water and an icy white Arctic Ocean surrounded by clouds) zooms toward the screen with lightning speed and then immediately pans down to reveal a large gold shining group of letters, "MTE" in the MCA font (though slightly resembling the GTE logo), rotating and then zooming back against the globe which now appears again from the bottom, facing a bit down, and has stationed itself behind the letters, rotating also at an abnormal speed. After the letters and globe lock into place, the byline "AN MCA COMPANY" "glitters" in starting from a little left of the center, revealing some of the MCA logo in its stylized font, and then the rest of the byline and the words "AN" and "COMPANY" in a bold Helvetica type font. All the byline is on a stone-like texture. The text shines afterwards.
- The logo exists in filmed and videotaped versions.
- There is a short version of the logo.
- There is also a darker version.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The extremely fast zooming out of the globe, the rotating of the gold shining text. A unique, magnificent early CGI MCA/Universal globe rendition of Universal that appeared to define the future of MCA logos years ahead of its 75th Anniversary.
Music/Sounds: A custom extended rendition of the 1975 Universal Television theme consisting of a deep tympani drum roll, accompanied mainly by a Roland D-50 internal factory patch "Fantasia", followed/preceded by a swift whooshing sound (for the globe), and concluded by a slow eight-note horn fanfare (three extra notes precede the general five notes from the Universal Television counterpart), of which the last note is the loudest. Sometimes, the ending theme of the show plays over it.
- On some TV movies from 1989 such as Nightlife, the music was recomposed and there was a high wind blowing sound throughout the entire logo until the last note. The whooshing sound for the globe was removed in this particular case.
- On High Desert Kill, the theme is reverbated.
- On the She-Wolf of London episode "Beyond the Beyond", the late 1986 Universal Television logo theme is used on the short version of the logo.
Availability: Rare. It was found on a few movies aired on HBO and USA such as Silhouette, The Hollywood Detective, Running Against Time, Curiosity Killsand on few series in syndication. Notable shows where it would have been most available include early season 1 episodes of Swamp Thing and She-Wolf of London, early episodes of They Came From Outer Space, and season 1 episodes of Dream On. It is seen at times on Sleuth (now "Cloo") and Chiller, and still preserved on the DVDs of the first two seasons of Dream On, Swamp Thing, and She-Wolf of London. The videotaped version was found on the 1989 TV movie Trapped. However, on Hulu's prints of Dream On (which were sourced from the 1990s Comedy Central prints), it was plastered by the 1990 MCA TV logo.
Scare Factor: Minimal to medium. The combination of the zooming globe and the music (performed in a way unlike any other in the history of MCA/Universal) is ultimately deadly, especially when it's preceded by a logo with a black background, as well as the first time around you have seen it. But the scare factor is lower for those who are used to seeing it.
==2nd Logo (1990-January 1997)==
Nicknames: "Universal Globe", "The Gold Version", "MCA Globe II", "90s Globe", "90s MCA Globe"
Logo: We see the globe finishing zooming out to the center slowly and rotating on the starfield background from the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo. As the globe reaches into the center, the gold-tinted "MTE" lettering, in a bigger, bolder rendition of the Gothic-like font with the yellow gradient texture on it, fades in on-screen and zooms back against the globe. Once it has stopped, the byline, "AN MCA COMPANY" appears in spaced-out letters like in the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo. The text "MTE" then shines twice.
- There is a prototype variant where the "MTE" text fades in transparently and it doesn't shine. Also, the text zooms back from a bit more closer than usual and is shifted right a little along with the MCA byline and both the globe and the starfield are a bit darker. As the logo fades out, the last thing to be seen is the transparent "MTE" text.
- On some TV movies like Murder 101, the logo is notably darker.
FX/SFX: The zooming back and shining of the gold lettering name, the globe rotating.
- 1990-January 1997: An eight note saxophone tune composed by Dana Kaproff.
- 1990-1992: The entire 1987 fanfare. The on-screen "wiping" appearance of the letters is timed perfectly with the "whoosh" sound heard in the first few seconds of the music.
- Sometimes may also appear with the tail end of the program's music or none.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Dream On episode "Flight of the Pedalbee", it uses the music from the 1990 successor (seen below).
Availability: Extremely rare. It was used in tandem with the 1987 logo until 1992. This was seen on Swamp Thing: The Series, Dream On since season 2, She-Wolf of London (which was known as Love & Curses around that time), and They Came From Outer Space, as well as a few TV movies on HBO, and home video such as Murder 101, Dead in the Water, The Lookalike, and Psycho IV: The Beginning. The prototype variant can be seen on the TV movie, Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture. Sometimes on VHS releases of TV movies like In the Company of Darkness, the logo is blacked out in favor of the Universal Pictures logo being used at the beginning, also being the case with the DVD release of Psycho IV: The Beginning. However, like the first logo, it is preserved on DVDs of Dream On, She-Wolf of London, Swamp Thing, and a few TV movies like Murder 101. However, like the first logo, Hulu prints of Dream On plaster this with the 1990 MCA TV logo. This logo also appeared on Return of Ironside.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- 1990-January 1997: None. The saxophone tune is very cool and relaxing.
- 1990-1992: Minimal to Low. The theme is still very evil, but without the zooming globe, it's much tamer.
- None with the closing theme of the show or silent.
==3rd Logo (1990-December 1996)==
Nicknames: "The Ghost Globe", "The Globeless Logo", "The Lonely Globe", "Snubbed Globe", "The Lonely Letters", "Mystery MTE", "The Invisible Globe", "MCA Globe III", "The Ghost of the MCA Globe", "The Reflection Globe", "90s MCA Globe II"
Logo: Against a dark, static, milky space background, the 1990 MCA/Universal globe stands still and then pans down, obscuring itself into the bottom of a golden letter "T" which fades in before us, zooming back from a forward angle into the center of the screen. It is soon joined by a corresponding letter "M" coming in from the screen's left, and an "E" coming in from the right. The letters slowly align to a soft stop in which they are just slightly spread apart; the byline "AN MCA COMPANY" fades in underneath. All letters are in a generic Helvetica font.
- From its introduction, and for the majority of its run, the logo animation would begin halfway -- particularly from after the obscuring of the globe.
- Depending on the print, the letters can be seen in either a straight solid gold tint or a red-orange tint.
- A still version was used on Fudge.
FX/SFX: The zooming back/up of the lettering. In other cases, none.
- 1990-1995: The 1987-1995 MTE music/theme.
- 1991-December 1996: A 1-note synth theme with a low horn sustains the 3rd note of Universal Television's 1990 theme, with chimes and wind blowing. Sometimes, it will appear with the end of the music from whatever movie/show it came from. In other cases, it's silent.
- In the rarest of cases, the logo may appear with the Dana Kaproff sax theme.
Availability: Extremely rare. This was seen on even fewer TV movies, mostly on HBO, than that of its predecessor. Can possibly be found in vintage or used video stores on MCA/Universal videocassettes which bear the copyright to "MTE, Inc." or "MCA Television Enterprises". This logo has appeared on Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again, season 6 episodes of Dream On starting with "Bess You Is Not My Woman Now" (although some episodes from that season used the previous logo), and the short-lived series Campus Cops. It also appears on other TV movies such as Bionic Ever After? and The Beast.
- Low for the full logo. The darkness may get to some, but it's oddly soothing.
- None for the still variant.
- Minimal for the other variants.